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How to Turn on Automatic Logon in Windows

This is a subject that can be attacked a few different ways.  There are many reasons why people want to log into Windows Automatically and the ways to do it are just as various.  For my purposes, logging into windows automatically is an absolute must for my HTPC’s.  The last thing I want to do is try to spell out my password using an IMON remote!

For our purposes here; only two will be discussed. The first method works for nearly all the Windows versions to date and is the one I currently employ on the majority of my machines.  It allows Windows to auto logon using my current password.

Registry Method: This method takes advantage of the registry and uses the AutoAdminLogon key in the Winlogon section. This method is one of the easiest and is tested to work in Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Home Server, and last but not least Windows 7.  I hope I didn’t forget any that count.

NOTE: Editing the Registry incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to re-install Windows Vista to correct them. Microsoft nor computingondemand.com cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry editing can be solved. Back up your registry first, but use at your own risk.

Windows XP:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Using your account name and password, double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your user name, and then click OK.
  4. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your password under the value data box, and then click OK.
    If there is no DefaultPassword value, create the value. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type DefaultPassword as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type your password in the Value Data box.

    If no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows XP automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon registry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false) to turn off the AutoAdminLogon feature.

  5. Double-click the AutoAdminLogon entry, type 1 in the Value Data box, and then click OK.
    If there is no AutoAdminLogon entry, create the entry. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type AutoAdminLogon as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type 1 in the Value Data box.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.
  7. Click Start, click Restart, and then click OK.

Windows Vista & Windows 7:

  1. Hold down the Windows (between the Ctrl and Alt Keys) key then pres R , type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Using your account name and password, double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your user name, and then click OK.
  4. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your password under the value data box, and then click OK.
    If there is no DefaultPassword value, create the value. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type DefaultPassword as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type your password in the Value Data box.

    If no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows XP automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon registry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false) to turn off the AutoAdminLogon feature.

  5. Double-click the AutoAdminLogon entry, type 1 in the Value Data box, and then click OK.
    If there is no AutoAdminLogon entry, create the entry. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type AutoAdminLogon as the value name, and then press ENTER.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type 1 in the Value Data box.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.
  7. Click Start, click Restart, and then click OK.

If you want to bypass the automatic logon to log on as a different user, hold down the SHIFT key after you log off or after Windows restarts.

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About Joe D

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.

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9 comments

  1. Storing login/password in registry in plain text isn't good idea…
    I want to recommend you look at LogonExpert tool

  2. Not working with Win7-32 Ultimate. Also have GUEST user, so cannot auto-login, since must select USER first.

    Did this when family/ visitors/ guests are here.

  3. Will my computer be still protected say in a network IP scan?!

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