There may come a time in your nerdy life where you want your computer to automatically log in at boot or whenever anybody signs out, this can be especially useful if you are running software that needs a user to be constantly logged in.
For example, I run CCTV software on my computer via a user called Console, the software displays live camera feeds on a second screen at my desk, the same signal is fed via a splitter through network cables eventually reaching various screens dotted around my house.
The setup requires my Console user to be constantly logged in, be it when the system boots or after I have finished checking my emails or being nerdy.
It is fairly straight forward to get going, in my case on Windows 10 Pro I ran the built-in netplwiz(.exe) utility and added one string value to the registry.
Part 1: Configuring automatic login at boot
- Run netplwiz(.exe) and uncheck the box saying Users must enter a username and password to use this computer.
- Press OK then enter the username and password you want the computer to automatically login as and press OK again
That’s the first part completed, so now whenever you boot your computer it will automatically sign in as the user account you have set.
Part 2: Configure automatic login when signing out/switching user
The next part involves adding a regsitry key with a string value, once this was done I found it worked straight away without having to reboot my machine.
- Open regedit(.exe) and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
- For the value name enter ForceAutoLogon, double click the line you just added and enter the value date to 1
That’s it! Now when you sign out it will automatically sign back in to the user account set in first step.
- If you want to log in as a different user, hold the shift key whilst locking your account, you’ll then see the normal Windows login screen
- You can do step 1 via the registry if you want, but why over complicate things!