How to enable Windows 7 Auto-Login

It was way back in July 2007 when I talked about enabling Windows Server 2003 (and Windows XP) to auto-login using a specific username and password.

You’d have hoped that with the heightened focus on security since then, that we’d no longer find ourselves in a situation where this was necessary. Ideally, all applications would be able to run as background Services, so merely by a PC booting up to the Windows logon screen, everything on the PC would function as though interactively logged in.

Sadly, that’s simply not the case, as I found out setting up a PC to act as a CCTV Security Camera server recently (oh, the irony of it all!).

So, whilst it isn’t recommended to have any PC automatically login, here’s how you can accomplish it within Windows 7.

  1. Bring up the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows Key + R.
  2. Type in control userpasswords2 and press Enter to display the User Accounts window.
  3. Uncheck the option “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” and click OK.
  4. You will then be prompted to enter the current password and confirm it.

After following the above steps, you will no longer be prompted to enter your password upon login.

Use at your own risk!


4 Responses to “How to enable Windows 7 Auto-Login”

  1. 1 Paul November 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I actually do this on my main Desktop computer. In the startup group add a shortcut which locks the workstation by running:rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStationAnd then when you turn on your machine you will end up with a fully logged in and ready to run machine, instead of one that still needs to complete the login process. The screen will be locked waiting for you to unlock and use.

  2. 2 Simon December 2, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Hmm.. I don\’t have the \’Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer\’ option box. Is that because I\’vejoined an SBS2008 Domain?

  3. 3 Richard December 2, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Paul – that\’s an *awesome* tip that negates the security issue of leaving the PC logged in and accessible somewhat, thanks for sharing!

  4. 4 Richard December 4, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Simon – good point. If you\’re joined to a domain then you need to use the registry editing method to enable auto-login.See for a good guide to implementing this that someone else has already written!

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