Enabling automatic logon in Vista

Posted: September 14, 2009 in Tweaking, Vista
Tags: ,

If you are the primary user of your computer and you do not have any other users, or if everyone in your household uses the same username, you are the perfect candidate for enabling automatic logon. Automatic logon is a great technique that will save you time that is often wasted when your computer is waiting for you to type your password. Even if you do not have a password assigned to your account, you are still required by the logon welcome screen to click your name to sign in. Having to do these tasks yourself is unnecessary and a waste of time if you are a candidate for automatic logon.

Caution: Automatic logon can be a great feature but it can also create a security problem for your computer. If you use your computer for business, if you have data you prefer to keep safe from others, or both, I strongly recommend that you do not enable this feature. If you happen to step out of your office or if your laptop is stolen, you have left the door to your computer wide open. By enabling automatic logon, you are trading convenience for physical access security. However, you are not changing your network security, so your data is still safe from network attackers. The risk of someone remotely connecting to your computer is the same as if you did not have automatic logon enabled.

Enabling automatic logon is a quick and easy Registry hack. Follow these steps to speed up your sign-on with automatic logon:

  1. Click the Start button, type regedit in the Search box, and then press Enter.
  2. After Registry Editor has started, navigate through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.
  3. Locate the AutoAdminLogon entry. If the key does not exist, create it by right-clicking the Winlogon folder and selecting New and then Registry String.
  4. Right-click the AutoAdminLogon entry and select Modify. Set the Value to 1, Then press OK to save the new value.
  1. Locate the DefaultUserName entry or create it if it does not exist.
  2. Right-click DefaultUserName and select Modify. Set the value to the username that you primarily use to sign in to Windows. Press OK.
  3. Locate the DefaultPassword entry or create it if it does not exist.
  4. Right-click the DefaultPassword entry and set the Value to your password.
  5. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.

After you reboot your computer, Windows Vista should automatically sign on to your account. You will notice that your computer will now get to the desktop much quicker than before. If you ever want to disable automatic logon, just go back into Registry Editor and set the AutoAdminLogon entry to 0.

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