How To Log Into Your Computer Automatically

Setting up your computer to automatically log you in can save you the time and hassle of entering your password each time you start up. Here's how to automatically login for Windows and Mac users.

First, a few notes: Setting an automatic login is best when you're not too concerned about security — for example, your desktop computer at home where you don't store any confidential information and/or use security precautions like password managers for signing onto websites. It's definitely not a good idea to set up auto login on a laptop, since it's more easily vulnerable to loss or theft. Also, if you have more than one user account on the computer, the auto login feature can be more of a hassle for other people because they'll have to log you off and log on to their accounts each time.

But if your computer is in a secure location and you're the only one using it, auto login can be very convenient.

Windows XP, Vista and 7

  • Click Start then type in the search box netplwiz and hit Enter. (On Windows XP, you may instead need to go to Start, then Run... and enter control userpasswords2 instead of "netplwiz")
  • In the Advanced User Accounts window that opens, uncheck the box next to "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer." Hit Enter or click OK
  • A new dialog box will prompt you to enter the username and password (twice) for the account to automatically log into every time you start Windows. Once you've done this, hit OK, then OK again to complete the process.

To undo this process, go back to Start and type in "netplwiz" then re-check the option for requiring a user name and password.

Mac OS X

Configuring your Mac to log in automatically when it starts up is very simple.

  • Open System Preferences and click Users & Groups
  • Click the Login Options button on the bottom of the left pane.
  • Click the dropdown box next to Automatic login to select the account to automatically log into.
  • Enter the password when prompted and hit OK

Comments

    +1 for netplwiz , been using this for many years, I find it sometimes will drop your changes though, if you haven't logged off or restarted at least once. #]

    Of course, if your computer is stolen and you've got loads of sensitive stuff on it that isn't separately protected, well...

      If your PC gets stolen then I'm guessing your security isn't all you've got to worry about! If you put this on your lappy then you're a dill! #]

      A simple little password isn't going to stop anyone.

      Stephen I have to agree with Jamie; Login Password Protection on Windows is like a warm blanket and on OSX its a tiny bit better, but only because less people use it. If your computer is stolen, the culprit wants the data, and its not encrypted then all they have to do is plug your harddrive into another computer. A simple solution to this is to use Windows bit-locker. Which on startup asks you for the harddrive password, making the windows password a waste of time and this technique perfect.

    Sorry I have to absolutely DISAGREE this should be a MUST for laptop users.
    unless set up otherwise you can just lift a harddrive out of a laptop to get to sensitive data and format suddenly making the laptop new again.

    bios passwords and hard drive encryption is the ONLY THING to keep your sensitive stuff safe.

    ON the utter polar opposite, install some sort of remote administration suite on your laptop and unpassword protect it and you even have a chance of recovering it!

      Bios passwords dont mean crap. if they have the compouter, just clear the cmos. takes 5 seconds and bam! bios password gone.

      Hard drive encription on the other hand..... takes a few minutes longer.

    An alternative:

    Not sure whether it is any more secure or not:

    http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/09/make-windows-load-your-desktop-before-you-log-in/

    I hibernate my Windows 7 laptop; this trick doesn't work for returning from hibernation. :(

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