Article ID: 324737 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q324737
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 310584.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

Summary

This article describes how to configure Windows to automate the logon process by storing your password and other pertinent information in the registry database. By using this feature, other users can start your computer and use the account that you establish to automatically log on.

Important The autologon feature is provided as a convenience. However, this feature may be a security risk. If you set a computer for autologon, anyone who can physically obtain access to the computer can gain access to all the computer's contents, including any networks it is connected to. Additionally, when autologon is turned on, the password is stored in the registry in plain text. The specific registry key that stores this value can be remotely read by the Authenticated Users group. This setting is recommended only for cases in which the computer is physically secured and steps have been taken to make sure that untrusted users cannot remotely access the registry.

Use Registry Editor to turn on automatic logon

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To use Registry Editor to turn on automatic logon, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type Regedt32.exe, and then press Enter.
  3. Locate the following subkey in the registry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  4. Double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your user name, and then click OK.
  5. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your password, and then click OK.

    Note If the DefaultPassword value does not exist, it must be added. To add the value, follow these steps:

    1. On the Edit menu, click New, and then point to String Value.
    2. Type DefaultPassword, and then press Enter.
    3. Double-click DefaultPassword.
    4. In the Edit String dialog, type your password and then click OK.
    Note If no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon key from 1 (true) to 0 (false), disabling the AutoAdminLogon feature.

  6. On the Edit menu, click New, and then point to String Value.
  7. Type AutoAdminLogon, and then press Enter.
  8. Double-click AutoAdminLogon.
  9. In the Edit String dialog box, type 1 and then click OK.
  10. Exit Registry Editor.
  11. Click Start, click Shutdown, and then type a reason in the Comment text box.
  12. Click OK to turn off your computer.
  13. Restart your computer. You can now log on automatically.
Notes
  • To bypass the AutoAdminLogon process and to log on as a different user, press and hold the Shift key after you log off or after Windows restarts.
  • This registry change does not work if the Logon Banner value is defined on the server either by a Group Policy object (GPO) or by a local policy. When the policy is changed so that it does not affect the server, the autologon feature works as expected.
  • When Exchange Active Sync (EAS) password restrictions are active, the autologon feature does not work. This behavior is by design. This behavior is caused by a change in Windows 8.1 and does not affect Windows 8 or earlier versions. To work around this behavior in Windows 8.1 and later versions, remove the EAS policies in Control Panel.
  • An interactive console logon that has a different user on the server changes the DefaultUserName registry entry as the last logged-on user indicator. AutoAdminLogon relies on the DefaultUserName entry to match the user and password. Therefore, AutoAdminLogon may fail. You can configure a shutdown script to set the correct DefaultUserName entry for AutoAdminLogonAs. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    119364 AutoAdminLogon loses DefaultUserName

Properties

Article ID: 324737 - Last Review: November 1, 2013 - Revision: 10.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbmgmtservices kbhowtomaster KB324737

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com