Sign in to and out of your Surface

Applies to: Surface DevicesSurface

When you want to use your Surface, you’ll need to sign in. Find out about your options for signing in to and out of your Surface, including switching accounts and unlocking the screen.

Sign in

  1. Dismiss the lock screen by swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen or by pressing a key if you have a Surface Type Cover or keyboard attached.
  2. If prompted, enter the password for your user account.

Sign out or lock

Sign out or lock—what’s the difference?

  • Signing out closes all your open apps.
  • Locking protects your account from use and lets someone else sign in with his or her account, without closing your open apps.

Here’s how to sign out of or lock your Surface:

  1. Go to Start  and select your account picture in the upper-left corner of the Start menu.
  2. Select Sign out or Lock.
    You can also lock your Surface by pressing the Windows logo key  + L, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and selecting Lock or Sign out.

Switch to another account

If you’re sharing your Surface with someone else, you can switch to their account without signing out or closing apps. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Start  and select your account picture in the upper-left corner of the Start menu.
  2. Select an account.
    If you don't see the account you want, select Sign out and choose the account you want.

Sign in with Windows Hello

Windows Hello is a more personal way to sign in to your Surface with just a look or a touch. The front-facing camera on Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro (5th Gen), Surface Pro (5th Gen) with LTE advanced, Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop (1st Gen), Surface Laptop 2, Surface Book, Surface Book 2, Surface Studio, Surface Studio 2, Surface Go, and Surface Go LTE recognizes your face and iris, allowing you to sign in to Windows 10 without having to touch the screen or keyboard. If you have a Surface Pro 4 and a Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID (sold separately), you can sign in with a press of your finger.

To set up Windows Hello, see What is Windows Hello? or Learn about Windows Hello and set it up.

Other sign-in options

You can also sign in by using a PIN or a picture password. (These options may not be available if you’ve added work email accounts to the Mail app or joined a network domain.)

To set up these options, go to Start , and select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. From there, select Picture password or PIN and follow the on-screen instructions.

To choose when a password is required to sign in to your Surface: under Sign-in options, select Require sign-in and choose the length of time you can be away until your Surface requires you to sign in again.


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