Table of contents

Help & learning for Windows 11 is coming soon!

In the meantime, check out what's available for Windows 10 on the Windows 10 tab.

Learn more about Windows 11

Windows 11 logo on a blue background

To access your sign-in options, go to Start  > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options.

Or just click this button:

Go to Sign-in options

Change or manage your password

To change your password, go to Start  > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options. Select Password, and then select Change.

Note: To change your password if you're using a work or school account, press Ctrl+Alt+Del and then select Change a password.

Windows Hello

Windows Hello lets you sign in to your devices, apps, online services, and networks using your face, iris, fingerprint, or a PIN. Even if your Windows device can use Windows Hello biometrics, you don’t have to. If it’s the right choice for you, you can rest assured that the info that identifies your face, iris, or fingerprint never leaves your device. Windows does not store pictures of your face, iris, or fingerprint on your device or anywhere else.

What data is collected, and why

When you set up Windows Hello biometrics, it takes the data from the face camera, iris sensor, or fingerprint reader and creates a data representation—or graph—that is then encrypted before it’s stored on your device.

To help us keep things working properly, to help detect and prevent fraud, and to continue improving Windows Hello, we collect diagnostic data about how people use Windows Hello. For example, data about whether people sign in with their face, iris, fingerprint, or PIN; the number of times they use it; and whether it works or not is all valuable information that helps us build a better product. The data is pseudonymized, does not include biometric information, and is encrypted before it's transmitted to Microsoft. You can choose to stop sending diagnostic data to Microsoft at any time. Learn more about diagnostic data in Windows 10

To manage Windows Hello

To turn on Windows Hello, go to Start  > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options, select the Windows Hello method that you want to set up, and then select Set up. If you don't see Windows Hello in Sign-in options, then it may not be available for your device.

To remove Windows Hello and any associated biometric identification data from the device, go to Start  > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options. Select the Windows Hello method you want to remove, and then select Remove.

Using a security key

A security key is a hardware device - usually in the form of a little USB key - that you can use instead of your user name and password to sign in on the web. Since it's used in addition to a fingerprint or PIN, even if someone has your security key, they won't be able to sign in without the PIN or fingerprint that you create. Security keys are usually available for purchase from retailers that sell computer accessories. Learn more about security keys

To set up a security key, go to Start  > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options, and select Security Key. Select Manage and follow the instructions.

Lock your device

If you're stepping away from your device for a few minutes it's a good idea to lock it so that others can't see what's on your screen, or access anything on it. Press the Windows Logo Key + L to immediately lock in. When you return you'll just need to authenticate and you'll be right where you left off.

Dynamic lock

Windows can use devices that are paired with your PC to help detect when you’re away, and lock your PC shortly after your paired device is out of Bluetooth range. This makes it more difficult for someone to gain access to your device if you step away from your PC and forget to lock it.

  1. On your Windows 10 PC, select Start > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options.

  2. Under Dynamic lock, select the Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away check box.

  3. Use Bluetooth to pair your phone with your PC. Learn how to pair devices using Bluetooth

Once they’re paired, take your phone with you when you walk away, and your PC will automatically lock a minute or so after you’re out of Bluetooth range. 

Other sign-in options

Manage when you're required to sign in

Go to Start  > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options. Under Require sign-in, select an option for when Windows should require you to sign in again.

To show your account details on the sign-in screen

Go to Start > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options. Under Privacy, turn the first setting On if you want to show your account details on the sign-in screen.

To automatically finish setup after an update

Go to Start > Settings > Accounts  > Sign-in options. Under Privacy, turn the second setting On if you want to use your sign-in info to automatically finish setting up your device after an update or restart.

See also

The keys to the kingdom - securing your devices and accounts

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