Log On Automatically on Windows 7

Source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee872306.aspx

Requiring the user to enter credentials when his computer starts is an important part of Windows security. If a user account automatically logs on, anyone who has physical access to the computer can restart it and access the user’s files. Nonetheless, there are scenarios where a computer is physically secure and automatic logon might be desired.

WORKGROUP or Stand-Alone

To configure a workgroup computer (you cannot perform these steps on a domain member) to automatically log on, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type netplwiz, and then press Enter.
  2. In the User Accounts dialog box, click the account you want to automatically log on to.If it is available, clear the Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer check box.
  3. Click OK.
  4. In the Automatically Log On dialog box, enter the user’s password twice and click OK.

The next time you restart the computer, it will automatically log on with the local user account you selected. Configuring automatic logon stores the user’s password in the registry unencrypted, where someone might be able to retrieve it.

Domain Computers

Configuring a domain member computer to automatically log in is a direct violation of security principles, however it can be done. Domain member computers that auto-login should NEVER be in unsecure or unmonitored areas. When a computer is set to auto-login you are relying on physical access security (keeping possession of the physical computer itself).

  1. Choose or create a login to be used for this purpose. This may be a domain or local computer account. Be sure to give this login only the permission necessary for its purpose.
  2. Login to the target computer using the auto-login account. This will initialize the account and create any default settings. Configure any additional setting this account needs, such as mapped drives or special permissions. Log out.
  3. Login to the target computer using an administrator level account different from the one you intend to use as the auto-login account.
  4. Open the registry editor, and use “Run As Administrator” (even if you are logged in as an administrator.)
    WARNING: Making a mistake editing the registry can have very bad consequences! Be Careful!
  5. Navigate to
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

  6. Find the entry labeled “AutoAdminLogon”, right-click choose modify and change it from “0” to “1”
  7. Find the entry for “DefaultUserName”, right-click choose modify and change it to the username you want to use.
  8. Find the entry for “DefaultPassword”, right-click choose modify and change it to the password for the username you want to use.
  9. Find the entry for “DefaultDomainName”, right-click choose modify and change it to the domain for the username you want to use.
    NOTE: if you are using a local user account (specific to that computer and not the whole network) you will need to enter the name of the computer instead of the domain name.

"I can't find ..."

You may need to create some of these entries. If the value does not exist, follow these steps:

  • Click Add Value on the Edit menu.
  • In the Value Name box, type DefaultPassword, and then click REG_SZ for the Data Type
  • Type your password in the String box, and then save your changes.

Also, Windows may automatically change the value of the AutoAdminLogon key from 1 (true) to 0 (false), which disables the AutoAdminLogon feature. You may need to reset this value again.

Last modified:: 2016/03/19 16:03