Microsoft has made great strides toward simplifying the sign-in process with Windows 10 while maintaining the added security a password provides, and I’m sure many of you with sticky notes on your monitor will appreciate it. In addition to the normal password we all know and love – that was sarcasm in case you missed it – we now have the option to use PIN numbers, photos, fingerprints, and even cameras to log into Windows 10.
Let’s have a look at the options and I’ll go into more detail for the more popular Windows 10 sign-in options.
Windows 10 Account Settings
To view the settings available to sign into Windows 10 we must first open the Account Settings panel
- To access Windows 10’s sign-in options you must open the Settings panel. Click on the Start Button (Windows icon) in the lower left corner to open the Start Menu.
- Click Settings in the Start Menu to open the Settings panel.
- Click on Accounts in the Settings panel.
- Click Sign-in options in the Accounts panel.
Windows 10 Sign-in Options
As you can see below there are quite a few options on Windows 10 related to signing in. Passwords, PINs, and Hello? Hello? What’s a Hello? Let’s have a look at each option in the Sign-in options pane and see what they do.
Click on Add, which will open a new window asking you to verify the password of your Microsoft account. Enter your password in the provided box and click Sign in.
If you’ve entered the password correctly you will be presented with the following screen. Choose a 6 to 8 digit PIN and enter it in the provided boxes. Click OK to accept your new PIN.
When you boot your computer you will now be able to use a simple PIN instead of complicated password.
Windows Hello does bring a more organic and flowing relationship to computer security by allowing a user to authenticate themselves using fingerprints or facial recognition. To use Hello your computer must have either a fingerprint reader or an Intel RealSense camera, which is a small package containing three cameras using infrared and laser technologies to perceive depth.
If you do not have either of these devices attached to your computer Windows Hello will not be available and will appear grayed out.
Perform the gestures correctly and you are immediately logged in. Pretty simple and I’m sure many will find this an easy way to log into their computer.
To create a Picture password click the Add button under Picture password on the Sign-in options pane.
You will then be required to authenticate your password for your Microsoft account, or your local account if you used one. Enter your password and click OK.
Next you need to pick a picture by clicking the Choose Picture button.
An Explorer window will open. Navigate to a picture of your choice, click the picture and click Open.
Your image will appear in the window. If the image is too large to display as a whole you may drag the picture around so a more pleasing area is displayed. After you are satisfied with everything click Use this picture to proceed.
At this point you need to create the gestures you will use to login. You can use circles, lines and clicks and there must be 3. A good example would to click on the nose, arm, and tail, but you could use any combination you like at any positions on the image.
Once you’ve completed your 3 gestures you will be asked to confirm them by repeating them one more time. After your Picture password gestures are confirmed the buttons at the bottom will change to Finish. Click Finish to continue.
You are now ready to impress your friends as you login using Picture password!
The next time you reboot or the computer wakes from sleep you will be presented with your picture. All you need to do is complete your three gestures to login.
As you can see securing your computer is so much easier than just a few short years ago with options to use passwords, PINs, pictures, fingerprints, and even your face available. Hopefully one of these choices will make your life easier and convince others to actually lock their PCs down a little further!