If address bar shows sites.google.com, then please click here for the preferred www.bricecenter.com address for this page.
© 2011 Brice Center (first posted 2/8/12 ► last updated 2/8/12)
I hate waiting for computers. When I get into the office in the morning, I don't want to be slave to my computer, waiting for it to half-boot just so I can put in my password, and then wait some more while it finishes loading Windows. So, I found a way around it. My method allows for full password security, but lets the computer fully boot unattended.
You just have to configure the computer to Auto-Logon, and then to Automatically Lock itself immediately after booting so that no unauthorized user can mess with your machine. After this is configured, you just hit the power button, then go get a coffee. When you get back, the machine is fully booted, but locked waiting for your password. Just put in your password, and you're ready to go immediately.
This is a 3 step process. You must create an (1) Auto-Lock shortcut, (2) configure Auto-Lock, and then (3) disable the Switch User Feature. First the easy part...Auto-Lock after booting.
Right click on your desktop. Select New > Shortcut.
When the wizard prompts you for a location paste this code:
%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation
Then when it prompts you for a name, type "Windows Lock."
(If you are editing the shortcut after creation, paste the code above in the Target field on the Shortcut tab, and the name in the field on the General Tab)
Cut and paste this shortcut into your "Startup" folder under Start > All Programs > Startup. Anything in the Startup folder will launch at startup, including your new Windows Lock shortcut.
These instructions were adapted from this set of Microsoft instructions: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315231
You can use Registry Editor to add your log on information. To do this, follow these steps:
After your computer restarts and Windows starts, you can log on automatically.
If you want to bypass the automatic logon to log on as a different user, hold down the SHIFT key after you log off or after Windows restarts. Note that this procedure applies only to the first logon. To enforce this setting for future logoffs, the administrator must set the following registry key:
You can also turn on automatic logon without editing the registry in Windows Home Edition and in Windows Professional on a computer that is not joined to a domain. To do this, follow these steps:
Cannot find the Drive:\Windows\System32\users.hlp Help file. Check to see that the file exists on your hard disk drive. If it does not exist, you must reinstall it.
You will then need to disable the "Switch User" feature. If you don't then the Windows Lock screen will show the Switch User button, and if someone clicks it, they will automatically be logged in as you.
To do this follow one of these two tutorials (they both give basically the same methods, but give different extra bits of background info).