Windows

Set up an automatic logon to Windows XP

TechRepublic member dusty1one is seeking a way to bypass the Microsoft Windows XP logon/welcome screen. Here's how to do it.

Problem

In versions of Microsoft Windows prior to XP, you could set up your PC to automatically log on and load the desktop, bypassing the normal logon/welcome screen. In Windows XP, if there is only one user account, it is relatively simple to set up the system to automatically log on. However, if there is more than one user account, designating that all of the accounts can automatically log on is much more obscure.

Solution

To get access to a user account control panel that will allow you to set up accounts for automatic logon in Windows XP, you must use the command line and an obscure control application. At the command prompt, enter:

control userpasswords2

That command will open control panel that looks like Figure A.

Figure A

The User Accounts control panel

From this control panel, you can uncheck the Users Must Enter A Name And Password To Use This Computer setting. When you click the Apply or OK button, you will be asked to supply a password (you can leave it blank). After clicking OK on that screen, you will have set your PC to log on automatically.


Fate plays a hand

This solution is really a by-product of an odd coincidence. The night before I read dusty1one's Tech Q&A post, I read this article in PC Magazine. I took it as an omen.


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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

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