Microsoft

Disable the Password Reveal Button on the Windows 8 logon screen

You can disable the Password Reveal Button on the Windows 8 logon screen with a registry tweak or with an edit by to the Local Group Policy.

1_padlock.png
When you begin entering your password into the text box on Windows 8's Logon screen, the operating system displays what is called the Password Reveal Button at the end of the text box, as shown in Figure A. As you can see, this button resembles an eye.

Figure A

Fig A 9-20.png

The Password Reveal Button resembles an eye.

When you click the Password Reveal Button, you'll see the actual text of your password, as shown in Figure B. Of course, the goal of the Password Reveal Button is to allow you the opportunity to check the spelling of your password before you click the arrow button to log in.

Figure B

Fig B 9-20.png

When you click the Password Reveal Button, you can check the spelling of your password.

While some may see this as a helpful convenience, some may see it as a potential security breach. If you fall into the latter group, then you may be interested to learn that you can disable the Password Reveal Button.

Fortunately, disabling the Password Reveal Button is easy once you know how to do it. If your edition of Windows comes with the Local Group Policy Editor, then you can disable it there. If not, you can disable the Password Reveal Button with a quick registry hack. In this article, I'll show you how to use both techniques to disable the Password Reveal Button.

Make a backup

Just to be on the safe side, you should make a backup of your system - especially if you will be using the registry edit method. If you want to have a full backup on hand, check out the article Restore Windows 8 with System Image Recovery where I showed you how to create a system image. If you already have a current system image, you may simply want to create a restore point as I showed you in the article Use System Restore as a recovery tool in Windows 8. Of course, you could do both.

The registry method

If you are using the standard version of Windows 8, you can disable the Password Reveal Button by adding a new key and value to the registry. To begin, launch the Registry Editor by pressing [Windows]+R to access the Run dialog box, typing Regedit in the open text box, and clicking OK. Of course, you'll have to deal with the UAC. Then, open the following subkey:

HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

When you access the Windows subkey, you'll add a new Key called CredUI. Right-click the Windows Key and then select the New | Key command, as shown in Figure C. When the new Key appears, name it CredUI.

Figure C

Fig C 9-20 .png

You'll begin by adding a new Key to the registry.

Now, right click the CredUI Key and select the New | DWORD command, as shown in Figure D. When the new value appears, name it DisablePasswordReveal.

Figure D

Fig D 9-20 .png

You'll then add a new DWORD value.

Then, double click the new DisablePasswordReveal value and set the Value data to 1, as shown in Figure E. To put the new setting into action, click OK, close the Registry Editor, and restart your system.

Figure E

Fig E 9-20 .png

Setting the Value data to 1 disables the Password Reveal Button.

Using the Local Group Policy Editor

If you are using Windows 8 Professional, you can disable the Password Reveal Button by changing a Group Policy setting. To begin, launch the Local Group Policy Editor by pressing [Windows]+R to access the Run dialog box, typing gpedit.msc in the open text box, and then clicking OK.

Once the Local Group Policy Editor is up and running, navigate down the Local Computer Policy tree to the Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components folder. Then locate and select the Credential User Interface folder. When you do, locate and select the Do not display the password reveal button setting as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

Fig F 9-20.png

In Windows 8 Pro, you can disable the Password Reveal Button in the Local Group Policy editor.

After you double click the setting you’ll see the configuration page and will need to select the Enabled radio button, as shown in Figure G. Notice the Requirements section lists this setting as being for Windows RT as well as for Windows 8. To continue, click OK and close the Local Group Policy Editor.

Figure G

Fig G 9-20.png

To disable the Password Reveal Button, you'll select the Enabled radio button.

No more Password Reveal Button

Regardless of which method that you used to disable the Password Reveal Button, when you log in to Windows 8, your password is securely hidden, as shown in Figure H.

Figure H

Fig H 9-20.png

The Password Reveal Button no longer appears on the Windows 8 Logon screen.

What's your take?

Do you feel that the Password Reveal Button is a helpful convenience or do you feel that it is a potential security breach? Will you disable it? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

13 comments
eaglewolf
eaglewolf

All this is well and good ... for the *tech* people, NOT the end-user/consumer.  They don't have a clue about the 'feature' being either positive or negative.  And they wouldn't be able to follow your instructions without having their system go up in smoke!

GrumpyGGA
GrumpyGGA

I like the password reveal option.  I only found out about it today, thanks to Tech Republic.  I wish I had known about it sooner while fighting for several days to set up my email options.  My advice to naysayers is this:  If you're so paranoid about security, maybe you'd be better off staying off computers.

carlsf
carlsf

Why should we/I have to download apps and tweak the registry to get what we had with Windows 7.

Sorry Microsoft but the win8.??? is also a no go.

We have windows 8 on 5 systems and no one will use those computers.

Our business model does NOT have touch, and our phones are phones not mini computers.

We have had enough we are leaving the ROOM..........

carlsf
carlsf

Sorry this is NOT an option.....

If MS and it looks like the 8.??? is also not an option.

If Microsoft cannot give us back the original WIN7 format for the Start Button and Start menu then our Windows 8 systems that no user will use them Microsoft is out. 

Windows 8 would be the most unfriendly UI I have ever come across, its C##p.

Why should we have to perform Registry tweaks and download other applications/software to get what was already there before WIN8.

skyledavisbooks
skyledavisbooks

I'm with @ringer1 . I don't see how it's a security breach. It's actually very handy for me. It's integrated throughout windows 8, and I find myself longing for it on my phone or Windows 7 work machine. Unless you type your password, then click on the eye to view it while someone is standing right there, then it isn't an issue, and in that case the person could just as easily watch your keystrokes.

jharvie673
jharvie673

How do you get rid of the password prompt altogether - it is a nuisance for a home-based machine.

Bramazoid
Bramazoid

Greg, surely you can find something more useful to work on.

ringer1
ringer1

I can't see how It would be a security breach, It only reveals what YOU type in It, Does It give hints as to the password? I would say It's more of a help than a security problem, now if It gave the correct password then It;s defenitly a sercurity breach, other then It's just there and you don't like It there whats the big deal,unless your just bored and got nothing better to do so you see if you can remove it, right? Or, you need something to write in your tip's and trick's colom :) Anyway, I was bored and removed it, ha ha, gave me some experiance in editing the registry.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Do you feel that the Password Reveal Buttonis a helpful convenience or do you feel that it is a potential security breach?

Bob G Beechey
Bob G Beechey

@carlsf With 5 minutes training most new users and the less brain-dead old users realise they have no need for the clunky old start menu. "The most unfriendly UI I have ever come across"? Really? Have you actually USED win8 or 8.1 in any serious fashion?

Having tried Win8, I realised I could be very productive (spending time mostly on Desktop mode) and I now have Win 8.1 on my new desktop, new laptop, and, via Bootstrap, on my MAC.