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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.