Saturday, September 02, 2006

Auto Logon In Windows XP

Default setup of Windows XP and above doesn't recommend auto logon feature. Obviously, it is due to security concerns.

Sometimes there might be just good enough to enable auto logon feature. For example, enable auto boot up and auto logon an interface workstation that housed inside securely protected data center.

Steps to enable auto logon in Windows XP and above

  1. Click on Windows Start button,

  2. Click on the Run menu,

  3. Type regedit.exe in Open field and click OK to call up Windows Registry Editor,

  4. Locate to HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon,

  5. Set DefaultUserName to an user account (either local or domain user account) that intended to automatically logon.

    Use this guide to create the keys (DefaultUserName, DefaultPassword, DefaultDomainName, AutoAdminLogon) if these keys are not exists,

    1. Right click on Winlogon,

    2. Select the New,

    3. Click on String Value,

    4. Enter the name of the key (DefaultUserName, DefaultPassword, DefaultDomainName, or AutoAdminLogon).

  6. Set DefaultPassword to the password of the user account defined in DefaultUserName,

  7. Set DefaultDomainName to a domain that able to authenticate the user account defined in DefaultUserName. If the local user account instead of domain user account is defined in DefaultUserName,

    • key in the computer name (Right click on My Computer, click Properties, click on Computer Name to look for Full Computer Name that define the computer name.), OR

    • leave it blank if the computer is not current joining to a domain.

  8. Set AutoAdminLogon to 1 to enable auto logon (0 to disable it).
To bypass auto logon (so that able to logon as another user account), hold down the SHIFT key during the boot up or logoff process!

Caution! the password is stored in registry as plain readable text!

Alternative option for Windows XP machine that is not joining a domain
  1. Click on the Windows Start button,

  2. Click on the Run menu,

  3. Type control userpasswords2 in the Open field and click OK,

  4. Select the user account from the list (the account to which intended to automatically logon),

  5. Uncheck check box option Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer and click OK,

  6. Key in the password of the user account selected in previous step,

  7. Click the Advanced tab,

  8. Click to clear the Require Users To Press Ctrl-Alt-Del Before Logging On check box.
Note, Windows XP Home edition don't allow auto logon with built-in Administrator user account!

This article has 1 comments.

Sergei said...

there is the Vista AutoLogon tool we develeop named LogonExpert I hope it will be interesting for this article readers as alternative secure autologon solution