Windows 8 runs a tight ship by throwing up a lock screen and a log-in screen before you can dive in. But you can easily bypass those screens so you don't have to type your password every time. Here's how:
- From the Start screen, type netplwiz. The command for netplwiz, aka the User Accounts Control Panel, appears in the search results in the left pane. Click that command.
- In the User Accounts Control Panel, select the account you wish to use to log in automatically.
- Click off the check-box above the account that says "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer." Click OK.
- Enter your password once and then a second time to confirm it. Click OK.
- Restart Windows. Windows now bypasses the lock screen and the log-in screen to automatically take you to the Start screen.
- Change your mind? To re-enable the log-in screen, simply return to the User Accounts Control Panel using the steps above and click on the check-box for the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" option.
Running the netplwiz command to bypass the log-in process also works in previous versions of Windows. But it's especially helpful in Windows 8, where the Lock screen and log-in screens are enabled by default.
Those of you trying out the Windows 8 Release Preview in a crowded office may want to keep the log-in screen turned on. But for anyone who doesn't need the tight security, this process can shave off a couple of steps each time you want to launch Windows 8.