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Article ID: 315231 - Last Review: May 7, 2013 - Revision: 11.0

This article was previously published under Q315231
To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure that you are running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). For more information, refer to this Microsoft website: Support is ending for some versions of Windows (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/help/end-support-windows-xp-sp2-windows-vista-without-service-packs)

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to configure Windows XP to automate the logon process by storing your password and other pertinent information in the registry database. This feature enables other users to start your computer and use the account that you establish to automatically log on.

Important If you turn on autologon, Windows XP becomes more convenient to use. However, using this feature can pose a security risk.

More information

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

If you set a computer for automatic logon, anyone who can physically gain access to the computer can also gain access to everything that is on the computer, including any network or networks that the computer is connected to. Additionally, if you turn on automatic logon, the password is stored in the registry in plain text. The specific registry key that stores this value is remotely readable by the Authenticated Users group. Therefore, only use this setting if the computer is physically secured and if you make sure that users who you do not trust cannot remotely see the registry.

To have us turn on or turn off automatic logon for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
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Turn on automatic logon in Windows XP (http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9746380)
Microsoft Fix it 50529
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Turn off automatic logon in Windows XP (http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9746382)
Microsoft Fix it 50532
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Notes
  • The use of the autologon feature can pose a security risk.
  • Please type the correct user name and password in the theDefaultUserName and DefaultPassword text box during the installation of the Fix it solution.
  • If the user name is a domain user name, specify the value for the DefaultUsername by using the following format:
    domain\username
  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not using the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
Then, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

Method 1

Note To learn more about how to edit the registry before you proceed to use this article, click the following link to go to the article on the Microsoft website:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755256.aspx (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755256.aspx)

You can use Registry Editor to add your logon information. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your account user name, and then click OK.
  4. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your account password under the Value Data box, and then click OK.

    If there is no DefaultPassword value, create the value. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type DefaultPassword as the value name, and then press Enter.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type your password in the Value Data box.
    If the Note:DefaultPassword registry entry does not exist, Windows XP automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogonregistry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false) to turn off the AutoAdminLogon feature after the computer restarts.
  5. Double-click the AutoAdminLogon entry, type 1 in the Value Data box, and then click OK.

    If there is no AutoAdminLogon entry, create the entry. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
    2. Type AutoAdminLogon as the value name, and then press Enter.
    3. Double-click the newly created key, and then type 1 in the Value Data box.
  6. Exit Registry Editor.
  7. Click Start, click Restart, and then click OK.
After your computer restarts and Windows XP starts, you can log on automatically.

If you want to bypass the automatic logon to log on as a different user, hold down the Shift key after you log off or after Windows XP restarts. Note that this procedure applies only to the first logon. To enforce this setting for future logoffs, the administrator must set the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Value:ForceAutoLogon
Type: REG_SZ
Data: 1

Method 2

You can also turn on automatic logon without editing the registry in Windows XP Home Edition and in Windows XP Professional on a computer that is not joined to a domain. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.

    Note When users try to display help information in the User Accounts screen in Windows XP Home Edition, the help information is not displayed. Additionally, users receive the following error message:
    Cannot find the Drive:\Windows\System32\users.hlp Help file. Check to see that the file exists on your hard disk drive. If it does not exist, you must reinstall it.
  3. Clear the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" check box, and then click Apply.
  4. In the Automatically Log On screen, type the password in the Password box, and then retype the password in the Confirm Password box.
  5. Click OK to close the Automatically Log On screen, and then click OK to close the User Accounts screen.

Did this fix the problem?

  • Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus) .
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me (http://blogs.technet.com/fixit4me/) " blog or send us an email (mailto:fixit4me@microsoft.com?Subject=KB) .

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Keywords: 
kbacwsurvey kbregistry kbhowto kbenv kbinfo kbui kbmsifixme kbfixme KB315231
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