Sharing one PC with other people, while keeping your information secure, is possible with Microsoft accounts and local user accounts. That’s because the administrator is the only person who can add new users. Each user will have their own username and password. In Windows 8, aside from typing in a regular password, you can also have a picture password where you can use gestures on top of an image (with your finger) to log in or set-up a short pin that you can use to quickly sign-in to the computer.
Adding a New User
1. Bring up the charms bar, select Settings and click on Change PC Settings at the bottom of the panel. Go into Users. Under Other Users, click on Add a user.
2. By default, Windows will assume that you would like to create a Microsoft account since this is the recommended type of account. Click Sign in without a Microsoft account to create a local user account.
3. You will be asked to select which account you would like to create: Microsoft account or Local account. This page also explains the difference between the two.
4. You will then be asked to add a username, password, re-enter password and a password hint.
5. You will also be asked if the account you are about to create is a child’s account. Click Finish.
Changing your password
1. Still on PC Settings > Users, under Sign-in options, click on the Change your password button.
2. Type in the current password. Click Next.
3. Add a new password, re-enter password, and a password hint. Click Next.
4. Once you click on Finish, you can now use your new password the next time you login.
Creating a Picture Password
1. On PC Settings > Users, under Sign-in options, click on Create a Picture Password.
2. First, you will be asked to confirm your current password.
3. You will then be asked to choose which picture you would like to use. You can choose any picture available in your computer. Click on Open.
4. You will then be asked to drag your picture to position it the way you want.
5. If you’re satisfied with the picture, click on Use this Picture; if not you can go ahead and Choose a new picture.
6. Having chosen a picture, you will now be asked to draw three gestures on the picture. You can use any combination of circles, straight lines and taps/clicks. You can click on Start again if you want to redo the gesture.
7. You will then be asked to confirm the gestures.
8. You have now successfully created a picture password. Click on Finish. You can use this picture password to login.
1. On PC Settings > Users, under Sign-in options, click on Create a Pin.
2. You will be asked to confirm your current password. Click on OK.
3. You will be asked to enter a pin which is a 4-digit code.
4. Fill out the Enter PIN and Confirm PIN fields. Click on Finish.
Once you’ve set-up a password, picture password, and pin, you will be given sign-in options to determine whether you want sign in using your password, picture password, or pin when you log in.
Chris “Simon” Calder was working as a Project Manager in IT for one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious cultural institutions, LACMA. He taught himself to use Microsoft Project from a giant textbook and hated every moment of it. Online learning was in its infancy then, but he spotted an opportunity and made an online MS Project course – the rest, as they say, is history!
Microsoft Windows 8 has introduced many revolutionary concepts and new features. For instance, it has introduced two new ways of logging in – by using Picture Password or by using PIN.
A Picture Password enables you to use a picture from your library as a password. You have to perform three gestures on the picture that you want to use as your password. For example, you can select, draw and resize some portion of the picture as you want.
Set up Picture Password in Windows 8.1
Follow these steps:
1. Open Control Panel by clicking on the Control Panel option in the default Metro style home screen.
2. In the Control Panel window, select Users and then click on the Create a Picture Password option.
3. Then you will be asked to enter your Login Password, before you can set a picture password. Make sure that your Windows 8 account has a password. If you haven’t got one, you cannot create a picture password.
4. After that, browse to the picture that you want to use as your password and select it.
5. You will be asked to perform 3 gestures which can be either selecting, resizing, creating straight lines or circles. You will need to redraw the pattern for confirmation.
Bingo! You have successfully setup a Picture Password. You will be asked to redraw the pattern at your next login.
If you think that Picture Password is too complicated for you but you still want to experience a change in the method of login, Microsoft Windows 8 has a solution for you in the form of PIN.
Though this method is faster than traditional login and Picture Password, it is less secure than Picture Password, as it can have at most four digits as a password. Still it is worth a try if you are using a touch based device.
Set up a PIN logon in Windows 8.1
Follow these steps to do it:
1. Click Create a Pin option in Pin login section.
2. You will be prompted to enter your Windows user account password. Click OK to continue.
3. Enter PIN number of your choice and click Finish button to complete the setup.
If you don’t want to use any of these methods, you can always stick to the traditional method of logging in to your Windows, at any time you want.
Windows 8 introduces three new ways of authenticating yourself other than just using a traditional password. Now you can use a PIN code, Picture Password, as well as Microsoft account for logging into your computer. From the Windows login screen, you can switch between these sign-in options.
However, in some situations you might not be allowed to create a PIN or Picture Password, or the sign-in options of PIN and Picture Password are not shown up at Windows login screen. If you’re facing such problem, here is how to fix it.
1: Picture Password / PIN code disabled after joining a domain
Domain users are not allowed to sign in with a PIN by default. After joining to a domain or adding an Exchange email account, Picture Password or PIN authentication might be not available. However, you can easily turn on the Picture Password / PIN sign-in options by modifying the group policy:
- Press the Windows key + R keyboard combination to open a Run box, then type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
- When the Group Policy editor opens, navigate to the following key:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon
- On the right pane, double-click on the “Turn on PIN sign-in” option. Set it to Enabled, and click Apply.
- Double-click on the “Turn off picture password sign-in” option and set it to Disabled. Click Apply.
Of course, this method will only be useful in a domain environment, in which case you could assign this group policy setting to an OU in Active Directory.
2: PIN sign-in option disabled after entering PIN Code wrong many times
If you have entered the wrong PIN too many times, the PIN sign-in option will immediately disappear from Windows logon screen. There is no other way to get the PIN code back to work, except that you can still login with other sign-in options, delete the existing PIN code and set a new one.
If you couldn’t also log on with your local / Microsoft account, this will essentially lock you out of your own computer. In this situation, you need to use some third-party boot disks such as PCUnlocker to unlock your Windows local / Microsoft account.
3: Disable the policy “Do not display last user name”
It is good practice to enable the local security policy “Interactive Logon: Do Not Display Last User Name” in Windows. Despite this setting can improve the security of your computer, it will also cause the Picture Password and PIN sign-in options disappeared at the Windows logon screen.
To bring the Picture Password / PIN sign-in options back, you need to disable that security policy again. Here’s how:
- Press the Windows key + R keyboard combination to open a Run box, then type secpol.msc and press Enter.
- In the left pane of Local Security Policy window, navigate to Local Policies -> Security Options .
- On the right hand side, double-click on the “Interactive Logon: Do Not Display Last User Name” setting. Now switch the radio button from Enabled to Disabled, then click Apply.
If you’re running a version of Windows 8 that doesn’t come with the Group Policy Editor, use this registry trick to disable that security policy:
- Press the Windows key + R keyboard combination to open a Run box, then type regedit and press Enter.
- In the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
- On the right hand side, double-click on dontdisplaylastusername and then modify the value to 0.
Choosing a password is never easy for a computer user. There is a lot of thought and consideration that must go into creating a secure password. Windows 8 makes it a little easier to create passwords by giving users the option to create a password, PIN or picture to login to their computer. By throwing PINs and pictures into the mix, this gives users a different way to secure a PC and ensure it is protected from prying eyes.
Our guide will show you how to create all three types of passwords in Windows 8. While you are going through this guide, be sure to check out our post on creating a secure password.
How to set up a password in Windows 8
In order to change your password at all in Windows 8, you need to head to settings.
Open the “Charms Bar.”
Now, click “Change PC settings.”
Then, click “Users.”
You can change your sign-in options from here. You can choose the type of password you want, such as a regular text password, picture or PIN.
When you first set up Windows 8, chances are you set up a regular text password. If this is the case, you can change it from here.
Click “Change your password.”
You will be required to enter your current password, followed by your new password selection.
Then, click “Next.”
It will take a few seconds and Windows will let you know it was successful. The change will take place immediately, so the next time you need to use your Windows 8 password you need to remember to use your new one.
If you have selected a different type of password when you first installed or upgraded to Windows 8, you can go through the same steps to create a text password to use.
How to set up a PIN
In the same settings area, click “Create a PIN.”
Confirm your Windows password, then click “Ok.”
Now, enter a PIN number. It can be any combination of four digit numbers, similar to a debit card PIN.
When finished, click “Finish.”
You now will use your PIN when you log in and sign on with Windows.
How to set up a picture
From the same settings area, click “Create a picture password.”
You will need to confirm your current text password, then click “Ok.”
Then, you will be given a brief understanding of how a picture password works. Depending on your PC, it may be more difficult to create a picture password you can reliably recreate.
When you are ready to create a picture password, click “Choose picture.”
You can choose any picture on your PC to use as your password, simply select a picture.
Now, click “Open.”
Your picture will display on the right side of your screen, on the left you will be asked if the picture is being displayed the way you want it for the password. You can drag your picture to anywhere on the screen where you feel comfortable.
Click “Use this picture” to continue or click “Choose new picture” to select a different one to use.
Now, you can choose your gestures. You have three gestures to set up. These will be how you draw the picture as your password. If you use a mobile phone, this is similar to drawing your sign-in on your phone if you use it to lock your screen.
You will set your primary gesture, then your secondary and finally the last.
After setting them, Windows will prompt you to draw them to ensure you do not set up a password that you cannot draw again.
If you cannot draw it again, Windows will let you know. You can try again or opt out of creating a password picture.
If you can draw it again, Windows will let you know. You can click “Finish” to set it in stone.
What type of password is the best?
Windows 8 offers a variety of ways you can pick a “password.” Whether you choose a more traditional text password or a PIN or a picture, you are in complete control over how you use your password. You always want to create a secure password and with more options, you can do that better than ever in Windows 8.
I do not have the sign-in options at logon. I have set up a picture password but cannot access it since sign-in options are not there at logon.
New computer (1 week); updated drivers via Fujitsu. Updated win 8 drivers. Only installed basic programs (Adobe X, Word)
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Let us check if the issue is with the user profile. I would suggest you to create a new user account and check if you get the same error:
- In the new modern interface, you can find the Control panel App.
- Click on the Control panel. When you click on the control panel, main screen of control panel will be displayed
- Find an option which is named as “Users.”
- Click on the Users, you will be taken to a user screen, where you will see four options “change your password, create a picture password, create a pin and the forth one is other users“.
- Below the other users, you will find a button with “+” symbol. Click on it, you will be taken to the next screen.
- In this screen, you can create a separate user account. If you have a Windows Live ID, you can use it to create an account.
- If you don’t have a Windows Live Id, you can click on the “More login options“. You can select a local account.
- Fill the details in the local account, and click on Next.
- A new user account will be created. Now, you can login with the new user account.
Let us know the results. If you have any further issues on the computer, please post your question regarding Windows and we will be happy to help you.
Apart from the traditional local account, Windows 8 allows its users to log in to it in new ways: Windows Live account, PIN logon and picture password. Some of you may don’t know what PIN is, or don’t know what Windows 8 PIN is for, then this article will answer both the question, and guide you how to set up PIN Logon in Windows 8.
What is Windows 8 PIN Logon?
A PIN (Personal Identification Number) is almost the same as the regular password except you can only use numbers, and it has to be 4 digits long. PIN logon is another way for Windows 8 users to log in PC, as an addition to the normal password. Plus, for the fact that it is only 4 digits long, it shall come in handy when your text password is too complicated on the virtual keyboard in the tablet, which boasts one of the key features of Windows 8, compatible to mobile devices like tablet and such.
How to Set Up PIN Logon in Windows 8?
Setting up your windows 8 PIN code is a very simple process, just follow the steps below:
1. On the default Metro style home window, click Control Panel, select Users, and then click on Create a PIN.
That is all, quick and easy! Please remember your PIN number for that it might be used to unlock your PC. And when you log into Windows 8 next time, you’re prompted to enter your PIN instead of your password, Enter the four-digit PIN (you don’t have to press Enter when done) to log in.
How to Change Logon Options
If you prefer to sign in with your password or your picture password, you can just click “Sign in Options” to change. Choose the way you want to log in.
Plus, if you ever want to change or remove your PIN, just return to Users in PC settings and select.
When you first think of the concept of a picture password, you may think of something like the old TV show classic “Concentration,” or a typical emoji-based conversation — a bunch of pictograms coming together to create a specific phrase or idea. In reality, however, it’s actually much more similar to a hidden object game: there are specific elements in a picture that the user decides are important and you can only progress once those criteria are met.
PINs (Personal Identification Number), on the other hand, are something that most people are very familiar with — a set of numbers that act as proof that you are authorized to use whatever it is that the PIN is tied to.
In recent years, both of these elements have been incorporated into various Windows operating systems and can be used in place of a traditional username and password login.
Picture passwords have been around for some time now, though they still aren’t really in widespread use. But it’s easy to see why a security-minded person might want to trade a password that can be captured via a keylogger for an authentication method that only requires a mouse, producing a theoretically far more secure authentication mechanism.
In addition, people that heavily use Microsoft’s Accessibility options or tablet-mode laptops could find this far faster and less frustrating than entering a password with an onscreen keyboard.
Here’s how you activate it:
- To activate a picture password, you’ll first want to click on Start and go to Settings
- From here, you’re going to want to click on the Accounts option under Windows Settings
- After this, you’ll see a number of available options underneath the Accounts menu on the Left side of the screen. You’ll want to select Sign-in options
- On the right side of the screen, you’ll see several different options for authentication, including Picture Password
- You’re now in the Picture Password setup wizard. It will guide you through a number of options, including selecting a picture and showing you how to draw gestures on the image to show what is important
Here’s where the weaknesses of the picture password come into play.
Traditional passwords have a particular set of criteria that most users tend to fall into that reduce the security of strong passwords: writing them on a sticky note, changing one key value in the password each time or some other method of creating a pattern.
Picture passwords, unfortunately, fall into their own pattern just as easily. Circling a sun, drawing a line from nose to nose, following the top of a fence and other relatively obvious factors may make this significantly weaker than the user initially thought. You’re also only making three gestures as your picture password, which really isn’t much but could be excused.
The larger problem, however, is that Windows wants you to use this on a monitor that you use all the time. Again, this could be considered not a big deal if you’re on a device that has a screen hardwired to it, but multi-monitor setups, graphics equipment swaps or other troubleshooting techniques could be problematic if the user forgets their regular password.
The most important factor is that Windows doesn’t actually know what the picture is. You choose your picture, then Windows overlays a grid on top of that picture; it tracks the coordinates of your movements, then gives a bit of wiggle room beyond that. If the picture’s size suddenly changes, that could throw your password out of alignment.
Many users in secure environments may be wondering why PINs would be considered a new thing, since anyone using a Common Access Card, RSA authenticator or similar technology also uses a PIN along with their hardware for two-factor authentication (2FA).
The key difference is in what you’re authenticating to. A traditional 2FA authentication method using a PIN authenticates you to the server from any device on the network. A Windows 10 PIN, on the other hand, is only good on one specific machine — it can only be used there and is tied to that particular device. Theoretically, then, if someone was going to try to take over your account in this way, they would also have to steal your Windows 10 machine to use this method (which tends to throw up red flags pretty quickly).
To set up a Windows 10 PIN, you’re going to want to go to the same location we went to for Picture Passwords: Start → Settings → Accounts → Sign-in Options. Once you’re here, you’ll see an option for PIN.
What makes PINs interesting is that they are a prerequisite for other options available in Windows Hello — a set of biometric authentication methods such as fingerprint or facial recognition — it’s a backup in case something happens where you can’t authenticate properly. While the specifics of this are beyond the scope of this article, you can check out more information about Windows Hello here .
There are several different reasons why users might want to move to either of these options, but the biggest one by far is that this is what they are used to on a mobile device. Swiping a pattern or PIN to log in takes about two seconds on a mobile device, while typing in a password may take significantly longer if you aren’t a proficient typist.
Microsoft is also trying to change the rules of the game when it comes to password hijacking. If everyone isn’t using the same set of inputs, it immediately complicates matters for someone attempting to break in easily.
Neither of these are true 2FA, but for an organization on a budget or even just an individual, it’s worth looking into non-traditional authentication methods if you are concerned about your security. Please be sure to do your homework, however, and see if the strengths and weaknesses you’re trading are worth it to you.
Simply speaking, PIN (Personal Identification Number) of Windows 8/8.1 computer is a 4-digit code created for safety protection. Like administrator password and picture password, it is widely applied to lock the computer so that no other people can access the computer without it. Moreover, if you lose or forget the administrator password, you can bypass it by means of the PIN. Now that PIN is very useful in computer security protection, you should know how to create it on your computer. Meanwhile, you can learn about how to change and remove it in this article.
1. Create a PIN on Windows 8/8.1 computer
Step 2: In PC settings, choose Users on the left menu, and click Create a PIN on the right.
Step 3: Type the current user/administrator password in the empty box and tap OK to continue.
Tips: This step is required when you have created a user/administrator password on your computer. If there is no user/administrator password, the program will directly move to the next step.
Step 4: Enter and reenter a 4-digit code in the empty boxes, and click Finish to complete PIN setting.
When you restart or turning on your computer next time, you can sign in your computer with the PIN, as shown in the following screenshot.
2. Change a PIN.
Step 1: Enter PC settings.
Step 2: Select Users and click Chang PIN in the right list.
Step 3: Type the user/administrator password, and then tap OK.
Note: If a user/administrator password has been set in the computer, you can make changes to the PIN only after confirming your current user or administrator password.
Step 4: Input and retype a new PIN in the boxes, and click Finish.
3. Remove a PIN.
In PC settings, choose Users and tap Remove on the right side of Change PIN.
Then the PIN is removed at once. In other words, there is no PIN sign-in option on the login screen.
In the end, you can use the above methods to create, change or remove PIN on your Windows 8/8.1 computer.
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Microsoft allows you to setup a Picture Password or a 4 digit PIN to simplify logging into your Surface tablet.
If you don’t know about picture passwords, they’re a mechanism to let you draw a pattern on the screen to act as the password to unlock or log in to your Surface.
A PIN is just a 4 digit Personal Identification Number (if you ever wondered what PIN stood for) like you use for your ATM or debit card.
Both options a lot more convenient than typing out a long password but have some security ramifications. I’m not going to go into those in this article but you can read up a little about them at Security Nirvana. I’m assuming you’re a big boy or girl and can make the convenience vs. security call yourself. I’m just going to show you how to setup a picture password or PIN.
Setup a Picture Password or PIN: Setup a Picture Password
- Find a nice picture that you want to use for your picture password
- Make sure it’s in your Pictures folder on your Surface or in your OneDrive
- Go to the Charms bar (swipe in from the right side of the screen)
- Click the Settings charm
- Select Change PC Settings
- Select Accounts then Sign-in Options
- Under Sign-in options select Create a picture password. You will be prompted for your full password, enter it
- Now, you’ll get a screen with a Choose picture button. Tap it. Find the picture you want to use and select it then, click the Use this picture button when the How’s this look? screen appears
- Draw your gestures on the screen. You will have to have 3 different gestures
- Confirm those gestures. If you make a mistake, click Start over to try again
- Click Finish to complete the setup of a picture password for your Surface
Pretty easy. Now let’s go over how to setup a PIN instead. It’s pretty much the same thing but not quite as many steps.
Setup a Picture Password or PIN: Setup a PIN
- Go to the Charms bar (swipe in from the right side of the screen)
- Click the Settings charm
- Select Change PC Settings
- Select Accounts then under Sign-in options select Create a PIN
- You will be prompted for your full password, enter it
- Next you’ll be asked for your PIN, enter and confirm it
That’s it. Simple, huh? So now instead of needing to enter a long password, you’ll just have to punch in a 4 digit PIN to access your device. It’s a lot quicker than entering a long alphanumeric password but has the previously mentioned security concerns.
It’s up to you to decide which is more important; security or convenience.
In case you’re wondering; yes you can have both a picture password and a PIN. You can switch between them via the sign-in options item below the password or PIN fields. If you’re using a picture password, you’ll have to click the Switch to password button first to see it.
A picture password is a new way to help protect your Windows 8 computer or touchscreen PC. You can choose to use any picture, and the three gestures you use with the picture, to create a strong unique password for your user account in Windows 8.
This tutorial will show you how to create, change, or remove a picture password for your user account in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
- This will not work if your PC is part of a domain. Picture passwords only work for workgroups.
- After creating a picture password, you will need to perform the three gestures you setup below on the picture to be able to sign in to your user account in Windows 8.
- On the sign in screen, you will have an option to Switch to password to be able to enter you user account’s password instead of using the picture password.
- If you used Switch to password, you will still be able to click/tap on the Sign-in options link to select the picture password icon to sign in with the picture password instead.
- If you use the picture password and you know you did something wrong while trying to sign in, you can press the Start Over button and start again. If you don’t get the gestures right five times in a row, Windows 8 will automatically switch back to the alphanumeric password option.
- With the alphanumeric password option, you are reminded with your password hit and the password reset option after the first attempt to sign in. After five attempts, you will have to wait for a while (about 30 seconds or longer) before the next attempt. This deliberate delay is a Windows security feature that is designed to help prevent hackers from continuing to try and guess your user name and password.
The image you select for your picture password is stored in the hidden PicturePassword folder location below as the Cloud.jpg and Local.jpg files.
C:\Users\ (user-name) \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\PicturePassword
EXAMPLE: Picture Password on Sign in Screen
To "Create a Picture Password" for your Windows 8 User Account
NOTE: It is required that you have already created a password for your user account first to be able to create a picture password.
1. Open PC settings, and do step 2 or 3 below for what Windows 8 you have.
2. In Windows 8 or Windows RT, click/tap on Users in the left pane, click/tap on Create a picture password in the right pane, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)
How to Navigate:
A) Click/tap on Files (Windows 8) or This PC (Windows 8.1) to open a root folder to have it’s subfolders open in the main window.
B) Click/tap on a folder in the main window to open it’s subfolders in the main window.
C) During this, you can click/tap on Go up to go up one folder level in the main window.
7. If you like the selected picture, then click/tap on Use this picture and continue on to step 8. If not, then click/tap on Choose new picture and repeat step 6. (see screenshot below)
If you get an "Enrollment Failure" error, then you will need to set the Credential Manager service to be Automatic and started (running). Afterwards, start the tutorial over to try creating your picture password again.
12. If you like, you could now close PC settings.
To "Change Picture Password" for your Windows 8 User Account
1. Open PC settings, and do step 2 or 3 below for what Windows 8 you have.
2. In Windows 8 or Windows RT, click/tap on Users in the left pane, click/tap on Change picture password in the right pane, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)
6. When finished selecting a picture to use, you can now repeat steps 7 to 12 in OPTION ONE above to draw 3 gestures for the selected picture.
To "Remove Picture Password" from your Windows 8 User Account
1. Open PC settings, and do step 2 or 3 below for what Windows 8 you have.
2. In Windows 8 or Windows RT, click/tap on Users in the left pane, then click/tap on Remove to the right of Change picture password in the right pane. (see screenshot below)
4. The picture password for your user account has now been removed.
Tablet and PC users alike can create a picture password in Windows 8 as a visual way of signing in. Here’s how.
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He’s written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He’s the author of two tech books–one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET
Windows 8 offers a new twist on security by letting you log in with a picture password as an alternative to a text password or PIN.
For this process to work, you’ll need to copy at least one image to your Windows 8 Pictures folder. After selecting your picture, you draw circles, lines, or taps on any three areas to set up your security. To log in, simply recreate the same gestures in the same order.
A picture password seems better suited for touch-screen tablet users, but PC users can also tap into the feature and use a mouse to create and re-create the gestures. Here’s how to set up a picture password in the Windows 8 Release Preview :
- From the Start screen, type the phrase picture password. From the search bar, click on the Settings category. From the search results in the left pane, click on the setting to Create or change picture password.
- From the Sign-in options section on the PC Settings screen, click on the button to Create a picture password. Enter your current text password to confirm your account.
- The “Welcome to picture password” screen explains how to set up a picture password through different gestures.
- From the left pane, click on the Choose picture button. Windows displays your Pictures folder with any images. Click on the image you wish to use as your password and then click on the Open button in the lower left corner.
- Depending on the size of the image, you may be able to drag it horizontally or vertically to position it. If you’re happy with the image, click on the Use this picture button.
- In the “Set up your gestures” screen, create your first gesture, then your second, and then your third. In the “Confirm your gestures” screen, recreate the three gestures in the same order. If you’re successful, Windows congratulates you. If not, you’ll have to try again. When done, click on the Finish button.
- Return to the Start screen by pressing the Windows key. Click on your account name and picture in the upper right corner and then select Sign out from the menu.
- To log back in, press any key to get past the lock screen. You’ll then see your picture. Draw the three gestures that you created to sign in. If you’ve matched them closely enough, Windows then brings up your Start screen. If not, you can try again or switch back to using a text password.
Many users, especially those on PCs, may want to stick with their traditional text passwords. But the picture password does offer a unique and potentially more memorable way of logging into Windows 8.
A picture password is a more convenient way to sign in to Windows 10 when using a tablet or laptop with touchscreen.
Up until now you probably been using a password to sign in to your Windows 10 device. However, if you use a tablet or touchscreen laptop, typing a password can be difficult, instead, you should use a picture password.
Picture password has been around since Windows 8.x, and it’s a new secondary method of authentication that let you choose a picture and draw gestures to create a password to unlock your device without having to use a PIN or a complicated password.
Using gestures on a picture to sign in to Windows 10 is more secure than a password in a number of ways. The most important difference is that picture password is tied to a device, so it only works if someone has physical access to the tablet or laptop. This means no one can access your device remotely like it would be possible if someone steals your password.
In addition, if you use a Microsoft account to sign in on multiple devices with the same password, and someone figures out your picture password, only one device would be compromised.
In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to create a picture password to quickly and securely sign in to your Windows 10 account.
How to create a picture password on Windows 10
Click on Accounts.
Click On Sign-in options.
Under Picture password, click the Add button.
Enter your current password to verify that you’re who you say you are.
Click Choose picture to select a picture you want to use as a password.
Drag the image to the position you want and click Use this picture.
Set up your gestures three times. Here you must draw three gestures on a picture, including taps, straight lines, and circles.
Click Finish to complete the task.
You can now sign out of your Windows 10 account and try to sign back in using the new gestures on the picture you chose.
Although a picture password can be somewhat more secure than a traditional password, remember that you can’t create a picture password without first setting up a password.
To change your picture password, follow the same steps mentioned above, but on step 4, click the Change button. Enter your current password, click Use this picture, and follow the on-screen steps.
If you forgot your gestures, you can always click the Replay button in settings page.
Change picture password
To remove your picture password, follow the same steps, but on step 4, click the Remove button.
Remove picture password
Would you use a picture password on your tablet or laptop? Let us know in the comments below.
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Tired of typing in a lengthy password each time you log into your Windows PC? The latest version of Windows boasts a clever innovation that makes logging into your system a little less tedious: the picture password.
The concept is simple: just pick an image or snapshot, then draw three gestures on the photo using either your finger (if you’re using a touchscreen PC or tablet) or your mouse.
In my case, I chose an old photo of a doll’s head set sitting on a wooden table (um, where did that come from?), then I picked my three gestures: a swipe along the doll’s jaw, a circle around his ear, and and line connecting two specks of paint in the top-left corner of the frame. (Needless to say, I’ve since changed my picture password.)
Once you’re done “recording” your gestures (circles, straight lines, and dots work best), you can lock your Windows 8 system with your new picture password—and the next time you log in to Windows, you can do so simply by retracing your gestures.
Of course, the trick is to come up with gestures that are a) easy to repeat but b) not so easy that any random passerby can crack your picture password.
What happens if someone does try to guess your picture password? Well, they’ll have to get it right pretty quickly.
After four or five failed attempts, you’ll be bounced to the standard login screen, and you won’t be able to try the picture password again until you logged in successfully with your usual Windows password.
Can’t duplicate your gestures? You may have to try something a little more simple—but not too simple, of course.
So, how do you set up a picture password in Windows 8? Easy:
- Mouse to the top- or bottom-right corner of the screen (or, if you have a touchscreen Windows 8 PC or tablet, swipe in from the right side of the display), then click the gear-shaped Settings icon ( or “charm,” as Microsoft calls it).
- Click or tap the “Change PC setting” link in the bottom corner of the screen, then select Users in the left column.
- Under the “Sign-in options” section, click the “Create a picture password” button, then enter your Windows user password when the prompt appears.
- Next, click the “Choose picture” button and pick a picture on your hard drive. Want to choose a photo from your Microsoft SkyDrive, or from the Bing search engine? Click Files in the top-left corner of the screen, then choose a new source (such as “Bing” or “SkyDrive”).
- Got a picture ready? Click and drag the photo to position it the way you want, then click the “Use this picture” button.
- Now it’s time to draw your three gestures on the photo. For the best results, stick with straight lines, dots, and circles. You’ll have to draw your gestures twice, and you may have to try, try again, to repeat your gestures to Windows’ satisfaction. Can’t get it right? Then click the “Start over” button and try some gestures that are a little easier.
- Got it? Then click the Finish button.
Don’t want to bother with a picture password? You can also create a four-digit PIN for signing into a Windows 8 system.
You can set up a picture password and a PIN at the same time, then choose one or the other on the Windows login screen.
Oh, and one more thing: you can both a picture password and a PIN active at the same time.
You can then choose which method to use for logging into your Windows account by clicking the “Sign-in options” link at the main password page, then clicking one of the three icons: the first for a picture password, the second for a PIN, and the third for a full, standard Windows password.
Thinking of swapping your trusty typed log-in passwords for one of Windows 8’s fancy picture passwords? That may be a bad idea, as a new paper published by researchers at Arizona State University and Delaware State University suggests that they may be a bit too easy to crack.
Microsoft’s Picture Gesture Authentication (PGA) system lets you draw three gestures on an image with your finger or stylus on a touch-based machine, or with a mouse on a standard laptop or desktop, which can then be used as a password. Images can be drawn from your personal photos stored in the Windows 8 Picture Library, or from a default set offered up by the OS.
However, the gestures can’t be freely applied, with the OS automatically converting squiggles into either a tap, line or circle. On top of that, researchers using a custom web-based PGA system similar to the Windows one found that users picked out prominent points of interest on the pictures to apply the gestures to, such as a person’s nose, or a standout object in the image.
Quizzing 685 respondents, the project found that just 9.8% said they randomly chose to draw without considering the background image, while 60.3% admitted that they looked for locations where “special objects” were, 22.1% where “special shapes” were, and 8.3% where “colours are different from their surroundings”.
The researchers then applied these findings to create an experimental model and attack framework, generating algorithms based on the user data to crack a series of PGA passwords. Keeping the Windows 8 five log-in attempt limit in mind, the researchers were able to crack 48% of passwords from unseen pictures in the first dataset, and 24% in a second data set.
While not showing the password system to be a total cakewalk to crack, the research certainly shows the PGA to be at the very least no better than a standard alphanumeric code. If you insist on using the PGA system, avoid family photos then, and go for something trippy like a Magic Eye image instead.
Greg Shultz takes a look at using a PIN instead of a picture password to sign in to a Windows 8.1 tablet.
I’ve been wanting to get a smaller Windows 8.1 tablet for some time now. Over the holidays, I found a deal that I couldn’t refuse. At a local Office Depot store, I spotted the HP Stream 7 tablet on display. Taking a closer look, I began admiring its feature set: an Intel Atom Quad Core 1.8 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, front and rear facing cameras, and a great 7-inch diagonal multi-touch IPS wide viewing angle display with 1280 x 800 resolution. I then noticed that it was on sale for $99.00 (USD). The next thing I knew, I was walking out of the store with a new tablet to add to my computer collection.
The HP Stream 7 has, so far, turned out to be a nice addition to my computing arsenal, and I’ve been using it every day for a variety of tasks. When I set it up, I used the same Microsoft Account that I used to sign into my laptop and desktop systems — both of which are running Windows 8.1. Using the same Microsoft Account on multiple devices provides a host of advantages in that all of your settings and apps are the same on all your devices. However, I discovered that using the same secure password, which is easy to type on my desktop and laptop with the keyboard, can actually be quite difficult on virtual keyboard that’s displayed on a 7-inch screen. So, I decided to use Windows 8.1’s picture password feature on the HP Stream.
I accessed PC Settings | Accounts | Sign-in options and set up the picture password using a couple of swipes and a loop. Unfortunately, even though the picture password sounded like the perfect solution, it too was problematic on the 7-inch screen. I regularly encountered an error that my picture password was incorrect (Figure A).
I discovered that entering a picture password on a 7-inch screen can be problematic.
I then began thinking about how easy it is to enter a passcode on my iPhone and wondered about using a picture of a numeric keypad as the basis for my picture password. Since you can use a set of taps instead of swipes and loops, I thought that would be a good way to use the picture password feature on a small screen. So, I downloaded a picture of an iPhone passcode screen and set it up as a picture password on my tablet. While that worked better, I still occasionally encountered the error if I didn’t tap the number exactly in the center (Figure B).
Using a picture of a numeric keypad worked better, but I still encountered the error.
I was hoping a picture password would make logging into my tablet easier, but it was proving to be a frustrating experience. So, I decided to investigate using a PIN to sign in. Let’s take a closer look.
Setting up a PIN
To set up a PIN for signing into a Windows 8.1 tablet, access the Charms bar, and select Settings | Change PC Settings | Accounts | Sign-in options. Then, select the Add button in the PIN section (Figure C).
Select the Add button in the PIN section.
You’ll then be prompted to verify your account info by signing in with your regular password. As soon as you do, you’ll be prompted to enter a 4-digit PIN (Figure D). After you enter the PIN, you can close the Accounts window.
You can now choose a 4-digit PIN.
Signing in with a PIN
The next time that you sign in to Windows 8.1, you’ll be prompted to enter your PIN (Figure E).
You’ll now enter a PIN instead of your standard password.
What’s your take?
Have you used a picture password on your Windows 8.1 tablet? What was your experience? Will you try a PIN? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Picture Passwords are one of the more innovative new features in Windows 8 that enables you to logon by touching or clicking specific parts of a picture to authenticate. Any picture in your library can be used as a reference to help you remember where the three parts of your picture password are located. Basic gestures such as dragging your finger or mouse along a specific part of the picture can also be used in your password.
After you log in click or touch the metro Control Panel tile.
Select Users and then Create a picture password.
Enter your current password and hit OK.
Hit Choose picture.
Select the picture you want to use as the background for your reference points and hit Open.
Confirm the picture selection with Use this picture.
Touch and swipe or click and drag in three points on the picture.
Repeat the points you selected to confirm your password.
Your picture password is now set, hit OK.
The next time you logon to Windows, you will see your picture password background image. Touch and swipe or click and drag on three points in the picture you setup and you will be logged in.
In addition to the regular password login, Windows offers other security measures like PIN and Picture password to protect your PC against unauthorised access.
Just like a PIN, a picture password can be used as an alternate method to sign into your PC which can be easily accessed via your account options.
If you’re having trouble remembering the long passwords, then picture password is an awesome alternative that suits your needs as well as gets the work done.
Although picture passwords are more fun on touch screen devices, they work just fine on the non-touch screen PCs and Laptops as well.
What is a Picture Password?
Picture passwords allow you to sign in by drawing shapes — straight lines or circles –, tapping on certain spots on the image or by making gestures, all of these are customised by users when setting up the password.
Picture passwords are as secure as your regular password or PIN as the data is stored locally on your PC.
Note that picture passwords do not provide an additional layer of security, rather can be used as an alternative method to sign in to your PC.
Even if you have set up a picture password, you can always log in using your regular password or PIN using the ‘Sign-in options’ button on the login window.
Why Picture passwords then? Just because they make signing in easier and faster.
Using picture password on a touch screen device will smudge the screen over a period of time and might even give away your password to an onlooker.
But this can be avoided by either wiping the screen every time you sign in or else by changing the pattern in your picture password every now and then.
How to Set Up a Picture Password?
First, you need to access Windows Settings — either from the start menu or by using Window+I — and then click on the ‘Accounts’ tab.
On the ‘Accounts’ page, click on ‘Sign-in options’ found on the left-hand side panel.
You’ll find picture password below Password and PIN. Click the ‘Add’ tab below the Picture password header.
Windows will ask you to enter the regular password in a pop-up window to ascertain that the picture password is being added by you.
Enter your credentials and then click on ‘Ok’. The picture password window will appear and next, you need to click on ‘Choose Picture’ button.
Select an image from your PC that you want to use as a background for your picture password. It’s advised to use a high-res full-screen image in order to utilise the password area effectively.
Once you’ve chosen the picture, click on the ‘Use this picture’ button. Now you’ll have to draw three gestures on the image, which can be a combination of circles, straight lines and taps (clicks).
Now the size, direction, position and the order in which you draw gestures here will become your picture password.
You’ll need to redraw the picture password once you’ve completed it to confirm the gestures and order.
You can click on the ‘Start over’ button if you draw any gesture incorrectly in this process and want to rectify it.
After the confirmation is done, click on ‘Finish’ and your new picture password will be activated.
Now you’ll see the picture on the right while signing in and drawing the gestures in the correct order will sign you into your PC.
If there is some issue with the picture password, you can choose to use the regular password or PIN to sign in by clicking on ‘Sign-in options’.
Picture passwords are a safe bet too, but in the absence of a touch screen, they seem like more work to me than traditional passwords.
But you should try this on your own to figure out which method is best for you — what’s not a right fit for me just might be the right fit for you.
Last updated on 02 February, 2022
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If you’ve got a good, strong password (as a systems administrator, you certainly should!), you have probably noticed that it takes you considerably longer to log in on a tablet device than it would to do so on a regular PC. Microsoft has aimed to give us a “fast and fluid” way of logging into our devices with the new picture password login in Windows 8.
Two elements are involved with the picture password login. The first is a picture selected by the user; Microsoft intentionally hasn’t provided a selection of images for this, as selecting your own picture increases both security and memorability of the picture password. The second element is a set of “gestures” that the user makes on or around the selected image. These gestures can be a combination of circles, lines, and taps. The circle and line gestures also offer an additional layer of security, as the direction of these gestures must be correct in order to successfully authenticate.
To create a picture password for your account, select “settings” from the charms bar. You can get to the charms bar by pointing to one of the right corners of the display.
Windows 8 charms bar – More PC settings
On the settings panel to the right, select “More PC settings.” This will take you to the new Metro control panel app. When the app starts, select “Users” from the list on the left of the screen. You should then see various options related to your user account. About halfway down these options on the right, you will see a button labelled “Create a picture password.” Click this button to start the picture password wizard.
Windows 8 PC settings
Once the picture password wizard has started, the first thing you will need to do is select a picture to use. I would recommend a photo of decent resolution. For my example, I used the 4sysops logo; however, Windows scaled it up to fit the screen, so it ended up looking quite pixelated. You’ll notice the new Metro-based file browser is used when you are selecting your picture.
Windows 8 picture password – Choose picture
After you select your image, you will need to make 3 gestures around it. As mentioned before, these can include circles, lines, and taps. Once you have made your gestures, you will have to make them again, just so the system knows that you got it right (in the same way you always need to type a new password twice).
Windows 8 picture password – Set up your gestures
If you manage to perform the same gestures to a satisfactory accuracy the second time, Windows will save the picture password for your account. Next time you log in, you will be presented with your image to perform your gestures on. Should you forget your gestures (as I promptly did!), you can still fall back to a regular password-based login and set up your picture password again.
While picture passwords may make logging in quicker and easier for end users, this might not be something that systems administrators like the sound of! I expect it’s easier to obtain a user’s touch gestures on an image from watching over their shoulder than it would be to do the same with a traditional password-based login. Windows 8 provides a new group policy object (GPO) to allow administrators to prevent users from using this feature:
Computer configuration-> Administrative Templates-> System-> Logon-> Turn off PIN and Picture password logon
Picture password is a new Windows 8 login method, which allows you to use certain gestures performed on a selected picture to login Windows 8. The gestures take into account the shape, the start and end points, as well as the direction. Wrong gestures will always deny a login, and it will lock out your PC after five unsuccessful attempts. Therefore, Windows 8 picture password is said to be more secure for users without fear of cracking password. Please refer to Create Windows 8 Picture Password to create one. However, you may forget this password. What can you do if you forgot picture password in Windows 8?
What to Do When You Forgot Windows 8 Picture Password?
There are 3 solutions to help you login your PC when you forgot picture password in Windows 8.
Solution 1: Sign in Windows 8 with a text password
If you enter the wrong gestures too many times, your system admin would require you to sign in with your regular password instead and you can simply use the traditional text password or other choices, like PIN code or a security card to login your PC. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Click Switch to password on the login screen.
Solution 2: Sign in Windows 8 with the help of a Microsoft account
If you forgot Windows 8 picture password and couldn’t remember your text password, what else can you do? If you have a Microsoft account, you can use your Microsoft account on any available PC to change the user password online so that you can log into Windows 8 again.
Note: There are two methods for creating a Microsoft account: using an existing e-mail address and signing up for a Microsoft e-mail address.
Solution 3: Recover Windows 8 Picture Password
Many of you may meet the worst situation that you can’t remember your text password and never get a Microsoft account in advance. In this case, you can try Windows Password Recovery Tool, which is a wonderful Windows password recovery program to help you quickly reset or change your forgotten password for both administrator and user accounts, so that you can login Windows 8 easily and recover or change your lost Windows 8 picture password. Here is the simple guide to show you how to use this tool to login your PC in Windows 8.
- Step 1: Download and install Windows Password Recovery Tool on any available PC.
- Step 2: Burn a CD/DVD or USB Flash Drive on the available PC.
After you finish all the instructions, you can log into your PC in Windows 8 again.
Once you log into your PC, you can recover Windows 8 picture password you have forgotten.
- Step 1: Press Windows + C to open the charms bar, select Settings and Change PC settings.
- Step 2: Select Users and then click Change picture password.
You can also change Windows 8 picture password in this step. Make sure your new picture password is easy to remember for yourself.
Note: Sometimes Windows 8 won’t start when you want to login your PC with picture password, you can fix this problem referring to the article of Windows 8 Won’t Start. And if you have any other problems, please don’t hesitate to contact with us.
World’s 1st Windows Password Recovery Software to Reset Windows Administrator & User Password.
Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 introduces a lot of new features that are designed to make the computing experience of an average user easier. While it misses the mark in a few cases, being able to use a PIN number or a picture as a password replacement is one of the places where Microsoft’s latest operating system excels. Of those two options, picture password is the most useful for users with a Windows-powered tablet or laptop with a touchscreen.
Here’s how to use a picture as a password in Windows 8.1
Go the Start Screen by pressing the Windows key.
Open the Charms Bar by swiping from the right edge of your display to the left. Tap Settings.
Click or tap Change PC Settings.
In the Settings app click or tap Accounts in the menu on the left side of your screen.
Click or tap Sign in Options in the menu on the left side of your screen.
Click or tap the Add button under Picture Password.
If you’re using a Microsoft Account to download apps and sync to SkyDrive you’ll need to enter that account’s password. Then click or tap Ok.
Picture password allows users to unlock their device by entering a three-part pattern that’s overlaid on their favorite pictures. Tap or click Choose Picture to use one of your photos for Picture Password.
Select the picture you would like to use for Picture Password from your computer then click or tap Open.
Click or tap on Use This Picture if you’re satisfied with the picture you selected. If you aren’t tap or Click on Choose New Picture.
Swipe your finger in a specific manner three times. Be sure, to use landmarks on the photo as your guide. You’ll need to enter it twice correctly before Windows 8.1 will treat it as your password.
There you have it. You’ve added a picture password to your Windows 8.1 device. There are two key things users with Picture Password should remember. Should you forget your password, your device will allow you to use your original password instead of a picture password. Also, picture passwords work with a mouse and keyboard, stylus and tablet. That being said, most users will find that it makes more sense to enable it on a device with a touch screen.
Finally, picture passwords don’t automatically sync between devices. As such, you’ll need to enable it on each device you own manually if you prefer it over typical passwords.
Microsoft built Windows 8 on the assumption that your local user account and your online Microsoft account would be one and the same. While this provides certain conveniences (and Microsoft profits), it also causes problems.
One big problem: Everything is set up so that you use one password for both logging into your computer and accessing Microsoft’s cloud-based services. But online passwords need to be strong (see Learn to use strong passwords), and local logon passwords should be easy to remember and type. You can’t have both.
Here are three Windows 8.1 password workarounds:
[Email your tech questions to [email protected].]
Use a photo and a pattern lock
Identifying the right photo isn’t really the key to Windows 8’s Picture Password feature. Anyone who turns on your computer will see the photo that unlocks Windows. But to get past that photo, that person would have to know the three gestures you created for it.
To set up Picture Password, go to the Settings charm and select Change PC settings in the lower-right-corner. In the PC Settings screen’s left pane, select Users (Windows 8) or Accounts, then Sign-In options (Windows 8.1). Under ‘Picture password’, select Add.
Then follow the prompts. You’ll have to enter your Microsoft password, after which you’ll have an opportunity to select a photo, then record three touchscreen gestures.
Look for gestures that aren’t obvious–don’t follow a line that stands out in the photo. And don’t worry; when you repeat the gestures, they don’t have to be exact.
Use a four-digit pin
If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, and are not using pattern lock, you probably already have a four-digit PIN. You can use one with Windows 8.1, as well.
You set this up from the same screen as the Picture Password. Under PIN, select Add and follow the prompts.
Finally, you don’t have to stay connected to Microsoft’s cloud services. You can create a local user account on your PC and use an easy-to-type password to log into that.
You won’t automatically be connected to Microsoft’s cloud. I’ll let you decide if that’s a problem. There will be some annoyances: For instance, you’ll have to enter your email address and Microsoft password before you can install an app from the Store.
To set this up, go to that same PC Settings screen described above, except that in Windows 8.1, select Other accounts instead of Sign-In options. Click or tap Add an account. (8.1) or Add a user (8).
On the ‘How will this person sign in?’ screen, select Sign in without a Microsoft account.
On the next page, select Local account.
Microsoft should have given you an option to use a separate password for logging in locally. But since it didn’t, you’ll have to pick one of these options, or get really good at typing your long and complex online password.
One of the most interesting features in Windows 8 is the picture password, a 3rd method addition to normal password and PIN that sign you into your computer without typing. Since Windows 8 is more targeted to the devices equipped with touch screen, it makes perfect sense having a more intuitive method for signing in without typing the complex password. And today the building windows 8 blog details some of the facts that is behind this neat feature. It’s interesting to see how it works behind the scene. First, once the image is selected, it’s divided by the system into a grid. Then, when place your gestures to generate the picture, the system records the coordinate (XY) position in the grid for the individual points, the starting and ending coordinates for lines, and the center point coordinate, the radius and the direction for the circle. When signing in, the system evaluate the gestures and compare the set to the gestures recorded during the setup. When the types, ordering, and directionality are all correct, the system takes a look at how far off each gesture was to determine if it’s close enough to authenticate you. It’s probably the most fluid method to sign in when using a touch device. But the question also is, if it’s secure enough to be considered using widely. The post did a comprehensive comparison between PIN, normal password, and picture password, which reveals how secure a picture password could be. Of course, that’s based on the theory. There are more to consider in the real world, the smudges for one.
People are often concerned with the smudges left behind on a touch screen and how easy or hard it would be to divine your password based on those markings. Because the order of gestures, their direction and location all matter, it makes the prospect of guessing the correct gesture set based on smudging very difficult even in the completely clean screen case, let alone on a screen that sees regular touch use.
With the number of possible combinations, making the prospect of guessing the correct sequence within 5 tries that won’t lock you out is fairly remote, assuming the average image has 10 points of interest, and a gesture sequence length of 3. To give the IT admins more flexibility, a feature will also be added to the group policy to allow whether this new feature can be used.