Windows 8 (Photo credit: Andy_BB)
Did you know that, back in the Windows 3, 95, and 98 days, you could simply type in your password to log into your computer? It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true. Since Windows XP, the process has become steadily more convoluted — picking your avatar from a list, or hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del before being allowed to log in (this was actually a security feature, believe it or not). Windows 8 is the worst offender yet, positively spitting in the face of keyboard users — but fortunately, it’s quite easy to disable the new Windows 8 lock screen.
In essence, the new Windows 8 lock/login screen is meant to act as a dashboard, flashing up notifications for new email, IMs, and so on. On a tablet, where you swipe the lock screen away and then begin typing, this makes perfect sense. On a desktop PC, though, the lock screen is clunky (you might say this is a bit of a recurring theme in Windows 8). Yes, theoretically you only have to tap a key and it slides away, but for some reason Microsoft introduced a delay so that you can’t immediately type your password. As a result, you often end up losing the first few letters of your password, waiting for Windows to tell you that your password is incorrect, and then typing your password in correctly.
How to bypass the Windows 8 lock screen
To remove the lock screen entirely, so that locking is just a plain password prompt — and booting up goes straight to the same password prompt — just follow these very simple steps.
- Hit the Start key, type
gpedit.msc, and press Enter. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Navigate to
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization
- Double click “Do not display the lock screen,” and select
Enabled from the dialog that pops up. Click OK.
The change is immediate. Go ahead and press Win+L and admire your new, minimal lock screen.
In addition, if you’re feeling really sassy, you can also tweak your computer to boot straight to Desktop, either with Windows 8′s built-in Task Scheduler, or by using a third-party Start menu replacement, most of which include this functionality as a configurable option. This way, the Desktop will be the second screen you see, instead of the fourth.
Read more Windows 8 tricks at ExtremeTech