How to Disable the Windows 8 Unlock Screen

If you've recently migrated to Windows 8, is the Unlock screen making you crazy?  Do you wish you could disable it?

windows8For many users, having to provide a password every time they turn around while they’re using their Windows 8 computer is very frustrating. In previous versions of Windows, users could disable the unlock screen through the screen saver settings. The purpose of the unlock screen is to prevent unauthorized access to the computer, so if you don’t want to let others have access to your computer, you want to leave the locking screen in effect. BUT, if that’s not the case, because you live alone or work alone, and you want to disable it, there are ways to do it.

Most of the time, when you search for this information, you'll be told about gpedit.  This is not the solution for everyone.  Depending upon which type of Windows 8 you have, the steps are different.

Windows 8 Pro and Ultimate users can turn it off using the Local Group Policy Editor:

  1. Hit the Start key (formerly called the Windows key), type gpedit.msc, and press Enter. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration, then Administrative Templates, then Control Panel, and select Personalization
  3. Double click “Do not display the lock screen,” and select Enabled from the dialog that pops up. Click OK.

However, many of us have plain Window 8, which doesn’t contain the Local Group Policy Editor.

Regular Windows 8 Users need to do it differently.

Before you follow the steps below, consider this carefully.  If you have children, you don't want to do this.  If your computer is in an area where others could use it without permission, you don't want to do this.  You should only consider disabling your Unlock screen if you can be confident that no one else will be using your computer when you aren't looking.  If, after due consideration, you're ok with that, then here are the steps to follow:

  1. Open your Control Panel
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound
  3. Click on Power Options
  4. Click on Require a password on wakeup – it’s on the left side of the window
  5. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.  If your account is not an administrative account, you will need the administrative password to perform this task.
  6. Down below on the same page, click on the radio button for Don’t require a password
  7. Save your changes

That should do it.  If you're running plain vanilla Windows 8, then you will now find that your computer boots directly to your Start page, and you will no longer see an unlock screen when you just went to make a cup of coffee.

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