windows welcome login/logon screen hacks/tweaks

How to bypass windows logon / welcome screen and log on automatically

Often having just 1 user who has no password will do it.



First (must be done first), select the user who you want to log in automatically.
Then, uncheck the Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer box.


How to hide all accounts but one but require a password for that account (if the account has one)

create the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\.DEFAULT with nothing in it.

Apparently that displays just the most recent user and “Other Users” (did not try it 4/9/2016)


    RIPPED TORN comment:
    hhaddow990 commet:

How to Temporarily Bypass Automatic Logon at Startup and force the windows welcome logon screen to appear (IE, UNDO the above)

Let BIOS complete (or else you might get a “Stuck Key” error)

At the first windows screen (after BIOS done) hold down Shift key until you see the welcome log on screen.

You might want to change the logon background wallpaper image (below) to instruct users about the SHFIT key.

This does NOT display hidden accounts (“SpecialAccounts“).

Hide user from welcome screen (et al)

Put in SpecialAccounts list in registry and set it’s value to 0 (hidden; 1=unhide)

(Note: the ‘NT’ in WindowsNT in this reg key, not the regular ‘Windows’ without the ‘NT’)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList\USERNAME 0 to hide; 1 to unhide

(Note: SpecialAccounts\UserList levels do not usually exist)

Warning: This disables the account in other ways. No way to log in to it temporarily from the login screen without changing the registry back frist. Ie the only way you can use it as a backup account in case your regular account gets corrupted, is to set LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy to 1 (it’s default 0 or missing) and use sysinternals PsTools/psexec to log into it remotely. Command line only.



Use Hidden account–Shift click run as

To get a prompt that includes a username and password field from within Windows 7 — even in a Standard (non-Administrator) account follow these steps.

  1. While holding down the Shift key, right-click the program you want to run.
  2. Select “Run as a different user.”
  3. Type the username and password of the hidden account.

Note: this does NOT work for disabled user accounts, like the built-in Administrator account.

This DOES work for hidden (but still enabled) user accounts.

BUT this did not work for me 4/9/2016 from a user account that has no password (the dest acct does have a password)

The following did work:

runas /user:USERNAME "C:\Windows\system32\notepad.exe"


“Classic” logon screen where you have to type user AND password

Local Security Policy secpol.msc or gpedit.msc

Local Group Policy editor gpedit.msc

  • Local Computer Policy
    • Computer Configuration
      • Windows Settings
        • Security Settings
          • Local policies
            • Security Options
              • Interactive Logon: Do not display last username : Enabled means classic login; Disabled (or not defined? means classic windows 7 user buttons)

Local Security Policy secpol.msc

  • Security Settings
    • Local policies
      • Security Options
        • Interactive Logon: Do not display last username : Enabled means classic login; Disabled (or not defined? means classic windows 7 user buttons)


regedit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\dontdisplaylastusername set to 1


change windows logon background image

This is not the desktop background wallpaper. It’s only seen during login/logout. It is a similar blue image with swooshes by default in Windows 7. But not the same. The login/out image does not have the MS logo in the middle, eg.

You might use this to instruct to hold SHIFT while logging on (see above).

I found the default login/out background 2 places. Only in winxsx folders–weird, I think:




  1. regedit

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background\OEMBackground 1

    (might not exist; just create it)


  2. gpedit.msc -> Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon

    “Always use custom login background.”
    set to “Enabled”

    Put image here:

    must be that exact filename. There are some variations on names using image size numbers I found online.

    oobe folder might not exist; just create it. oobe stands for “Out of Box Experience” ie first time you start up a new Windows PC.



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