Enable Auto Login With Domain Based Configurations In Windows Vista Or XP

Any computer which is not a member of Windows NT domain or Active Directory (AD) allows the user to configure so that Windows operating system enables auto logon to desktop or console right after the computer boots up. But, if your PC is a domain member, you are unable to configure automatic logon using the GUI (Graphical User Interface).

The local users within domain based configured systems might sometimes notice that the authentication login window to use Username and Password is missing even if they have the privileges of local users or local admin rights.

It is possible that you configure a domain-joined PC to automatically logon to a particular user account by making some settings in the system registry. However you need to remember that, the details of login such as username and password are often stored within the system registry and can be accessed by any user who is able to use the PC physically.

System registry can also be remotely accessed by Authenticated Users group. Malicious users are also able to hack your PC and gain control of everything present on your PC including the networks to which your system is been connected. Therefore, turning on or enabling automatic logon feature on a domain-based PC may highly affect the network security.

The below mentioned procedure has to be used to force Windows XP or Windows Vista to bypass the logon process and enable automatic logon.

  • Click on “Start” button to display the Start Menu. Choose “Run”, type in “regedit” and press “OK” button to open the Registry Editor. Incase of Windows Vista, go to “Start Search”, type in “regedit” and press “Enter”.
  • Locate the registry key mentioned below: 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  • Double-click on the registry entry “DefaultUserName”, type in the username that you want to logon with and click on “OK” button. 

Incase you are unable to find the registry value “DefaultUserName”, create a new REG_SZ String Value and name it as “DefaultUserName”.

  • Double-click on the registry entry “DefaultPassword”, type in the user account password as its value data and click on “OK” button. 

If the registry value “DefaultPassword” is not present, you need to create a new REG_SZ String Value and name it as “DefaultPassword”.

You need to remember that if you do not specify “DefaultPassword” string, the value of registry key “AutoAdminLogon” is automatically changed by Windows from 1 (i.e. true) to 0 (i.e. false) which in turn disables the auto logon feature.

  • You need to also specify “DefaultDomainName” in Windows Vista. Otherwise, Windows warns you of invalid username and displays the username as “.\username”. To specify “DefaultDomainName”, double-click on the registry value “DefaultDomainName” and type in the user account’s domain name.

Specify the local host name if it is a local user.

Incase you are unable to find the registry value “DefaultDomainName”, create a new REG_SZ String Value and name it as “DefaultDomainName”.

  • Now double-click on the registry entry “AutoAdminLogon”, type in “1” as its data value and click on “OK” button. 

If you cannot find the registry value “AutoAdminLogon”, create a new REG_SZ String Value and name it as “AutoAdminLogon”.

  • If the registry key “AutoLogonCount” exists, you need to delete it.
  • Close the Registry Editor.
  • Finally, restart the PC.

Once the computer reboots, you can automatically logon to the predefined or preset user in the system registry.

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