In a computer with multiple user accounts, Windows 8 has an annoying habit – it automatically signs in the last user who shutdown the computer. If your mom used the computer the last time, you will be logged into your mom’s account when you turn on the computer next. The only way to prevent this is to use passwords for each account. But that’s an inconvenience on family PCs, my mom would never remember her password. Well, our resourceful friend at Winaero.com has found a solution.
In Windows 8, the auto sign in process is controlled by a DWORD called “Enabled” at the following registry key:
If the “Enabled” parameter is set to 1, Windows 8 will pause at the logon screen and show you a list or tiles of users instead of automatically signing in the last user. A problem however is that the LogonUI.exe process will reset the “Enabled” value back to zero at every startup, even if you have manually set it to 1. Why the LogonUI.exe process behaves this way is not known, but then, many things on Windows 8 is a mystery, like for example, the purpose of the start screen.
But we can play whack-a-mole with this process and change the “Enabled” value back to 1 before each logon. Here is how to do it.
Press Win+R to open the Run dialog box. Type netplwiz and then press Enter.
In the window that opens, check the option called “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”.
Press Win+R again and this time type gpedit.msc. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
On the left-pane, under User Configuration expand the folder Windows Settings and then click on Scripts (Logon/Logoff).
Double click on Logoff on the right-pane and then click the Add button.
Enter C:\Windows\System32\reg.exe as script name and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\UserSwitch /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f as script parameters.
Click OK to save the scripts. What we have done here is created a script that sets the Registry DWORD “Enabled” to 1 and made the script run every time a user logs off. This ensures that the next user sees the logon screen with the list of all users when he or she turns on the computer.
If you find this messing around difficult, there is also a portable tool called User List Enabler that helps you enable or disable the auto-login behavior of Windows 8 with the click of a button.