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Windows 10 basics: how to change your sign-in settings

When you buy a new Windows 10 computer, out of the box, it will default to having you enter your Outlook or Microsoft account password every time you sign in. This can be a hassle, especially if you have a long, secure, and complicated password.

Thankfully, Windows has several other ways you can sign in to your laptop that are a little simpler. We’ll walk you through how to adjust your settings and opt into signing in using a PIN, your fingerprint, or picture password. (Facial recognition is also available, but only on specific Windows 10 systems.) We’ll also show you how to remove your password altogether (although, to keep your device secure, we recommend that you go with one of the options above rather than eliminating any kind of sign-in).

Windows 10 also gives you the option to use a physical security key (usually a USB key) to sign in, but you’ll have to purchase that key separately. Here are the methods you can use to sign in without any additional equipment.

Microsoft’s picture password option allows you to use a sequence of gestures paired with a picture to sign in. Instead of using a PIN or password, you’ll have to draw on a picture.

Typing in your password can be a hassle, which is why there are alternative sign-in methods. If you want to go an extra step further, you can remove your password altogether. (Of course, disabling your password altogether is a security risk — using at least a simple PIN is a better move.)

The changes will go into effect after you restart your device.

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