How to login to Windows 10 with a PIN or picture password (create and sign in)

Many people hate passwords because they are long, hard to remember, they have to be complex and so on. To keep your security at a decent level and make it faster for you to sign in, Microsoft has created several authentication methods for Windows 10. You can use your user account password, and you can also create a short PIN to sign in or a picture password on which you draw quick gestures. Here’s how to create a PIN and a picture password, and how to use them to log into Windows 10:

NOTE: This guide was created and tested using Windows 10 Creators Update and Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. If you have a different version, the steps involved should be the same, but things may look slightly different.

What is a PIN for Windows 10?

A PIN is a short code that you can type to sign into Windows 10 quickly. This code must be at least four characters long (and it can’t be longer than 127 characters), and it usually includes digits. However, you can also set Windows 10 to work with PINs that include letters (both uppercase and lowercase), as well as special characters like ! or ?. When setting a PIN, Windows 10 validates whether you are using easy to guess patterns like 1234 or 0000 and it doesn’t allow you to set them as your PIN. The PIN is associated with your user account and can be used to authenticate instead of the password. Many people prefer using a PIN because it is shorter to type and faster to sign in. However, you cannot have a user account without a password but with a PIN. User accounts in Windows 10 must first have a password to use a PIN and other forms of authentication.

How to create a PIN to sign into Windows 10

To create a PIN for your user account, you need to open the Settings app. In the Settings app, go to Accounts.

In the column on the left, choose “Sign-in options.” On the right side of the Settings app, you see several settings and buttons that are related to signing into Windows 10.

Scroll down to the PIN section, and you will see an Add button. Click or tap on it.

First, Windows 10 asks you to enter your user account password. Type it and click or tap “Sign in.”

If you have entered the password correctly, the “Set up a PIN” prompt is shown. You need to type the PIN in the New PIN and Confirm PIN fields, and then press OK.

If you want to include letters and symbols in your PIN, select the option that states this, type your PIN twice and press OK.

Now you can close the Settings app, and the next time you sign into Windows 10, you can use the PIN to log in.

How to sign into with Windows 10 with a PIN

When the sign in screen is shown in Windows 10, the operating system automatically selects the last used account and the last used login method. If you set up a PIN and you never used it to log in, Windows 10 will ask for your password. To enter your PIN instead, click or tap “Sign-in options” and then the PIN symbol highlighted below. It looks like a dial pad.

After you choose the PIN, enter the PIN and you are logged into Windows 10.

The next time you need to log in, Windows 10 will ask for the PIN instead of the password, and all you have to do is enter it.

What is a picture password for Windows 10?

A picture password is a way of logging into Windows 10 that involves using a picture of your choosing and gestures drawn on that picture, instead of a password. These gestures can be a combination of circles, straight lines, and taps. The picture password is the combination of three gestures that you perform in a specific order on the picture that you chose for this task.

The picture password is associated with your user account and can be used as a replacement for your password. However, you cannot have a user account that logs into Windows 10 with a picture password and has no password associated with it.

Read on to learn how to create a picture password in Windows 10 and how to use it to sign in.

How to create a picture password to log into Windows 10

To create a picture password for your user account, you need to open the Settings app. In the Settings app, go to Accounts. On the left side of the Settings window, choose “Sign-in options.” Then, on the right side of the Settings app, you see several settings and buttons that are related to signing into Windows 10.

Scroll down to the “Picture password” section and press the Add button.

The “Welcome to picture password wizard” is displayed. First, you are asked to enter your user account password. Type it and press OK. If you don’t do this, you can’t create a picture password for your account.

Press “Choose picture” and browse your computer to find the picture that you want to use. Select it and click or tap Open.

You can move the picture to the position you want, by dragging it with the mouse or your finger (if you are using a touchscreen). When done, press “Use this picture.”

You are asked to draw three gestures on the picture. They can be lines, taps, and circles.

Draw the gestures that you want to use and then confirm them. For example, we have drawn a line, a circle and made a tap on our sample picture. You can draw any combination of gestures, in any order, as long as they are lines, circles, and taps. Also, they must be three gestures.

After drawing the three gestures on the pictures, you need to confirm them, in the same order as you did the first. When you are done, you are informed that you have successfully created your picture password. Press Finish.

The picture password is now created, and you can use it to log into Windows 10. You can also close the Settings window.

How to login with a picture password in Windows 10

When the sign in screen is shown, Windows 10 automatically selects the last used account and the last used login method. If you have created a picture password and you never used it to log in, Windows 10 will ask you to enter your password. To enter the picture password instead, click or tap “Sign-in options” and then the picture symbol highlighted below.

The picture used for the picture password is now displayed. Make the gestures that you have set, and you are logged into Windows 10.

The next time you need to log in, Windows 10 will ask for the picture password instead of the password.

Which type of login do you prefer?

Experiment with both types of logins and choose the one you prefer. Also, before closing this article, share with us what you use to log into Windows 10: the password, the PIN or the picture password? Leave a comment below.