How to pass password in Windows 10 or 11

Typing your password every time you want to sign in to Windows 10 or 11 can seem daunting, especially if the password is long or complex. To put an end to these inconveniences, Microsoft allows you to create an alternative method of authentication via its Windows Hello technology. You can set up a PIN, fingerprint, face scan, or physical security key, and use any of these factors to sign in to Windows 10 or 11.

You can go ahead with Windows Hello by removing the password login option on the Windows login screen, so it doesn’t even show up. The main limitation here is that this feature only works with Microsoft accounts, so you can’t use it with a local account or an account in your organization.

But why remove the password login option in the first place? Mainly for security reasons. Unavailability of a password field may deter anyone who steals or obtains your password and intends to use it to physically log into your computer. However, dropping the password login option has some downsides.

Windows Hello, User’s Guide

First, you need to configure the alternate authentication method(s). On Windows 10 or 11, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. To use any of the Windows Hello options, you’ll first need to set up a PIN if you haven’t already. Click the Windows Hello (PIN) option in Windows 10 or PIN (Windows Hello) in Windows 11, then select Add or Configure. You must create a numeric PIN consisting of at least four digits. To design a longer, more complex PIN, check the Include letters and numbers box and select the link for PIN requirements. Follow the instructions to create the correct PIN. When finished, click OK.

You can now configure other available methods for added security, including biometric methods. If your laptop has a built-in fingerprint reader or if you have added a supported USB fingerprint reader to your computer, Windows will indicate that this method is recommended. If you qualify, choose this option and follow the steps to scan your fingerprint. The same goes for facial recognition. If your laptop has a webcam that supports Windows Hello or you add a supported camera to your desktop computer, Windows will prompt you to set up face scanning with the recommended state. Follow the steps to capture and save your face.

Another secure method is to use a physical security key. These keys, offered by Google, Yubico, and other vendors, connect to your computer via USB, Bluetooth, or NFC and require PIN or fingerprint authentication. The downside is that you have to spend money to buy one. And if you use more than one computer, you should keep the key with you. But if you already have a key and want to use it, make sure you’re signed in, select the Sign in with a key option, and then follow the setup steps.

Force Windows Hello

You have now enabled one or more alternative ways to log into Windows. Return to the Sign-in options screen under Accounts in Settings. Under Alternate Authentication Methods, there is a section called Require Windows Hello sign in for Microsoft accounts. This setting may already be enabled. If not, enable it.

Now log out of Windows and go to the login screen. Note that among the various connection options, the password option has disappeared. This means that no one else can log in with your password. But it also means that you cannot log in with your password, and you have to use one of the other methods you configured. One major issue remains: If a biometric option fails, you have to go back to your PIN, which, depending on how complex (or simple) it might be, such as a face scan, fingerprint, or even a good, voice-over password .

To solve this problem, you can set up several authentication methods, provided that your computer supports them. If the camera is not working, you can, for example, return to the fingerprint scanner. If the fingerprint scanner does not read your fingerprint, you can resort to the security key.

Track barriers

Then another problem arises. Let’s say you want to connect to this computer from another device via Microsoft Remote Desktop. And to log in, you are using a registered account that you used before so you don’t have to enter the password every time. Select Computer from the Microsoft Remote Desktop screen. But instead of connecting, you get an error message that Remote Desktop cannot connect to the remote computer. what’s the problem ? Well, Microsoft Remote Desktop needs the account password for authentication; It will not work with the no password option.

To get around this hurdle, open the full RDC console and check the “Always prompt for credentials” option. Now try to connect to your computer. Enter the password for the remote account when prompted and you should be connected. As long as the remote computer remains turned on and accessible, you can deselect the Always prompt for credentials option so you don’t have to enter your password every time.

If you restart this remote computer and reconnect to one of the no password options, you will need to re-check Always prompt for credentials of the guest computer and provide the password option to connect. Of course, depending on your environment, it may be desirable, for security reasons, to provide your password each time you use RDC to connect to a remote computer. But at least now you know the pros and cons of not having a password in Windows and know how to fix the problems that can result.

Source: ZDNet.com

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