How-To Geek

How to Hide Your Personal Information on the Windows 10 Login Screen

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If you log in to Windows with a Microsoft account, the Windows 10 login screen shows the name and email address for the last user that logged in. It’s convenient, but if you use your computer in public or leave it unattended, you might not want people being able to see that personal information. With a little policy editing, it’s easy to hide.

The lock screen itself does not show your login information, but with just a click or tap, anyone can reveal the login screen that does. And if you’ve taken steps to disable the lock screen, your information is even more exposed to prying eyes. By default, the login screen shows your name and email address (or username if you’re not using a Microsoft account) and whatever picture you’ve associated with your account. If this is information you’d rather not have passers-by privy to, we’ve got the fix.

Home Users: Hide Personal Information on the Log On Screen by Editing the Registry

If you have Windows 10 Home, you will have to edit the Windows Registry to make these changes. You can also do it this way if you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, but just feel more comfortable working in the Registry. (If you have Pro or Enterprise, though, we recommend using the easier Group Policy Editor, as described in the next section.)

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

To get started, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC. In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

In the list of items on the right, find the dontdisplaylastusername value and double-click it.

wls_reg_lastusername

Set the value to 1 in the “Value data” box and then click OK.

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Next, you’re going to create a new value inside the System key. In the left pane, right-click the System folder icon and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value DontDisplayLockedUserID.

wls_reg_lastuserid

Now, you’re going to modify that value. Double-click the new DontDisplayLockedUserID value and set the value to 3 in the “Value data” box.

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Click OK, exit Registry Editor, and then restart your computer to see the changes. When you log back in, you should see no user picture or name. You’ll have to type your email address and password to log in every time.

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If you change your mind and want to show this information on your login screen again, follow the same instructions, but set both the dontdisplaylastusername and DontDisplayLockedUserID values to 0.

Download Our One-Click Registry Hack

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If you don’t feel like diving into the Registry yourself, we’ve created two downloadable registry hacks you can use. One hack hides personal info from the login screen and the other restores the default settings and shows that info again. Both are included in the following ZIP file. Double-click the one you want to use, click through the prompts, and then restart your computer.

Logon Screen Personal Info Hacks

These hacks are really just the System key, stripped down to the two values we described above, and then exported to a .REG file. Running the “Hide Personal Info at Logon” hack changes the dontdisplaylastusername value to 1. It also creates the DontDisplayLockedUserID value and sets it to 3. Running the “Show Personal Info at Logon” hack sets both values back to 0.  And if you enjoy fiddling with the Registry, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to make your own Registry hacks.

Pro and Enterprise Users: Hide Personal Information on the Login Screen with Local Group Policy Editor

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, the easiest way to hide the login screen information is by using the Local Group Policy Editor. It’s a pretty powerful tool, so if you’ve never used it before, it’s worth taking some time to learn what it can do. Also, if you’re on a company network, do everyone a favor and check with your admin first. If your work computer is part of a domain, it’s also likely that it’s part of a domain group policy that will supersede the local group policy, anyway.

In Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, hit Start, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter. In the Local Group Policy Editor, in the left-hand pane, drill down to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options. On the right, find the “Interactive Logon: Display user information when the session is locked” item and double-click it.

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On the drop-down menu in the window that opens, choose “Do not display user information” and then click OK.

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Back in the same folder in the Local Group Policy Editor, find the “Interactive logon: Do not display last user name” item and double-click it.

wls_gp_loginname

In the window that opens, select Enabled and then click OK.

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Exit the Local Group Policy Editor and restart your computer to test the changes. If at any time you want to show the user information on the login screen again, just follow the same procedure and reverse the two changes you made.

And there you have it! If you’d rather not have your personal info shown on the login screen and don’t mind typing your username or email address each time you log in, it’s an easy change to make.

Walter Glenn is a long time computer geek and tech writer. Though he's mostly a Windows and gadget guy, he has a fondness for anything tech. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Published 03/17/16

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