How to Disable the Lock Screen on Windows 8 Without Using Group Policy

By Chris Hoffman on January 22nd, 2013

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Windows 8 or 10’s lock screen is at home on a tablet, but it just adds an additional key press to the login process on a desktop or laptop.  You can disable the lock screen with a quick registry hack.

We have previously given instructions for disabling the lock screen, but these required the group policy editor.  Once you have made this tweak, Windows will always go straight to the password prompt, skipping the new lock screen.

Update: Unfortunately, Microsoft disabled these tweaks in the Anniversary Update of Windows 10, so these tweaks will only work on Windows 8 or Windows 10 Enterprise.

Quickly Disable the Lock Screen

If you do not want to edit the registry by hand, we have done the work for you.  Just click here and download the .zip file to your computer:

Download DisableLockScreen.zip

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Open the downloaded file and double-click the DisableLockScreen.reg file to disable the lock screen on your computer.  (If you are curious what a .reg file will do, you can right-click it and select Edit to examine it before importing.)

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Once you have imported the file, you are done – you do not even have to restart your computer.  If you want the lock screen back later, just double-click the EnableLockScreen.reg file.

Manually Editing the Registry

If you would rather edit the registry manually, follow the instructions below:

Open the registry editor by pressing the Windows key, typing regedit, and pressing Enter. If you’re in Windows 10 you can just open the Start Menu and type it there instead.

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Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization

If you do not see the Personalization key, right-click the Windows key above it, point to New, and create a key named Personalization.

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Right-click in the right pane and create a new DWORD value named NoLockScreen.

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Double-click the NoLockScreen value and enter a value of 1.

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Close the registry editor and you are done – you do not even have to restart your computer.

To re-enable the lock screen in the future, either delete the NoLockScreen value from your registry or set it to 0.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 01/22/13
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