Windows 8 introduces two new ways of authenticating yourself other than just using a password. Now you can use a Picture Password, which uses gestures, as well as PIN code. Here’s how they both work.

Setting Up A Picture Password

Creating a Picture Password is done through the new Metro Control Panel, so to get started, launch it from the new start screen.

In the left-hand panel select users, and the option to create a Picture Password will appear on the right hand side.

Then you will be prompted for your current password.

You now have to select a picture that will be used to pick out the secret gestures on, so click the Choose picture button.

This will bring up the new Metro file picker, which will display all your pictures that you have in the Pictures library as tiles, where you can simply click on a picture and click the Open button.

You’ll get a confirmation, where you’ll want to select “Use this picture”.

Now you’ll be asked to set up your gestures, which can be clicks, straight lines, or circles. If you’re using the mouse, clicks are probably the best idea.

For example, you can choose 3 clicks on various parts of the tree in the picture.

You can even mix it up and add a circle, just remember when using circles that you also have to remember the size of the circle.

Finally you could add a straight line, but remember that the length of  the line will matter when you have to enter your password, not only the location.

Now when you need to log in, you will be presented with a screen that looks something like this.

You will now need to input your gestures, a nice feature if you really don’t care for remembering a password, and are not that worried about security!

Note: obviously the gestures are really meant for a touch screen.

Setting Up A PIN

A PIN (Personal Identification Number) is almost the same as a password except you can only use numbers, and it must be 4 digits long—which doesn’t seem that secure, but there’s a chance they will allow longer PIN codes in future versions of Windows 8.

To setup a PIN, head to the Metro Control Panel, click on Users, and then click on Create a PIN.

Now you will have input your password.

Now you will be asked what PIN you want to use, remember 4 DIGITS.

Now when you go to log in, all you have to do is input the 4 Digit number.

Keep in mind that you can continue using a password if you prefer.

Profile Photo for Taylor Gibb Taylor Gibb
Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International.
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