Security aficionados, or anyone with a cute picture they’d like to boot into on a daily basis, will be thrilled to learn that Windows 8 includes a nifty new feature called “picture passwords.” Using this tool, you can use any picture stored in your Windows 8 Pictures folder to log into the OS, rather than a traditional text password. Once you’ve selected the picture you want to use, you can create a geometric password using any combination of circles, straight lines or taps on three areas of the screen. Microsoft encourages you to keep the password simple, tracing a loved one’s glasses, for instance, rather than a city skyline.
To set up a picture password, first search for “picture password” on the Start screen. Under Sign-in Options, click Create A Picture Password (if this button isn’t visible, it means you have to create a text password first). Once you’ve clicked on the button, Windows will give you a brief tutorial explaining how to create a picture password, after which the system will prompt you to select one of your own photos. Finally, choose your three gestures, then perform all three again to confirm your selection.
Windows 8 also lets you set up a unique password for each additional user on the device, which is handy if you have multiple family members sharing a single computer or tablet. And don’t worry if you can’t remember your picture password — you can always use a text password or a four-digit PIN instead.