How to Eliminate the Time-Wasting Lock Screen in Windows 8

Windows 8's Lock Screen Makes You Waste a Swipe

When you first boot Windows 8, change users or wake from sleep,  you’re presented with a lock screen that you must drag up and away (or click to close) before you reach the login prompt. While having the weather, time and number of emails displayed on a lock screen makes sense on tablets and phones, it’s a waste of time on PCs where users just want to see a password prompt and log in. 

Disabling this productivity-robbing lock screen is really easy, if you know how to find the right control panel menu.

  1. Hit Window Key + R. A run dialog box appears.
  2. Type gpedit.msc into the box and hit Ok. The Local Group Policy Editor appears.
    Type gpedit.msc into the Run box 
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Tools -> Control Panel -> Personalization in the left pane of the window.
    Local Group Policy Editor 
  4. Double click (or tap) on Do not display the lock screen. Another dialog box appears.
  5. Select Enabled and click Ok.

Select Enabled to Disable the Lock Screen

More Windows 8 Tips

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Scott Hanselman Says:

    This is a HORRIBLE suggestion. You are suggesting that we DISABLE SECURITY because you think you have to swipe up to login? You can just click the mouse. Or press a button. Any key at all. Just start typing. I really think you should rethink this article as what you’re suggesting as a response to a small irritant is rather irresponsible.

  2. Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director Says:

    @Scott Hanselman,

    Disabling the lock screen does not disable the login prompt. The user still has to log in with a password, just as before.

  3. Jonn Betzer Says:

    Disabling the lock screen should always be an option considering the number of computers that are not in an enterprise domain. A lock screen is not truly security, it is at best a deterent.

    Personal computer owners should always have the option to lock, not lock, drop, lose, break, any computer equipment they own. Anyone savy enough to remove the lock screen can boot from a USB stick and reset the admin password without much effort. Wait, maybe we should disable all USB ports with a lock screen, yeah, that’s the ticket.

  4. Jim Says:

    Dudes, the lock screen isn’t even needed on a device without a touch screen. All it’s for is to keep from touching the login/pin fields when it’s in a pocket or purse, similar to how one has to swipe the unlock slider on an iPhone. Microsoft got a little crazy with “consistency” and put it in the desktop OS anyway.

  5. Mike Says:

    This only works in the PRO version of Windows 8.

  6. donna Says:

    hmmmmm you are correct Mike it only works with pro version I just tried with mine….I am just trying to get use to this windows 8 stuff I am just needing time to get it I guess and sure could use help any suggestions?

  7. Nnyan Says:

    I don’t have Administrative Tools just Admin Templates.

  8. Mike Says:

    I went ahead and upgraded to the PRO version and was able to turn off the lock screen. That feature should be available in the regular Windows 8 too as far as I’m concerned. What was Microsoft thinking? Also, It would have been nice if early adopters buying new hardware with Windows 8 pre-installed could be upgraded to PRO at the $14.99 price like Windows 7 users can do.

  9. Jimmy Says:

    I disabled my lock screen and now I get a black screen after and nothing appears no matter what command I do. Dummiest idea I’ve ever done. This is terrible advice.

  10. Ricky Amendo Says:

    Thanks a lot! Guys this doesn’t disable password login to unlock computer.

  11. Richard Says:

    This does turn off that screen but you then have to not only enter your password but also your user name. Whilst I wont be going back to win 7, there are to many good things in 8, it does seem to be aimed at the touch screen market only. Two or three shells are required to suit what type of computer is used (touch or standard). As for calling it Pro, don’t make me laugh, industry won’t touch this with a barge poll. They will demand a start button. A start button may not be required with a touch screen but it’s a prerequisite with a normal screen. I use 8 with classic start menu 3.6.2 to get me the functionality I desire. The new start screen is just getting in the way of productivity. One very good thing is that 8 actively makes you wont to use a pass word to log on (you don’t have to though) as if you don’t the computer will automatically log in to the last user session. All in all I’m pleased with 8 but I would be very impressed indeed if MS offered more choice to standard computers.

  12. Custard Says:

    I have Win8 pro and in gpedit.msc i only have access to Software Settings, Windows Settings, and Administrative Templates — I don’t see “Administrative Tools”, even if i run gpedit.msc with elevated permissions (run as administrator).

    Any idea??

  13. Mike Says:

    Found this at another source. If you do not have gpedit.msc (as is the case with Windows 8 Core), then simply
    run regedit instead. (WINKEY + R, then “regedit” and ENTER)

    Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization

    You may have to create the final “Personalization” key. Just right click on “Windows” and select “New” and “Key”

    Create a new DWORD (32-bit) with the name NoLockScreen and set the value to 1

    Close regedit.

    No more lock screen…

  14. Scott Peirce Says:

    Administrative Templates is the same as Administrative Tools. Just completed this suggestion and everything is great, with no more lockscreen!!!!

  15. Ron Says:

    Mike, tried your regedit fix, I dont have Win 8 Pro…doesnt work, cant find any “personalization” .

  16. Vahur Says:


    Your advice is pure gold. That worked just fine.

    Thumbs up,

  17. Catinthehat Says:

    Mike, I love you. I have been looking for hours for this stupid group policy edit based off this and several other articles. This worked, love it. Thank you so much.

    To Ron – reread Mike’s comment. You have to make the personalization folder.

  18. 5xeVo Says:

    REGEDIT metod works like a charm (W8 noPro)! Thanks a lot :)

  19. g Says:

    tried getting rid lockscreen using gpedit.msc system says can’t find brand new computer ????

  20. James Says:

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I want to make sure I get the registry edit right.

    Do I still use DWORD (32bit) for a 64 bit machine?

  21. alex Says:

    Regedit worked for me on standard 64bit Win 8 too, go to it by Windows Button-X and command prompt(Admin) then type in regedit and created the key as described by Mike above.
    Thank you

  22. Xgamerx921X Says:

    Thanks for your registry edit trick. It works. Know any others that involve the processor output?

  23. harold Says:

    I tried it too and it still didn’t work, I have windows 8 pro also.

  24. Bannister Says:

    Mike, tried your regedit trick – worked like a charm. Thanks so much for sharing that tip! (My new laptop only has Win8 Home, so no gorram gpedit.msc for me, and the *extra* lock screen was irritating me to no end).

  25. Kylee Says:

    the regedit method doesn’t work – no ‘personalization’
    the gpedid.msc method does not work – it doesn’t exist.
    Do I have a 3rd version of Windows 8?
    This is worse than when Windows Vista came out.
    Any Ideas?

  26. Puneet Says:

    Ineffective on the surface pro, there are no changes to the lockscreen behavior when this setting is enabled in gpedit.msc.

    Using the Registry Editing method, however, works! I get a screen that has my account picture / email (Microsoft Account) with a password field in focus. Awesome!

  27. Ron Says:

    I was able to use Mike’s regedit method, but how can I adjust or stop my system from going to sleep after 30 seconds. Win8 seems to be geared towards mobile systems that use this feature to conserve battery power. I’m running this on a desktop that came with it preinstalled. I have all my power saving options turned off, but if I don’t move the mouse after 30 seconds, the monitor goes to sleep. This is extremely annoying.

  28. brigitte Says:

    just like Kylee

    the regedit method doesn’t work – no ‘personalization’
    the gpedid.msc method does not work – it doesn’t exist.

    I have win8 64 bits (system does not say home, pro or else) start button ever ? :-(

  29. brigitte Says:

    and btw, I am a computer technician so I know what I am doing and it is NOT there.
    2nd.. please suggess to the people that when they work into regedit to do a “file / export” and name it … backup may be… so if they screw…they will be able to restore the registry.
    thank you all , your suggestions ARE very welcome and I will keep you posted on the results.

  30. MR Says:

    Mike, thank you very much for the regedit method. Combined with ClassicShell, right now I can successfully pretend I don’t have win8 at all, LOL.

    brigitte and others: you should reread Mike’s post, very carefully. Especially it’s 3rd sentence.

  31. ScottS Says:

    the two things I want is to bring back the old email setup that allowed a simple sort and search of incoming email as well as multiple accounts in one client, and to get rid of this damned tiled crap that shows up if you swing the cursor too far to the right of the screen. Let us dock that crap to the tool bar so we can open it only when we want it. leave this touchscreen garbage for the touchscreen users

  32. Harl Says:

    RegEdit (as shown by Mike) worked for me.
    People! You have to create the “Personalization” file yourself; it’s not there on my machine.

  33. David Says:

    How I got rid of the lock screen/the need to enter my windows password (System: windows 8 64bit)

    Step 1: WINKEY+X

    Step 2: Click on Command Prompt Admin

    Step 3: In the command prompt window type “control userpasswords2″ then hit enter.

    Step 4: The user accounts window will appear, unselect the box that reads “Users must enter a username and password to use this computer” and hit “OK”. You will be prompted to enter your windows password twice.

    At this point you will go straight to the start (tiles) screen when booting your computer (i.e. turning on or restarting your computer). However, you will still be taken to the lock screen and have to enter a password when turning on your computer from sleep mode. To avoid the lock screen when your computer has gone to sleep:

    Step 1: Go to the search bar and search “lock screen” under settings, NOT under apps or files. Select “Lock Screen”

    Step 2: In the PC Settings Window Click on the Users tab.

    Step 3: On the bottom right side of the screen there is a line that reads “any user who has a password must enter it when waking this PC.” Underneath this setting click the box that says “Change” A warning box will appear. Click “OK”

    Hopefully this works for you, I no longer have to enter my password or deal with the lock screen. If you wish to go back to using the lock screen, then follow the steps again and recheck the box in User Accounts and click on “Change” again in the Users tab of the PC Settings window.

  34. Rebecca Says:

    Thank you, Mike and David! Your instructions worked perfectly for me and are much appreciated!

  35. Mike Says:

    @brigette I am also a computer tech and I know how to use the registry. The registry method works. If there is no personization folder then you have to create one. If you really want to expand your skills learn to use the registry. Just a little friendly advice.

  36. Eddie B Says:

    THANKS MIKE! I am NOT a Computer Tech just a 61 year old “Boomer” and followed your instructions. It works IF you create a new “personalization” key. You are a good teacher. THANKS AGAIN!

  37. HENRY Says:

    I’m even afraid to get PRO, don’t want to get a black screen like Jimmy.Though, everytime I go pee, I have to do the password again.
    I guess, I will have to get use to that.
    The “Dummies” “solution Is really DUMMY.

  38. HENRY Says:

    @Avram Piltch,…just as before…
    Well, before I had Windows 7 and I did’t have to cope this any logins, password or repeating my e-mail address.
    Thank for the Hi-Tech.(sarcasm)especially when any electronic is over priced.

  39. Ian Says:

    Great, good, not only did it not work, but it broke my gpedit. It just gives an error when I try to run it now.

  40. Allan Rast Says:

    Did what you said to remove lock screen in Windows 8.1 with Update, gpedit.msc comes back with not found. Is this a Windows 8.1 something or is there something else I should do?

  41. Janice Says:


    did same as above, but screen still lock and cannot change account pic as well

  42. Hagen Says:

    I think the security nazis are annoying running around nannying people into how they run their computer lives. I’ve been using my computer without a password prompt every 5 seconds as long as there have been computers. I have NEVER had anyone access my computer that wasn’t supposed to.

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