How to bypass the Windows 8 password screen

At the risk of sounding like a cranky old man who doesn't like change, I'm feeling a bit cranky about Windows 8 and some of the changes it imposes. (Get off my lawn, Microsoft!)

For example, every time I boot my PC, I have to enter my Microsoft account password. Hey, I'm all about security, but this machine never leaves my desk, so I'm really not worried about unauthorized access. The password check is one step I could do without.

Fortunately, there's a way to bypass it. Here's how:

1. Boot your PC and enter your password.

2. Press Win-X (by which I mean hold down the Windows key and then tap X).

3. In the pop-up menu that appears, click Command Prompt (Admin).

4. In the command prompt, type control userpasswords2, then press Enter. (If this sounds familiar, it's because the same command works in earlier versions of Windows.)

5. In the User Accounts dialog that appears, uncheck the box marked Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.

6. Click OK, then confirm the automatic sign-in option by entering your password (twice).

7. Reboot.

Presto! No more password check. And while we're on the subject of making Windows 8 easier to live with, check out "Take a free online course in Windows 8 basics," "Five important Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts," and "How to add Windows Media Center to Windows 8 free of charge."

Have you found any other tricks for taming the Windows 8 beast? Tell me about them in the comments!

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community ForumsSign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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