Windows 10 aims to be the most secure operating system ever created. Windows 10 lets you use a Microsoft account to authenticate with a computer or device. Unfortunately, passwords for such accounts tend to be long and difficult to remember.
That’s why Windows 10 also offers other means of authentication, including the use of a PIN, fingerprint, facial recognition, a physical security key, and a picture password. If you want to know the sequence of steps needed to create a picture password in Windows 10, read the following article.
NOTE : This guide was created for Windows 10 May 2020 Update. In older versions of Windows 10, things might be a little different (some features and options appear with a different name or may not be available). Before proceeding, check your Windows 10 version and update if needed.
What is a picture password?
A picture password is a way of logging into Windows 10 that involves using the image you choose and the gesture drawn on that image, instead of a password. These gestures can be a combination of circles, lines, and mouse clicks. A picture password is a combination of three gestures that you perform in a specific order on the picture you have selected for this task.
The picture password is associated with the user account and you can use it instead of your password.
How to enable picture password in Windows 10
To create a picture password for a user account in Windows 10, you must first enable this option. Open the Settings app, go to Accounts and select Sign-in options on the left side of the window. Then, on the right side of the Settings app, you’ll see a number of settings and buttons related to logging into Windows 10.
As you can see, by default, Windows 10 lets you choose between using Windows Hello Face, Windows Hello Fingerprint, Windows Hello PIN, and Security Key . The Windows 10 picture password option doesn’t show up in that list. That’s because the latest versions of the operating system consider the picture password to be insecure, so this option is disabled. However, if you still want to use a picture password, here’s how to enable it:
Scroll down the Sign-in options page until you reach the area called “Require Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts” . There, you will find a toggle switch that turns on by default, which says: ” For improved security, only allow Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts on this device (Recommended) “. ( For improved security, only allow Windows Hello login for Microsoft account on this device (recommended) – Temporarily translate). Turn this switch off.
Then, restart the Settings app and return to the Sign-in options page from the Accounts section . This time, you will see Picture Password listed as an option.
How to create a picture password on Windows 10
The next step is to create a picture password on Windows 10. On the Sign-in options page , scroll down to the Picture Password option, click or tap on it, then hit the Add button .
Windows 10 will launch ” Welcome to picture password “. First, you are asked to enter the user account password. Enter your password and click OK. Without doing this, you won’t be able to create a picture password for your account.
On the left side of the screen, click or tap the Choose picture button .
Browse on your Windows 10 computer or device to find the photo you want to use. Select it and click Open.
When the image is finished loading, you can move the image to the position you want by dragging it with your mouse or finger (if you are using a touchscreen). When finished, click Use this picture .
Next, you must set up gestures (ie draw three gestures on the picture). They can be lines, click / click operations, and circles.
Draw the gestures you want to use, then confirm them. For example, I have drawn a circle and two lines on the image. You can create any three-gesture combination you like.
After drawing the three gestures on the picture, confirm by redrawing them in the same order you did the first time.
When it’s done, Windows 10 tells you that you have successfully created a picture password. Click Finish.
Back in the Settings app, Windows 10 now also tells you that a picture password has been generated and that you can use it to “log into Windows, apps and services”.
You can close the Settings window . Read the next part of this guide to see how to sign in to Windows 10 with a picture password.
How to log into Windows 10 with a picture password
When the login or lock screen is displayed, Windows 10 automatically chooses the account and the login method last used. If you’ve created a picture password and have never used it to sign in, Windows 10 will ask you to enter your password. To enter a picture password instead, tap Sign-in options , then tap the highlighted image icon below.
Windows 10 will then display the image you have selected to use for the picture password. Use your mouse or finger to draw the gestures you’ve set and sign in to Windows 10.
The next time you log into Windows 10, the operating system will ask you for a picture password instead of the usual user account password.