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I have an HTPC with a user that has no password and autologin.

I want to be able to connect to it via Remote Desktop without a password, so I can login with the original user. (I don't want to add another user just for the mstsc)

Is there a way of doing that?

The OS is Windows 7, 32bit.

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1  
just beware that this would be a very bad security decision and consider firewalling it or at least do not forward the port out... –  bubu Dec 14 '10 at 15:53
1  
This is not a good idea. –  Jonathan Rioux Jun 21 '12 at 22:50
    
Another solution: Teamviewer. Rather than running without a password it uses a stored password. –  Loren Pechtel Dec 22 '13 at 20:05

3 Answers 3

up vote 54 down vote accepted

Yes, this is possible.

By default, Windows will not allow the logon over a network with a blank password. There is a KB article that details how to allow blank passwords for network logons.


You can disable blank password restrictions by using a policy. To locate and change this policy:

  1. Click Start, point to Run, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK to start the Group Policy Editor.
  2. Open Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only.
  3. Double-click Limit local account use of blank passwords to consol logon only.
  4. Click Disabled, and then click OK.
  5. Quit Group Policy Editor.

NOTE: By default, this policy is on (enabled).


Under the cover, in Registry, this is controlled by

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa]
"LimitBlankPasswordUse"=dword:00000000

Therefore, alternatively, this can be achieved by directly setting LimitBlankPasswordUse to 0. Setting it to 1 will restore the default behavior.


After you have enabled this, you will be allowed to log on using a blank password.

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does this require a reboot, or logoff? –  BozoJoe Nov 15 '11 at 1:52
    
I also have the same requirement. I am connecting to windows 2003 server machine from windows 7 machine using 'mstsc'. I have disabled the option "Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only". But still it prompting for password. Any suggestions please? Thanks –  user109676 Dec 15 '11 at 10:04
    
Worked perfectly. Thanks! –  advocate Dec 2 '12 at 20:38
    
This doesn't require a reboot or logoff. Just set the policy/registry entry on the host PC, then try logging on again from a remote computer and it should work. –  Lessan Vaezi Sep 12 '13 at 8:24

I believe the setting should be DISABLED as the explanation here seems to indicate:

This security setting determines whether local accounts that are not password protected can be used to log on from locations other than the physical computer console. If enabled, local accounts that are not password protected will only be able to log on at the computer's keyboard.

Default: Enabled.

So, by disabling it, you can then log on using no password.

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I tried this on the computer I was logging in FROM and it didn't work. I did the same to the computer I was logging in TO and it finally worked. Try doing the same to both computers if it doesn't work for you.

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It only matters on the computer you are connecting to. Think about it, this is a "security option" to prevent your computer from being taken over if you had RDP enabled but did not set a password on one of the several accounts a computer could have. What security would it provide if the connecting user could decide whether or not to follow that restriction. –  Scott Chamberlain Sep 15 '13 at 20:39

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