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On one of my computers with Windows 7 I have a fairly long list of users, while I'm the only one using it locally with some regularity.
Is there any way to have a certain (or simply the last) user automatically be selected so I don't have to tab/mouse through the list every time the computer starts up?

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Without using an auto-login, which defeats the purpose of your password? Probably not. – Iszi Feb 28 '11 at 16:18
@Moab: How does automatically picking a user account make it less secure? – grawity Feb 28 '11 at 17:25
@Moab: No, since 1) all user accounts are publicly listed, it's just a matter of convenience and 2) the poster does not ask for the password to be entered automatically. – grawity Feb 28 '11 at 18:55
This is not about bypassing the password, but about having a certain user selected in the list. On a home computer, I don't see the security issue. @Moab – oKtosiTe Feb 28 '11 at 22:18
@oKtosiTe, it definitely can be bypassed. Try starting up in safe mode, or just pressing and holding the Shift key as you log in, and that will be bypassed. – nhinkle Mar 3 '11 at 19:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This has been answered previously on and unfortunately, the answer seems to be No.

Logon screen shows the user accounts in alphabetical order based on the names first given to the account when it is created. If you change the user account name later, it does no longer change the order accounts are presented. Reason is simple: even if you change the user account name later, the user account folder keeps the original name. Renaming the user subfolders in C:\Users does not change the situation.

What all this means is that you have to think the logon screen account order already when creating accounts.

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Although the answer probably is no, the order is of no interest to me. On older versions of Windows (2000 springs to mind) it was at least possible to show the last used user name, shortening the login process slightly. If there would be a way to simply type my user name instead of having to select it from a list, that would already be a great step forward. – oKtosiTe Feb 28 '11 at 22:21
@oKtosiTe: You mean you can't do that? // The "classic" login screen is still present and can be re-enabled. In Windows XP you could also invoke it by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del twice while in the Welcome screen; I heard this has been removed in Vista in favor of making the username itself editable. – grawity Mar 16 '11 at 12:00

What works fairly well for me now, is to have Windows "not display [the] last user name".
This way I'm simply asked to enter my username manually, which —considering my four letter name— requires far fewer keypresses than navigating the list.

To change this setting (on Windows 7):

  • Run %WinDir%\System32\gpedit.msc
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options
  • Enable "Interactive logon: Do not display last user name"
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