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Windows 8 now has a slide-away lock screen like so many other OSes designed for a touch interface. However on a non-touch PC/laptop this is just an extra annoying step in logging in. There is an option to disable it, but this also turns off the password requirement.

Is there a way to disable the lock screen, and have Windows wake up directly to the password entry screen? Often when pressing a key to hide it there will be a noticeable delay before password entry is accepted, and no indicator, so one can easily lose the first character or so that they attempt to type, thus failing the login attempt.

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up vote 21 down vote accepted

Yes, you can disable the lock screen without disabling authentication, using the Local Group Policy Editor. Here's how to do it:

  1. Press Win+R
  2. Type gpedit.msc (runs Local Group Policy Editor)
  3. Navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization
  4. Enable the setting: Do not display lock screen

enter image description here

If you do not own the "Pro" version of Windows 8 then you do not have access to the policy editor. You can still edit the policy, but you need to go through regedit instead. It's only slightly more complicated that way:

  1. Press Win+R
  2. Type regedit (runs Registry Editor)
  3. Find the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization
    • Personalization May not exist under Windows, so right click its label and select New > Key to create it
  4. Right click on Personalization and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
  5. Name the new value NoLockScreen
  6. Now Right Click > Modify the new DWORD and enter 1 for the Data Value

Now, when you press Win+L, you'll be presented with the password input screen instead of the lock screen.

Thanks to Xandy in the comments for this Registry edit

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Worked perfectly. – zeel Nov 1 '12 at 15:41
To complete the answer, as far as I know the Core version of Windows 8 doesn't ship the policies editor. In that case users can accomplish the same by editing the registry. The corresponding entry is a DWORD named NoLockScreen under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization (if that key doesn't exist you can create it). A value of 1 would disable the lock screen. 0, or deleting it would enable it again ;). – Xandy Nov 1 '12 at 15:42
You can also hit the up arrow on the keyboard, it will swipe the lock screen up – Amadeusz Wieczorek Nov 1 '12 at 16:08
@Amadeu: or Enter, or any alphabetical, or almost any key, really :) – DzinX Nov 1 '12 at 16:14
I recently tried this on a computer that lacked the policy editor, the registry change did not seem to work however. – zeel Feb 25 '13 at 2:11

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