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Hey all i am hoping someone knows how to set up Server 2012 with auto logon?

I already tried: winserver2012

But i am unable to find the checkbox that was in 2008 server that said "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer."

Where else can i go/do in order to do this auto login?

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May I recommend the excellend FLOSS program Greenshot for your next screenshot? ;) – 0xC0000022L Dec 15 '13 at 1:15
@0xC0000022L or just use the screenshot tool built in to windows SnippingTool.exe (link is for windows 7, but the tool has been there since XP and is still there in 2012R2) – Scott Chamberlain Oct 28 '14 at 19:59
@ScottChamberlain: I know it, but except for cropping it lacks all the features of Greenshot (pixelizing areas, highlighting areas etc). So I only use it on bare bones machines where I have no way to get Greenshot or where it would be impolite to install it. – 0xC0000022L Oct 29 '14 at 9:53
I love the screenshot :) – Wyrmwood Jul 29 '15 at 17:04
up vote 23 down vote accepted

Try to use the registry key technique.

You will need to have an account with a password for this to work.

  1. Run regedit.exe

  2. Navigate to

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\winlogon
  3. Set or create the following keys

    (DWORD)  AutoAdminLogon = 1
    (String) DefaultUserName = Your user name
    (String) DefaultPassword = Your password
  4. Restart and let us know if it works!

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Would you mind elaborating on that? – Oliver Salzburg Nov 5 '12 at 0:44
@Oliver Salzburg give me a second :-) – Mikhail Nov 5 '12 at 0:45
Why don't you finish your answer before you post it? :D – Oliver Salzburg Nov 5 '12 at 0:55
I am just curious about security issues. Might any application on the server be able to read the password from the registry in order to gain administrator priviliges or can that be prevented? (OK, I should only install apps of trust, but just in case...) – 1' OR 1 -- Sep 16 '13 at 16:24

Autologon from Sysinternals should do the trick. It’s really simple too.

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While the question relates to the original Server 2012 this is the only method that still seems to work under R2. – PeterJ Nov 5 '14 at 6:41
This isn't working on Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard. – Sathish May 5 at 13:52

I would not manually edit the registry. Use the netplwiz.exe app that comes standard with 2012 (and 2008 as well). This opened the following User Accounts box for me.enter image description here

Just search for the app through the start menu, or travel to C:\Windows\System32 to find it

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And it appears that the password is not stored in the clear in the registry when you do it this way. A far better way of doing it. – Matt H Jan 13 '14 at 1:00
For the ones as dumb as myself, you need to CLEAR "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" and it will ask for a password in which will make the server auto logon. – Francisco Aquino Oct 19 '14 at 2:12
This option is not available in Windows 2012 R2. – Erikk Jun 19 '15 at 23:42
The option is not available on a network DOMAIN, until AutoAdminLogon is set as described in the other posts. – Hello World 123 Jun 20 at 17:32

Go to CMD and type "control userpasswords2". If you can see the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" checkbox then uncheck it and Apply/Ok and enter your credentials.

However, Windows Server 2012/R2 does not always show the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" checkbox. For instance on my DC it is not available.

If you use the full registry method, then your password will be saved in plan text, which could be a security issue. To get around this you can force the checkbox to appear in any configuration/role/whatever of 2012/R2.

  1. Open the registry and navigate to "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon".
  2. Create ONLY the String "AutoAdminLogon" with a value of "1".
  3. Close the registry editor and open a CMD prompt.
  4. Type "control userpasswords2" without the quotes.

You will now see the same dialog the OP posted but with the checkbox "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" and it will be unchecked.

  1. Re-check the box and hit Apply.
  2. Then uncheck it again and hit Apply or OK and save your UID and PWD.

The machine will auto login, without storing your credentials in the registry in plain text. If you had previously did the full registry method before with UID and PWD I would delete them before doing this, however checking the box might delete the keys for you.

If the PC is a DC or Domain member than you may need to configure the login domain registry entry before it will work properly.

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You must replace or create the following keys in registry :

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\winlogon

AutoAdminLogon = 1

DefaultUsername = currentUserName

DefaultPassword = currentPassword

Reference :

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if you only set "AutoAdminLogon = 1" you will get your checkbox back for "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.".

That way you don't have to do too much in the registry.

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Didn't work for me. Checkbox still is not shown. – LPChip May 12 at 11:29

I think this is easiest to do from PowerShell...


PS:> $RegPath = "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon"

PS:> Set-ItemProperty $RegPath "AutoAdminLogon" -Value "1" -type String

PS:> Set-ItemProperty $RegPath "DefaultUsername" -Value "YOURDOMAINNAME\Administrator" -type String

PS:> Set-ItemProperty $RegPath "DefaultPassword" -Value "YOURPASSWORD" -type String

I don't know if that's easier overall, but it's something you can do from a remote PowerShell session. To my mind that makes it much more accessible.

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if you need to keep your logon password encrypted (AES256), take a look at LogonExpert autologon tool: Yes, this tool is paid one, but it contains a lot of useful features, not just simple auto login at Windows start-up. Some of them I personally use:

  • Scheduled logon/logoff (every morning with computer auto wake-up and auto logoff with putting computer to sleep every evening)
  • Auto unlock and auto re-logon
  • Server based batch files on scheduled events (Windows scheduler) for remote logoff and logon specified user on the computers network wide (via LogonExpert command line le.exe + psexec)
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