Is it possible to use Windows Hello without a PIN?

I use my Microsoft account across several devices.
I want to use face recognition on my Surface tablet.

If a webcam is not available or face recognition fails, i want to authenticate using the account password - NOT via PIN.

Why does Microsoft enforce the PIN logon to all face recognition users? I don't want to reduce my account security to a number only password aka PIN.

  • Using group policy, you can allow complex alphanumeric PINs. Maybe that’s more to your liking?
    – Daniel B
    Nov 26 '21 at 16:31
  • You can also use a password even if a pin is set.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 26 '21 at 16:35
  • @Ramhound but i don't want to weaken my account security with a PIN.
    – Kaii
    Nov 26 '21 at 16:50
  • @DanielB close, but not. I would need to setup a second "password" as my "PIN" an synchronize both or store/remember both. More to my liking would be to remove the PIN option completely.
    – Kaii
    Nov 26 '21 at 16:51
  • @Kaii - Well that isn’t an option. The pin can only be used to access the local machine
    – Ramhound
    Nov 26 '21 at 17:11

Before you can use Windows Hello to enable biometrics on a device, you must choose a PIN as your initial Hello gesture.

After you’ve set a PIN, you can add biometric gestures if you want to. You can always use the PIN gesture to release your credentials, so you can still unlock and use your device even if you can’t use your preferred biometric because of an injury or because the sensor is unavailable or not working properly.

So the answer here is no, there is no way to disable the PIN. Biometric gestures are considered as subject to change by accident or design, while the PIN remains.

Specifically for face recognition, if for example the employee has put makeup on his/her face, it could fail. Ditto if he fell and suffered a black eye.

Find Microsoft's rationale behind this decision here: Why a PIN is better than a password.


The PIN goes with Fingerprint and Camera recognition.

So either use PIN or else you will need to remove human recognition and always use Password.

Check carefully when asked for PIN if there is an option below to use Password.

I have a Fingerprint reader and do no lose any security in using PIN if the fingerprint fails.

So it may be just easiest in the long run to use your PIN and keep it safe like a password.


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