I hid one of the accounts on my computer from the welcome screen by adding it to the registry key:


I was hoping I'd be able to log in to this account by hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del on the welcome screen, but Windows 7 completely ignores this. Is there a way to login to the hidden account on a Windows 7 machine?

  • 1
    From what I read, this messed up quite a bit computers if they didn't know how to login to another admin account... – Ivo Flipse Sep 24 '09 at 15:07
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    Fortunately, I have another admin account to login to. – Alfero Chingono Sep 24 '09 at 15:46
  • What do you mean by hidden account? I don't see how user12283 answers the question... – Tamara Wijsman Oct 24 '10 at 1:06
  • @TomWij: Hiding accounts from the Welcome Screen. Porn accounts, basically. – paradroid Oct 24 '10 at 1:31
  • @jason404: I've read this page in an ambiguous way and it made me think this was about the hidden administrator account, thanks anyway! :-) – Tamara Wijsman Oct 24 '10 at 23:04

Starting with Vista, ctrl-alt-del doesn't work any more by default in the login screen.

(edited to make it at least correct)

  • This is incorrect. Ctrl-alt-del is just not the default method to login. It can be enabled in Group Policy. – surfasb Apr 11 '11 at 0:21
  • Edited. (Partially incorrect answer; User last seen >1yr ago.) – bubu Jun 16 '11 at 8:26

I made the same mistake (on windows 7), because there are quite a lot of articles which say that using this hack it is possible to hide a user from the login screen (while still being able to log-in using Ctrl-Alt-Delete).

I my case I hid the only administrator user. Fortunately, I was able to reactivate the user with the following procedure:

  • login using a normal/standard users account
  • open the command prompt
  • start another command prompt running under the admin-account by typing:
    • runas /user:name_of_admin_account cmd
    • you will be asked to enter the password for the admin account
  • in the new command prompt start regedit
  • un-hide the admin account by deleting the corresponding registry entry or setting its value to 1

Now the user should be shown again on the login screen.

  • 1
    You can also search for regedit, hold the Shift key and Right Click and choose Run As Another User – wag2639 Oct 25 '10 at 7:02

If I'm not mistaken, once you add it to the hidden list, it does just that, makes the account hidden from logins, hacking, etc. This is more of a form of protection option than an actual functional feature.


If what you are trying to do is to hide the list of user accounts from people logging onto the computer, you can make a change to the local policy.

  • open gpedit.msc
  • Navigate to Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Security Options:
  • Set "Interactive logon: Do not display last user name" to Enabled.

Create a standard or administrator user account. To hide it do the following:

  1. Open cmd (Run as administrator)
  2. Type the following:

    net localgroup users "account name" /delete

This completely hides the account from the login menu. You can login from any other computer to that account, provided you have the correct spelling and the password for it.

To show it again do the following:

  1. Open cmd (Run as administrator)
  2. Type the following:

    net localgroup users "account name" /add
  • hmmm, if this really works, then this is the answer I was looking for. I'll try it out and report back. – Alfero Chingono Jun 20 '11 at 16:58

With the Classic login screen (so no Icons) they have to know your account name to login, which in a way is more secure already.

How to get the Classic logon:

  • Press start
  • Type: local security policy
  • Press enter
  • Expand local policies
  • Click Security Options
  • Double-click "Interactive Login: Do not display last user name"
  • Check Enabled
  • Click OK

I think you don't really have any other option, expect perhaps trying to hide it with TweakUI.

  • I was hoping for more of XP-like behavior, where icons for the visible accounts still show and one can optionally login by triggering the classic logon. – Alfero Chingono Sep 24 '09 at 15:49

You can enable this option in Local Policy\Security Options. "Do no display last User Name" this forces every user to put in their User Name & Password.


In case of emergency I suggest the following... And yes I know it sucks...

  1. Create an Administrator account

  2. Hide it

Home Versions - Using command prompt: net user Administrator /active:no (Note: change Administrator to match your created username)

Pro/Ultimate - Using Group Policy: Follow above instructions using GPedit.msc or other

  1. Open regedit, then browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, edit the "dontdisplaylastusername" value from 0 to 1, then export this key as "Enable-Login.reg" somewhere where you will remember it. Edit the value BACK TO 0, then exit.

  2. In case of emergency, you can now boot from any Vista or Windows 7 media, open the repair option, then use command prompt and reg.exe to open the .reg you just created. Once you import that value, reboot, and you will have the domain style login with no username or password pre-entered.

Unfortunately they took away the nice double CTRL+ALT+DEL to get this prompt, and I have been trying to get it going for some time. Just wish they would add this back so it can be used when needed!


WinBubble allows you to configure Ctrl+Alt+Delete for secure logon in Windows 7.


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