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Windows has a slide-away lock screen, as is common for mobile operating systems designed for a touch interface, to prevent accidental input. On a desktop PC, laptop without a touch screen, or laptop for which accidental touches are unlikely (like a clamshell), this is just an extra unnecessary step before logging in. The option to disable the lock screen will disable the entire lock screen, including the password requirement, which is not always desirable.

While a keypress will dismiss this screen, there is a delay after that keypress before the password box becomes editable, so you can't just type "spacebar[password]" to log in. The first character or so of your password may be lost depending on your typing speed.

Is there a way to disable the swipe away screen, and have Windows wake up directly to the password/login screen?

  • Possible duplicate of How to disable Windows 8 lock screen? – T.Todua Aug 26 '16 at 11:49
  • Not a duplicate. This question pertains only to disabling the extra "swipe to unlock" feature that is unnecessary on devices without touch. While the other only pertains to disabling the lock screen entirely (password and all). Furthermore, that question is about the old preview version of Windows 8 in which it appears the obvious options worked incorrectly. – zeel Aug 27 '16 at 4:16
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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 8/8.1/10 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

  • Worked perfectly. – zeel Nov 1 '12 at 15:41
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    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
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    @Amadeu: or Enter, or any alphabetical, or almost any key, really :) – DzinX Nov 1 '12 at 16:14
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    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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    Interestingly, this seems to no longer work in Windows 10 post-anniversary update. Neither of my laptops act any differently. – zeel Aug 27 '16 at 4:42

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