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Logging in to Windows is not the same as providing that password again after sleep or hibernation. Removing the later is a different setting.

After I published How do I login to Windows automatically? a couple of weeks ago, I received several emails telling me that it didn't work - that a password was still required after turning the computer back on after hibernation or standby.

The problem is that those aren't login scenarios. When you're in standby or hibernation, you're already logged in.

For security purposes, each of those features simply requires you to provide your password again before they'll let you back in. It may feel like a login, but in reality, it's unrelated to logging in to your computer.

Let's make your computer a little less secure by turning that requirement off.

Resume without a password

In the Control Panel, click on Hardware and Sound and then Power Options:

Control Panel Power Options

In the upper left, click on Require a password on wakeup:

Control Panel Power Options: Password protection on wakeup

If the Password protection on wakeup options are grayed, you may need to click on the link Change settings that are currently unavailable to gain administrative access to these settings.

Click on Don't require a password:

Don't require a password option in power options

Click Save Changes and you're done.

A Word About Security

If you've looked at the text in the Windows dialog boxes along the way to this setting, you can see that there are some dire warnings about security.

Those warnings are accurate and worth paying attention to.

By removing the requirement that a password be supplied to access your computer, whether it's at login time or on resume after sleep or hibernate, anyone who comes along can access your data.


Please be certain that you really, truly intend to go without the protection that requiring a password can give you. I know it's not absolute protection, but requiring a password is definitely a deterrent.

Article C4761 - March 10, 2011 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

March 16, 2011 1:48 AM

how do I avoid having to put in my password everytime I log into hotmail

Mike F.
March 17, 2011 8:56 AM

My Dell M1730 doesn't just require a password after sleep, it requires a rebooting. Or is there another way I can get to the login page? I've clicked on Enter and Escape.

Nova T.
May 10, 2012 10:50 AM

In windows 8 consumer preview, even with don't require password selected, it still asks for the password after the display goes to sleep. This is also disabled in the screen saver setting. This is really driving me crazy.

Windows 8 has not been released yet, and the consumer preview by definition has lots of bugs and should not be relied on in any way.
March 4, 2013 6:34 AM

I can't select the 'don't require password on wake-up' - it's disabled. How can I enable it?

March 12, 2013 7:50 PM

Despite having selected "Don't require passwprd on wakeup" in power settings, it still asks for a passwprd on wakeup! I'm at a loss =S.

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