My Windows 10 computer and I have been together for three years. Thirty-six long, faithful months. And it still can’t remember who I am. I turn up with coffee every morning and it always asks: “who are you again?”. Then, worse: “prow it”. This machine has serious trust issues.

My TV and radio never demand ID. Even my Android phone doesn’t You’re right, that shows I need to improve my mobile security, but the point is I get to choose. I can lock my phone with fingerprints, PINs, encrypted eyebrow-wiggles if I want. But I don’t have to. Because I’m in charge.

Windows 10, though, can’t bear the fact that that I can pull its plug any time. So it petulantly throws its weight around with unwanted updates, overbearing defaults and compulsory logins.

It’s all a front. Windows, like the Wizard of Oz, pretends the Windows 10 password prompt is a massive deal by shrouding it in command windows and silly words, but getting rid of it is easy and takes seconds.

I opened Run, typed netplwiz (catchy, huh?) and then unticked ‘Users must enter a usemame and password to use this computer’ in User Accounts. I had to then enter my password to confirm, but that was it. Now I switch on and go straight to my desktop, just like the old days.

But we can’t end the column already, so I hung around in User Accounts and explored other ways to show my PC who’s boss in our relationship.

You can also add Guests, which is Microsoft’s term for people you trust enough to share a house with but not enough to fully share a PC with. I call them ‘Family’.

I clicked Properties then toyed with awarding myself ‘Group membership’ of Remote Management Users, Event Log Readers and other grandiose-sounding cliques, but in the end stuck with the all-powerful Administrator.

After all, a burglar would snatch the laptop first .

After all, a burglar would snatch the laptop first .

I then turned to my other computer -my creaky old laptop – and set about making its login screen harder to crack than my now welcoming PC.

In the User Accounts Advanced tab I changed my laptop login password to something less pathetic, then ticked ‘Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+ Del’ (see screenshot above).

This nifty extra option prevents malware from starting up your PC automatically and stealing your login details. Worth switching on if you’ve disabled password login.

Having taken a couple of steps forward with my laptop security, I then took a step backwards to ensure my cosy evenings in with Netflix wouldn’t be ruined by Windows updates. You see, my laptop lives plugged into my TV via an HDMI cable, through which it pumps on-demand video to fill my downtime. It’s effectively my TV aerial.

I accept that I need to secure it with a login password, but I don’t want to spend a whole evening entering that password while Windows Update chugs through a series of restarts.

So I’ve set my laptop to bypass the login only during Windows updates, so that the laptop restarts and boots by itself without needing my say-so. This one required a Registry tweak. I typed regedit into Run, then went to HKEY_LOCAL_ MACH1NE1SOFTWAREAftcrosoft 1 Windows NT \ OurrentVersion 1 Winlogon (type it into the top bar to save searching).

I right-clicked Winlogon, created a new Dword Value named ARSOUserConsent, then double-clicked it and set its value to 1 (see screenshot left). This faff tells Windows to use your password automatically when – and only when – you’re faced with an update that requires a system restart or live.

This won’t stop Windows updates eating into my viewing time, but it’ll make the p.atss faster than if I’d had to sit there continually bashing in a password after every restart. Compromise is the secret to a lasting relationship with Windows 10, as long as it knows who’s really in charge.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here