How to disable picture passwords in Windows 8

  • December 20, 2012
  • Read 21,141 times
 

Windows 8 has has a feature called password pictures where you can login to your Windows account by performing certain gestures on a picture. If you would not like this feature to be available for your users, you can disable it via a group policy. To disable this feature, please follow the steps below.

Note: If you are not using Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise you will not have access to the group policy editor. Instead you should follow the instructions here.

To access the Group Policy Editor in Windows 8, you should type Group Policy in the Start Screen and then click on the Settings category. The option for Edit Group Policy should now appear. Click on the Edit Group Policy option and the Group Policy editor will open. Under Local Computer Policy expand the tree to the following path:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon

When you see Logon select it so that the screen looks like the following:

 

Login policies group

 

In the right-hand pane you should now see a variety of settings. Double-click on the Turn off picture password sign-in setting and its properties screen will open.

 

Picture Password Policy

 

Though the policy description states that this will disable the picture password for domain users, it will also disable it for non-domain users.

Select the Enabled radio button and then click on the Apply button. Finally click on the OK button and close the Group Policy Editor. The password picture logon feature will now be disabled in Windows 8.

If you are not using Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise you will not have access to the Group Policy Editor. Instead you will need to enable the setting through the Windows Registry. This setting can be enabled by creating the BlockDomainPicturePassword REG_DWORD value under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System Registry key and setting it to 1.

Note: You should only use these Registry files if you do not have access to the Group Policy Editor.

If you do not feel comfortable editing the Registry, you can download this Registry file that will disable picture password sign-in feature:

http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/reg/windows-8/policies/system/DisPictPass.reg

Just download the above Registry file and double-click on it. When it asks if you wish to merge the data, click on the Yes button.

If you want to allow users to use picture passwords again, you can use this Registry file:

http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/reg/windows-8/policies/system/EnPictPass.reg

If you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to ask us in the Windows 8 Forum.

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