How to use a picture password in Windows 8

  • December 18, 2012
  • Read 18,572 times

Windows 8 includes a feature called picture passwords that allow you to login to your account by using gestures on an image with your finger or your mouse. This is especially useful for tablets where you want to avoid typing if you can. Instead of typing in a password, you select a picture and then create three gestures on it to act as your password. When you create the picture password you can use gestures that consist of taps, circles, or lines. Once the picture password is created you can then login to your Windows accounts by performing these gestures in the same direction as when you created them. That means if you circled an object counterclockwise you would need to circle it counterclockwise to login. Circling it clockwise would not count as a successful gesture. This method allows for tremendous variation in possible passwords on a given picture and allows you to avoid having to use the virtual keyboard.

To enable picture passwords, type picture password at the Windows 8 Start Screen and then click on the Settings category as shown below.


Picture Password search


When the search results appear, click on the Create or change picture password option to open the User Settings screen.


User Settings screen


On the above screen click on the Create a picture password option. Windows 8 will now prompt you for your password to confirm that you are the owner of the account we are adding a picture password to.


Confirm password screen


Type your password and then click on the OK button. You will now be shown a screen that gives a brief explanation on picture passwords.


Picture Password start


To start the process of creating your picture password, click on the Choose picture button. A window will open that shows all the pictures in your library so that you can select a picture you wish to use for your picture password.


Select a picture


Select a picture you would like to use and then click on the Open button. Windows 8 will now show how your selected picture will look and ask if you would like to use it or select another one.


Confirm picture


If you are happy with the picture click on the Use this picture, otherwise click on the Choose new picture to pick a different once. Once you select a picture you will be shown a screen where you need to create three gestures that will act as your password.


Set up gestures


When creating these gestures, you can make circles, straight lines, or tap in the picture. Please note that when you use these picture passwords the order in which you make the gesture and their direction matters. So each gesture must be followed in the same order and in the same direction when you use it to login. In this tutorial, I am going to create three easy gestures of circling two of the cars and then drawing a line from the truck to the minivan.

To do this, I would use my finger or drag my mouse to draw a circle around two of the cars and then create a line between the truck and the minivan. Each time I create a gesture it will briefly show on the screen like in the images below. You can see the three gestures that were created in the series of images below.


Gesture 1
Gesture 1: Circle a car in a clockwise motion


Gesture 2
Gesture 2: Circle the second car in a counterclockwise motion


Gesture 3
Gesture 3: Line from the truck to the car


When you are done creating your three gestures, Windows 8 will then prompt you to confirm all three gestures again to make sure you remember it.


Confirm your gestures


At the above screen you need to perform the gestures just like you previously made them. If you wish to create new gestures, please click on the Start over button. Once you complete all three properly, you will be presented with a screen that states you have successfully created a picture password.




You can then click the Finish button to get out of this setup wizard.

Now when you login to your account you will be shown your selected picture where you need to perform the exact gestures that you setup previously.


Login with Picture Password


Once you complete all three gestures in the proper direction, Windows will log you into your account. If at any time you forget your gestures or are having problems, you can click on the Switch to password button to go back to using your normal text password.

To disable the picture password feature, you simply need to back into the Users settings and click on the Remove button as shown in the image below.


Remove Picture Password


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




Users who read this also read:

  • How to use a PIN to login to Windows 8 Image
    How to use a PIN to login to Windows 8

    Windows 8 has a feature where you can login to your Windows account using a 4-digit PIN. This PIN can consist of any number and is useful if your normal login password is too complicated to type on the virtual keyboard in a tablet. When using a 4 digit PIN there are a total of 10,000 combinations and it should be noted that using touch can leave fingerprints or smudges that may make it easier for ...

  • How to disable picture passwords in Windows 8 Image
    How to disable picture passwords in Windows 8

    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.

  • How to change your signature in Windows 8 Mail Image
    How to change your signature in Windows 8 Mail

    The Windows 8 Mail app automatically adds a default signature to the bottom of all your sent emails that reads "Sent from Windows Mail". If you do not wish to have a signature or want to change it to something different then you can change it in your Mail account settings.

  • How to add or remove a favorite in the Internet Explorer 10 app Image
    How to add or remove a favorite in the Internet Explorer 10 app

    Adding and removing favorites in the Internet Explorer 10 app on the Windows Start Screen is not the same as we have grown used to with the desktop version. Unlike the desktop Internet Explorer, the Internet Explorer app does not keep its favorites organized in folders. Instead the favorites are shown as a ribbon of sites that you can scroll through to find the site you want to visit. This ...

  • How to change your Windows Password Image
    How to change your Windows Password

    A basic task that all Windows users should know how to do is to change their password. If your computer becomes compromised or you are concerned that someone may know your password, you should immediately change it in Windows.



blog comments powered by Disqus
search tutorials


Remember Me
Sign in anonymously