Security Windows

Why You Should Use Picture Passwords on Windows

Ben Stegner 14-09-2017

A plain old password is only one of the many methods for protecting a Windows 10 account How to Password Protect Windows 10 Your computer is a goldmine of personal and private information. Luckily, Windows 10 has a raft of locking methods to help protect your data. Let's take a look at how you can password protect Windows... Read More .


If you use a Microsoft account to sign in, non-password authentication can be more convenient than remembering and typing a long, strong password. And with face and fingerprint unlocks How to Log Into Windows 10 With Finger Scans & Facial Recognition Instead of using a password or PIN, you might be better off using fingerprint scans or facial recognition! But there are a few risks associated with them. Here's what you need to know. Read More , the key to your PC lies in something permanent on your body, not something you have to memorize.

But there’s another method that doesn’t get enough love: the Picture Password.

With it, you select a photo from your library and add a series of three inputs to it. These can be lines, taps, or circles, and this exact combination unlocks your account. And since it’s local to your PC, someone figuring out your picture password wouldn’t expose your Microsoft password.

To add a picture password, open the Settings app and select Accounts. Click the Sign-in options tab on the left and scroll down to Picture password. Select Add to get started. Note that you should perform the setup on the same screen you normally use to sign in.

Confirm your account password first, then click the Choose picture button to select an image from your PC. You should pick a full-screen, high-quality image so it’s not blurry. Select Use this picture if you’re satisfied to move onto the gestures. Then, draw three distinct times on the image. Repeat it to confirm, and your picture password is all set up.


Now, you’ll see your image when you’re logging into your account. Draw the same gestures to log in, or select the Sign-in options link to use your password or PIN instead.

Of course, this is intended for use on a touchscreen computer. You can use your mouse to perform the gestures too, keep security in mind when using this option. Someone could use finger smudges on your screen to decipher your password, and making your combination too obvious could allow others to guess it.

If you don’t have a touchscreen machine or don’t think a picture password is for you, check out why a PIN is your best option PIN or Password? What's Safer to Use in Windows 10 What is a Windows 10 PIN? Here's what you need to know about Windows 10 PIN security for protecting your account. Read More .

Have you tried a picture password in Windows 10? What’s your favorite authentication method: picture, PIN, password, or something else? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credit: peshkova/Depositphotos

Related topics: Computer Security, Password, Windows 10.

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