Tired of trying to remember your Windows password? Here's how to set a photo password instead
If you struggle to remember a password or a PIN, you can set up a photo password instead, where you tap or swipe a pattern on a photo you choose to sign in to your Windows computer.
Get started by tapping the Windows key and typing Sign-in options, then click that when the search result appears at the top of the search menu. That will take you to the Settings app.
On the screen that appears, click on Picture Password and then Add. On the next screen you’ll be asked to sign in using your Microsoft account password.
The next screen will take up your entire monitor. In the blue panel on the left, click Select picture, and browse for the photo you want to use.
On the next screen, you’ll see the photo you’ve chosen. Drag it to reposition it if necessary, and when you’re happy, click Use this picture.
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Using a stylus or your finger if you have a touchscreen, or your mouse if not, draw a three-point pattern on the photo, and then repeat the pattern to confirm, and then click Finish.
Next time you sign in to Windows, you’ll be presented with the photo you chose: using your finger or a stylus if it’s a touchscreen, or your mouse if not, draw the pattern you set on the photo.
As with a PIN or a Windows password, this is only stored on your computer, and security experts agree that a picture password is much more secure than you might think. It looks simple, and it’s straightforward to set up, but the number of patterns you could choose is infinite, and much harder to guess or break with a brute-force attack.
Our only caveats are first, don’t pick an obvious pattern to draw on top of a photo that a third party might be able to guess (circling faces, for example, is an obvious pattern); and second, if you’re using a touchscreen, make sure you keep the screen clean so that your fingermarks can’t be discerned on the screen.