Using a strong password to keep your computer safe is of utmost importance for all of us. If your computer boots directly to your desktop, you may want to establish a password or you can use a four-digit pin number to sign in instead of a lengthy password.
Once your computer boots to the desktop, click the Start button in the lower-left corner and then click “Settings.” On the page that opens, click “Accounts” and then at the top-left, click Sign-in options.
In the power options found in another part of the control panel, you can set your computer to go to sleep at certain intervals. When your computer is asleep, the first option we are looking at is called “Require sign-in” and it is this setting that is related to your sleep mode setting. Click the drop-down menu and click either “Never” or “When PC wakes up from sleep.” If your computer is in an area where others have access to it, I recommend you choose “When PC wakes up from sleep” so if you are away from your PC long enough to go to sleep, no one can access it without entering the password or pin.
Below, you’ll see the option which allows you to reset your password on your account. If you use a Microsoft email, this will reset your password to access your Microsoft email regardless of the device you use to access it. If you use a local account, such as a Gmail or other, it will only change your password for your sign-in to that device, not your actual Gmail (or other) account. Click the “Change” button and then you will need to enter your current password and click “Sign-in” before you can enter your new password. Remember to reconfirm your new password by entering it a second time.
Next, for your convenience, you can use a four-digit “Pin” number to sign in to your computer. This will not change your email password when you sign in to your email on other devices. Click the “Change” button under Pin. Enter your chosen pin number twice (it must contain numbers only) and click “OK” to save your changes. The next time you boot up your computer, if it doesn’t ask for your new pin number, click “Sign-in options” and then select the icon with the dots in the shape of a keypad. Enter your pin and it will unlock your computer. It should remember your sign-in choice from then on. If you ever forget your Pin or Password, you can select the other sign-in option to unlock your computer.
Remember, whenever you feel your password or pin may have been compromised, go to these settings and change them as soon as possible.
For 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.