Every now and then you come across a situation where you just need a computer to log in and start an application without user intervention. While it is not ideal from a security point of view sometimes it is a necessity. On a non domain joined computer you are able to use the netplwiz command to setup an automated login. However on a domain joined computer this option does not exist. To do the same on a domain joined computer you need to use the regedit as administrator. Once open you need to browse down to the follow location “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon“.
From here there is 4 entries you need to change to suite your needs.
- AutoAdminLogin – Needs to be set to 1 to enable auto login
- DefaultDomain – Needs to be set to the domain you are logging into (either PC name or AD name)
- DefaultUserName – Needs to be set to the user that you want to autologin
- DefaultPassword – Needs to be set to the password of that user account. Be aware that this is kept in plain text and can be looked up by any user with access to the registry! If this registry entry is not there you need to add it. (This is just a string registry item.)
After this you can restart the computer and if it is all configured correctly it will login with the user that was specified. You can disable the auto login also by changing the AutoAdminLogin to 0