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How To Use a Picture or PIN As Lockscreen Password in Windows 8?

As you may have heard, Windows 8 has a little surprise for the security lovers. In previous versions, you could only log in using a plain password. You may use third party software for face recognition based login and it did the job but wasn't much fun as the operating system itself didn't have such a feature. In 8, a normal user can program a picture to serve as its login information; by describing a procedure that must be met each time someone tries to access the system. Also, for those wanting to keep the old style in move, the normal password and a PIN (personal identification number) option is available.

As an example, if you set a portrait of your grandma as the maze, the login sequence can be done by clicking her nose, her lips and then drawing a circle around her glasses. These steps must be done in the same order and motion or the login will fail.

How to set up a Picture password?

1. Go to the Control Panel using the Metro UI.

2. Click on Users, from the left side of the window.

3. Now press the "Create a picture password" button.

4. Enter the Windows Live or local account password to authenticate and continue.

5. Choose the picture you want to use for login.

6. Once you've confirmed the selection, draw three gestures on the picture to build a sequence.

These gestures must be the same each time you login, so make sure you remember the shape, size and sense of each move. Once setup, the computer will ask you to repeat the moves for confirmation and that's it.

From now on, each time you start the device you must choose the picture password option as the way to login. This feature really makes sense if you take it from a tablet user view, where touch is in use. Those that are not fans of this feature, can always setup a normal password or the PIN method to login.

How to enable the PIN feature?

Using PINs as passwords may seem medieval, but it's a simple and relatively safe option for those that don't want to remember gestures for a picture password. As of now, Windows 8 only accepts PINs that are 4 digits long, but we hope that when the final version will be released, this number will increase. The method is pretty straight though: you will add a four digit long number as your PIN.

1. Go to Control Panel.

2. Click on the Users Tab, in the left side of the screen.

3. Click on the "Create a PIN" button.

4. Enter the existing Windows Live or home account password to continue.

5. Choose your new PIN, which can be only 4 digits long.

Once done, you will be asked to enter the PIN everytime on your lockscreen you switch on your computer or try to unlock the desktop.