How to Sign In to Windows 10 - dummies

How to Sign In to Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

After you start Windows, you must unlock the screen and then sign in. Windows wants you to sign in, as shown here, by clicking your name and typing in a password.

Click your user account name and then type your password on the next screen.
Click your user account name and then type your password on the next screen.

This Sign In screen has been customized. Yours will look different. When facing the Sign In screen, you have several options:

  • If you see your name and e-mail address listed, type your password. Windows lets you in and displays your Start menu, just as you last left it.

  • If you don’t see your name, but you have an account on the computer, look in the screen’s bottom-left corner. There, Windows displays a list of all the account holders. You may see the computer owner’s name, as well as an account named Guest.

  • If you bought a new computer, use the account you created when turning on your computer for the first time. As part of its setup process, Windows guides you through creating an account on your computer.

  • Use the Guest account. Designed for household visitors, this account lets guests, such as the babysitter or visiting relatives, use the computer temporarily.

  • No Guest account? Then find out who owns the computer and beg that person to set up an account for you or to turn on the Guest account.

Don’t want to sign in at the Sign In screen? Two of the screen’s bottom-corner buttons offer these other options:

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  • The little wheelchair-shaped button, shown here and at the bottom of the last image, customizes Windows for people with physical challenges in hearing, sight, or manual dexterity. If you choose this button by mistake, click or touch on a different part of the screen to avoid changing any settings.

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  • The little round button, shown here and at the bottom of the last image, lets you shut down or restart your PC, as well as put it to sleep — a power-saving state that quickly awakes. (If you’ve accidentally clicked the button and shut down your PC, don’t panic. Press the power button on your PC’s case, and your PC returns to this screen.)

Even while locked, your computer’s screen displays current information in its bottom-left corner. Depending on how your PC is configured, you can see the time and date; your wireless Internet signal strength (the more radio waves in the icon, the better your connection); battery strength (the more colorful the icon, the better); your next scheduled appointment; a count of unread e-mail; and other items.

To move past this lock screen, press a key on the keyboard or drag up on the screen with your mouse
To move past this lock screen, press a key on the keyboard or drag up on the screen with your mouse or finger.

Introduced back in Windows 8, the lock screen appears before you can sign into your computer with your account name and password.

How do you unlock the lock screen? The answer depends on whether you’re using a mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen:

  • Mouse: On a desktop PC or laptop, click any mouse button.

  • Keyboard: Press any key, and the lock screen slides away. Easy!

  • Touch: Touch the screen with your finger and then slide your finger up the glass. A quick flick of the finger will do.