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Locking Up Your Lock Screen

Locking Up Your Lock Screen


Q. When I start my Windows 10 computer, there is a background picture I must click on before I can enter my password. The screen then defaults to a Bing page explaining all about the photo. How can I sign in directly to my desktop when I turn on the computer?

A. The Windows 10 system settings include several ways to personalize the PC, including changing the image on the lock screen, where you enter your password each time you start Windows. You can see what the lock screen is set to display by pressing the Windows and I keys on the keyboard to open the Settings box. Select the Personalization icon and choose Lock Screen in the left side of the window.

One of the options for the background photo is Windows Spotlight, a feature that pulls in new images and tips from Microsoft to show on the lock screen each day. If the PC is set to use Windows Spotlight, use the drop-down menu to switch to Picture and select a photo from your collection to use instead. Restart the PC and log in.

By default, Windows 10 requires a password to get by the lock screen. This is designed to keep your computer safer, but you should go right to the desktop without a detour. It is possible to disable the password requirement by tinkering with your Windows settings, but this can be a security risk because anyone could then start the PC and get into your files.

If the computer was not set to run Windows Spotlight, it may be running one of the many third-party apps that show off a different photo from Microsoft’s Bing search engine on the lock screen each time you log in. If you or someone else who uses the computer installed one of these programs on the PC, look for it in your apps list and turn it off — or remove it.


Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology to techtip@nytimes.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.



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