Personalize your PC

Windows 8, Windows RT

Draw on a favorite picture to sign in.

Sign in with a picture password

You can use a picture password in Windows 8 and Windows RT, so that even signing in to your PC is more personal. Because you choose the picture and the shapes you draw on it, the combinations are infinite—a picture password is actually more secure from hackers than a traditional password. You can draw a picture password directly on a touchscreen with your finger, or you can use a mouse to draw your shapes.

Here's how to set it up:

  • From the Settings charm, tap or click Change PC settings and then tap or click Users.

  • Under Sign-in options, tap or click Create a picture password and then follow the on-screen instructions.

    If you don't see this option, check with your system administrator or see Why can't I create a picture password?

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don't make a picture password harder than it needs to be. Keep the photo simple and choose shapes that are easy to remember and to draw. For example, it's easier to draw on a close-up photo of your favorite pet than to tap the right individual tulip in a garden scene each time.

  • A picture password is limited to three gestures, and these must be some combination of circles, straight lines, and taps. Again, it's a good idea to keep it simple. It's easier to tap one person's nose than to trace a city skyline.

  • If you ever need help signing in, see How can I sign in if my picture password fails?

See more

Check the Personalization & Ease of Access section of Support for solutions.

Get some photos on your PC so you can set up a picture password.

Picture password is a perfect match with touch in Windows.