Solutions to common problems with logging on to Windows

Here are solutions to some common problems with logging on to Windows.

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I tried to log on, but I keep getting a message telling me that the user name or password is incorrect.

Here are several possible solutions to fix this problem:

  • Caps Lock might be on.

    Passwords in Windows are case-sensitive, which means that every time you type your password, you have to capitalize each letter in exactly the same way that you did when you first created it. If you have accidentally pressed Caps Lock (sometimes the key name is spelled CapsLk), then you're inadvertently typing your password in all capital letters. Make sure Caps Lock is off, and then type your password again.

  • You might be typing the wrong password.

    If you can't remember your password, you need to reset your password, either with a password reset disk or an administrator account. For more information, see Reset your Windows password.

  • An administrator on the computer might have reset your password.

    If your computer is on a network, a network administrator has the ability to reset your password. If you think this might be the problem, check with your network administrator. If your computer is in a workgroup, anyone who has an administrator account on the computer can change your password.

  • You might be trying to log on to the wrong user account.

    If you have more than one user account on the computer, make sure you're logging on to the account that matches the password you're using.

My computer is part of a domain and I want to log on to a local user account, not my domain account.

To log on to a local user account on your computer, you need to know the name of your computer and the user name for the account that you want to log on to. If you don't know the name of your computer, see Find your computer name. To log on to a local user account, follow these steps:

  1. On the Welcome screen, click Switch User.

  2. Click Other User.

  3. In the user name field, type the name of your computer, a backslash (\), and the user name for the account that you want to log on to. For example: computer name\user name

  4. Type your password, and then press Enter.

I can't use my fingerprint reader to log on to Windows.

If you upgraded to this version of Windows from a previous version of Windows, your fingerprint reader should continue to work. If your fingerprint reader is not working, an updated driver or application might be available for download through Action Center or Windows Update. For more information on Action Center, see What is Action Center? For more information on Windows Update, see Install Windows updates in Windows 7. If you are not able to find a driver using Action Center or Windows update, you should contact your computer or fingerprint reader manufacturer for drivers that are compatible with this version of Windows.

Article ID: MSW700047