Bypassing the Windows 10 password with a PIN

IDG.TV | Feb 5, 2016

There's an easier way to get into Windows: setting up a numerical PIN, just like you'd use with a bank ATM. Here's how to do it.

With Windows 10, there’s no more “help, I forgot my password, I need to bypass it!” You have so many ways to log in, you’d have to be stupid or criminal to need anything else.

Speaking of criminal, all the hackers may leave now. I’m not going to show you any backdoors or utilities for getting into a system that doesn’t belong to you. But if you want to be smart about Windows 10 security, I’ll show you all your legitimate options and all the dumb things you definitely shouldn’t do.

Your main Windows 10 password will probably be your Microsoft account password. This password needs to be a good one, because it also unlocks your Microsoft services, like Outlook email and OneDrive. Make it really long, with a mix of letters, numbers, and characters, and nothing obvious like your birthday.

Of course, that password will be hard to remember! [begin mini-video 1]
A fast way to bypass a complex Windows 10 password is to create a PIN for your account, like the PIN for your bank’s ATM.

Here’s how you set it up: Hit the Windows Start icon, and go to Settings and Accounts. Click Sign-in options, and hit this button to add a PIN. It can be four or more numbers,

You’ll be asked to enter your Microsoft account password to verify you’re legit, and then you can set up your PIN. Now when you log on you can select the PIN as a login method.

I like the PIN because it’s easier for me to remember a string of numbers than a complex password. But if you make it something stupid like ‘123456’ don’t come crying to me. Pick...the numbers of your favorite football players, or the year you got your first car or your first pet, something only you would know. The longer it is, the harder it’ll be to crack.

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Here’s the Windows 10 login method I love the most: Picture PIN. You literally upload a picture, any picture, and draw on it to create a login sequence. It’s a great way to bypass the other Windows 10 passwords that are harder to remember.

So I’ll show you how it’s done.

Find an image you want to use, and don’t make it too complicated--you’ll see why later. I’m going to pick a photo of my god-puppy, Marimba.

Hit the Windows Start icon, and go to Settings and Accounts. Click Sign-in options, and scroll down to Picture password. Hit the Add button.

First you’ll have to prove you’re you by inputting your Microsoft account password...

Then you upload your image…

Look at that face! [Marimba’s a cutie] You can move the image around to find the part you want to use.

And then you draw. You have to draw a series of three gestures, either a circle, a straight line, or a tap. Pay attention, because you have to do it the same way every time.

So here I’ll draw on Marimba’s face...and do it again to verify...and now it’s set.

Now, when I need to unlock my computer, the picture will come up as an option, and I’d better remember what I did two minutes ago. (I’ll try to draw the same gestures)

So you still have to remember something to use the picture password, but three gestures might be easier than a bunch of letters and numbers.

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Check out our videos for more Windows 10 tips, and if you have another question, email us at

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