How to Turn Off the Lock Screen in Windows 8

Windows 8 introduced us to this very strange window shade that drops whenever you lock the screen. In order to get back into Windows, Microsoft put this little shade between you and the login screen. It might be great for tablets where notifications and other information prior to unlocking is useful, but it isn’t something everyone wants to go through to get to the login screen. There is a way to turn it off and go back to the older style of lock screen which included your picture and a simple password field.

Note: This trick only works in the Pro edition of Windows 8. You’ll need to work in the registry to accomplish this in the standard version.

While the Lock Screen makes total sense on a tablet or touch screen device as it brings up notifications and other useful information while you’re not using the system, it’s not very useful on a standard desktop. If anything, it’s one of the more annoying changes Microsoft made to Windows 8 and I wish there was a command to turn it off if you don’t like it. You can create tasks and run scripts that boot you directly to your desktop, but sometimes you need to actually lock the computer.

This method should work for you, but beware that any adjustment of policies or system settings are done at your own risk.

The first thing you’ll need to do is hit Windows key + R or right-click the lower-left corner of the Desktop and select Run.

Lock Screen 1

From this window, you’ll need to enter gpedit.msc in the text field and hit OK.

Lock Screen 2

One you’re in the Local Group Policy Editor window, you’ll need to navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization and double-click the Do Not Display the Lock Screen option.

Lock Screen 3

A new window will appear with the options Not Configured, Enabled, and Disabled. Select Enabled and hit OK. This will turn off the annoying window shade style Lock Screen and give you a clean, basic login page instead.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.