If you are using Windows 10 with a computer with a built-in camera or fingerprint reader, you may encounter the term “Windows Hello” when setting up login methods. But what does it mean? Let’s find out.
What is Windows Hello?
First announced in 2015, “Windows Hello”
That includes scanning your face or fingerprint using methods similar to Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID to access your Windows account. Windows Hello also makes it possible to use a PIN (personal identification number) as an alternative to a password or for times when biometric login methods fail.
Why would I want to use Windows Hello?
If you’re tired of using a password to log into your Windows account (or if you’re having a hard time remembering it), a biometric alternative may be better. Biometric logins also provide an additional level of security, as you must be physically present during login.
To use Windows Hello, your machine must either have built-in biometric login support or you must install a compatible biometric login device, such as a webcam or fingerprint reader. Enabling Windows Hello will disable Windows 10 password login, although your account password may still be required to access some system features.
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How do I configure or disable Windows Hello?
Accessing Windows Hello options in Settings is easy. First, open the Settings app by clicking the gear icon in your Start menu or by pressing Windows + i on your keyboard.
In Settings, click on ‘Accounts’.
In ‘Accounts’, select ‘Sign-in options’ in the sidebar.
At the top of the Sign-in options page, you will see a list of possible Windows Hello sign-in methods listed under the “Manage how you sign in to your device” section. This is what they mean.
- Windows Hello Face: This allows you to log in with facial recognition. A special camera that supports this function is required.
- Windows Hello Fingerprint: This allows you to log in with a fingerprint reader, which is either built into your laptop, or a USB fingerprint reader that you connect.
- Windows Hello PIN: This sets a PIN to act as a backup in case biometric logins fail. You can also use it as your main login option instead of a password.
- Security key: This allows you to log in with a security key, which is a small physical device that either plugs into your USB port or is read by a special RFID reader.
If Windows Hello is not currently enabled, you may also see the “Password” and “Picture Password” options, which are not part of the Hello. To change the settings for any of these, click on the option and follow the instructions.
When Windows Hello is enabled, you cannot log in with a password by default. To disable any of the Windows Hello sign-in methods, click the item in the list and select “Remove.” You can also find the switch labeled “Require Windows Hello login for Microsoft accounts” and set it to “Off”.
After that, close Settings and your changes will take effect immediately. You can quickly test login changes by pressing Windows + L on your keyboard to lock your screen. Good luck!
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