If you have multiple user accounts in Windows 8 (e.g. one for yourself and another for your family member), you may notice a new annoyance in Windows 8 - it signs in the last user automatically who shut down/rebooted the PC. Most users would not like to be signed in automatically and would instead prefer seeing a list of users at the logon screen, from where they can choose which user account to login with. Today, we are going to share a way to prevent Windows 8 from automatically signing in the last user. Let's start.
If the "Enabled" parameter is set to 1, you will get a list of users instead of the last user automatically getting signed in. A problem however is the behavior of the LogonUI.exe process which resets the "Enabled" value back to zero at every startup, even if you set it manually to 1. Why this behavior is introduced is not known.
We need a way to prevent the "Enabled" value from being reset to 0 every time and to set it back to 1 before the next logon so that the list of users is displayed.
Here are the steps to do just that.
First, make sure that you have disabled the automatic sign in option. Press Win+R keys on the keyboard and type the following:
Then press Enter.
The following window will be displayed:
Check the option called "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer".
How to prevent Windows 8 from logging in automatically to the last logged-in user
This method is based on Group Policy and uses the Logon/Logoff Scripts feature of Group Policy. It is probably the best way to keep the Enabled value equal to 1 at the end of your Windows session.
You must specify reg.exe as script name and 'add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\UserSwitch /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f' (without the quotes) as script parameters:
After you do this, you will get the user list every time Windows 8 tries to log on. A quite simple trick.
But it is not so easy to provide ready-to-use scripts for you for this method because GPO settings are per-user and they are stored in the registry at a path which includes the user's unique SID (S-1-1-164699034-like thing, known as security identifier). On every machine, this SID is unique and different. So I created a tool to automate all the steps with one click.
Download my User List Enabler - free, portable tool.
Grab it here. It does exactly what I mentioned above - finds the user's SID and adds the necessary registry values, so that you will be able to enable the user account list on the Windows 8 logon screen with one click.
How to restore defaults and undo this
If you are using Group Policy's Logoff script, simply remove the script. If you used my tool to enable the user list, you can disable it and restore the defaults using 1-click.
Thanks to Gaurav Kale which helped me with this research.
That's it. Please share with us if you could tweak this behavior in the comments below.