How-To

Protect Your Microsoft Surface with a PIN or Picture Password

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Whether it’s a phone or tablet, locking down your mobile device is important. Windows 8 and RT allows you to create a PIN or Gesture Login to keep your device secure and unlock it easily.

If you set up your Microsoft Surface with your Microsoft or local account, you’ll need to enter that password each time to unlock it. But if you want an easier way, using a four-digit PIN or gesture-based picture login is faster, especially if you have a strong and complex password protecting your account.

Create a PIN Login for Surface

Note that Microsoft Surface RT, a light version of Windows 8, is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Windows 8.1 reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018, and will reach end of Extended Support on January 10, 2023. With the general availability of Windows 8.1, customers on Windows 8 had until January 12, 2016, to move to Windows 8.1 to remain supported.

Pull up the Charms bar and tap Settings. Then tap on Change PC Settings.

Change PC Settings

On the next screen, tap Users, and under Sign-in Options, tap Create a PIN.

Users

Next, you’ll need to type in your current Windows Account Password and tap OK.

Enter PW

Next, type in the four-digit PIN you want to use for logging in and tap Finish.

PIN

After creating your PIN, select the amount of time that passes before your PIN is required. If you’re using the Surface in a busy environment, you’ll probably want to set it always to require it. Or, if you’re alone, you can set it for more time to pass so you don’t always have to type it in.

Time

Now when you log in, you just need to type in your PIN on the keyboard if it’s connected. Or the onscreen keyboard when just using it as a tablet.

login

You can also use a picture and use touch gestures to unlock the Surface. Check out our article on how to create a picture password to learn how to set it up.

Gesture Picture Password

Making sure you have a password set up for the Windows lock screen is important on a workstation or laptop, and even more so on the Surface or other tablets running Windows RT. Personally, I don’t use the picture password and opt for the PIN sign-in option. But it’s definitely up to you, and it might be more fun to use the gestures to log in. Just don’t forget the touchpoints you used.

Passcodes aren’t just for Windows devices. You should also set a passcode to secure your iPhone or Android device.

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