How To Create a Windows 8 Picture Password to Sign In

Windows 8 has a new sign in feature called Picture Password. It’s a unique way to use a picture and touch gestures to log in easily on a touchscreen system.

Windows 8 has a new sign-in feature called Picture Password. It’s a unique feature that uses a picture and touch gestures to log in easily on a touchscreen system. Here’s how to set it up and make your sign-in experience more personal.

Create a Picture Password in Windows 8

On a PC use the Keyboard Shortcut Windows Key + I then click Change PC Settings. Or on a touch screen, you can get there by swiping from the right side of the screen to bring up the Charms bar and then Settings.

Now select User and under Sign-in Options select Create a Picture Password.

Next, verify your account password and click OK.

You’re given a brief description on Picture Password — click Choose Picture.

Now browse to the location of the picture you want to use from your computer. Or you can select a picture from Bing, SkyDrive or take a picture to use with your camera.

Now that the image is picked click Use this Picture or Choose a Different one. Here I selected one from the Windows 8 Phone announcement.

Now you need to draw three gestures on the picture with your finger. You can draw lines, shapes or just hit three different points on the picture. The combinations you can use are infinite. You’re required to make the gestures the exact same way twice. Make sure to pay attention to the position you’re drawing the gestures. If your gestures are not in the correct location on the photo, you won’t be able to log in.

This is a unique way to log in on a tablet, but not practical on a desktop PC — but you can set up a four-digit PIN to log in. Make sure you’re not using gestures that are too obvious on a simple picture. At the same time, you don’t want to make them too complicated either. Also, finger smudges on your screen can give away your gestures.



  1. Steve Krause

    First time I used this, I forgot my gesture password. So my advice on this — choose something simple the first time until you get used to it. :)

    • Brian Burgess

      Agreed. I forgot mine on my Surface RT, so I opt for using a PIN now.

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