What is a Picture Password and How to Set It Up in Windows 10

In addition to the regular password login, Windows offers other security measures like PIN and Picture password to protect your PC against unauthorised access.

Just like a PIN, a picture password can be used as an alternate method to sign into your PC which can be easily accessed via your account options.

If you’re having trouble remembering the long passwords, then picture password is an awesome alternative that suits your needs as well as gets the work done.

Although picture passwords are more fun on touch screen devices, they work just fine on the non-touch screen PCs and Laptops as well.

What is a Picture Password?

Picture passwords allow you to sign in by drawing shapes — straight lines or circles –, tapping on certain spots on the image or by making gestures, all of these are customised by users when setting up the password.

Picture passwords are as secure as your regular password or PIN as the data is stored locally on your PC.

Note that picture passwords do not provide an additional layer of security, rather can be used as an alternative method to sign in to your PC.

Even if you have set up a picture password, you can always log in using your regular password or PIN using the ‘Sign-in options’ button on the login window.

Why Picture passwords then? Just because they make signing in easier and faster.

Using picture password on a touch screen device will smudge the screen over a period of time and might even give away your password to an onlooker.

But this can be avoided by either wiping the screen every time you sign in or else by changing the pattern in your picture password every now and then.

How to Set Up a Picture Password?

First, you need to access Windows Settings — either from the start menu or by using Window+I — and then click on the ‘Accounts’ tab.

On the ‘Accounts’ page, click on ‘Sign-in options’ found on the left-hand side panel.

You’ll find picture password below Password and PIN. Click the ‘Add’ tab below the Picture password header.

Windows will ask you to enter the regular password in a pop-up window to ascertain that the picture password is being added by you.

Enter your credentials and then click on ‘Ok’. The picture password window will appear and next, you need to click on ‘Choose Picture’ button.

Select an image from your PC that you want to use as a background for your picture password. It’s advised to use a high-res full-screen image in order to utilise the password area effectively.

Once you’ve chosen the picture, click on the ‘Use this picture’ button. Now you’ll have to draw three gestures on the image, which can be a combination of circles, straight lines and taps (clicks).

Now the size, direction, position and the order in which you draw gestures here will become your picture password.

You’ll need to redraw the picture password once you’ve completed it to confirm the gestures and order.

You can click on the ‘Start over’ button if you draw any gesture incorrectly in this process and want to rectify it.

After the confirmation is done, click on ‘Finish’ and your new picture password will be activated.

Now you’ll see the picture on the right while signing in and drawing the gestures in the correct order will sign you into your PC.

If there is some issue with the picture password, you can choose to use the regular password or PIN to sign in by clicking on ‘Sign-in options’.

Personal Opinion

Picture passwords are a safe bet too, but in the absence of a touch screen, they seem like more work to me than traditional passwords.

But you should try this on your own to figure out which method is best for you — what’s not a right fit for me just might be the right fit for you.

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