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Hide Your Username in Windows 7

Posted By jonasm On October 31, 2011 @ 8:51 PM In Security Help | 2 Comments

The login screen of Windows Vista and Windows 7 makes it very easy to see the user name of the last person that logged in. This may be fine on personal computers, but on shared computers, this could be a security threat. A potential intruder would only have to find out the password, which is very possible with the right software. To solve this problem, we have to change a value in the registry. Don’t worry; it is easier than it sounds. But before we change anything, it is best to make a backup of the registry.

Note: If you’re uncomfortable editing the Windows Registry do not attempt this tip.

1. Press [Windows Key] + R to bring up Run.

2. Type “regedit” (without quotes) into the text box and hit enter.

Run Window - Regedit

3. In the Registry Editor, click on File -> Export…

Export Registry

4. Enter “backup” (without quotes) as name and save the file to the desktop.

Save Registry

Now we can start editing the registry…

1. Press [Windows Key] + R to bring up Run.

2. Type “notepad” (without quotes) into the text box and hit enter.

Run Window - Notepad

 

3. Insert the following text into the document that opens up:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
“dontdisplaylastusername”=dword:1

4. Press Ctrl + S to save the document. As a name, type “loginscreen.reg” and save it on the desktop. (IMPORTANT: enter the name with quotes)

Save File Dialog

 

5. Go to your desktop and double click on “loginscreen.reg”. When you are asked if you want to allow the program to make changes, click “Yes”.

6. You can now delete the loginscreen.reg file and enjoy your secure PC!

To change your login screen back to the default setting, repeat the above steps with one small change. The line:

“dontdisplaylastusername”=dword:1

needs to be changed to:

“dontdisplaylastusername”=dword:0

 

Note: In case you didn’t know, the registry is the part of the computer that stores all its settings. Do not allow programs or files to make changes to the registry unless you know they are trustworthy. It is usually a good idea to make a backup of the registry before editing it. By doing that, you can restore the registry afterwards if anything goes wrong. You can restore the registry by simply double clicking on the exported file.

~Jonas Mueller


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