If you have Windows XP, you have two choices of how your computer logs you in each time you boot up your computer. You can either use the traditional method of using a username and password or you can use what is called the Welcome Screen to log on.
If you want to change the way your computer logs you in each time, you can either disable or enable the welcome screen any time you feel like it. The welcome screen is attached to another XP feature called fast user switching. This is great for anyone who has multiple users of the same PC. The fast user switch method allows one user to leave all of their programs up and running while another person uses the computer. So, then once the second user is done, the first one can go right back to where they left off.
Basically what happens is that when the first user is done, they leave everything the way it is and then they log off for that session. Then they switch the user back to the welcome screen, so it’s like a fresh start for the second user.
Now, keep in mind that if this pertains to you, you’re going to want to keep the welcome screen feature active. If you happen to have the welcome screen inactive and would like to turn it back on, just go to Start, Control Panel and click on the User Accounts link twice. Choose “Change the way users log on or off” and make sure both the Welcome Screen and Fast User Switching boxes are checked. Then click Apply Options and that part is done.
Now, what if you’re just a single user? You may want to disable the welcome screen, because you just may not really need it. The directions for this are almost identical to the ones mentioned above. To disable, make sure you’re logged in as the administrator and then go to Start, Control Panel and click on the User Accounts link twice. Choose “Change the way users log on or off” and just uncheck the Welcome Screen box. This will automatically uncheck the Fast User Switching box as well. Then click on Apply Options and exit out of everything else.
Then you’re all set. The next time you start up your computer, the traditional method of logging on that was mentioned above will be used, so if you’re going to use this method, make sure you’re certain you know your username and password.
Now, there’s one more option for you. If you don’t want the welcome screen or the traditional option, you can disable both of those. To login automatically to a user account and bypass the rest of the prompts, click on Run, type in control userpasswords2 and click OK.
Highlight the account you want to change and then uncheck the box that says “Users must enter a username and password to use this computer.”
Once you have done all of that, the next time you reboot your computer, you won’t have to worry about the welcome screen or the traditional prompt. You will just be logged in automatically and you’ll be set to go.