Vista requiring ctrl-alt-del before login

April 2, 2007

help_ctrlaltdel So you want to tell Vista to require Ctrl-Alt-Del before you can logon. Just like you had in previous versions of Windows. And it’s easy to do, you just have to find the proper dialog box, like the one below. You tick the checkbox, and everything is done.

Now, this dialog box should be easier to find, and I’ll happily be told how to get to it normally…advanceduseraccounts

But if you search Windows Help for “ctrl-alt-del”, you’ll get a link to a page which takes you to a dialog box that lets you set this option. In the dialog, it’s on the Advanced Tab, at the bottom. If you can’t find it in the help, you can just run NetplWiz.exe – that will open it for you too.

I honestly can’t find any other way of opening this dialog box. But this dialog is definitely the place to set the option. I’ve asked Rocky Heckman (of Microsoft) how to get to this really-useful-dialog, and hopefully he’ll have something for me in the next day or so. Any of you readers know how to do it?

Oh, and the reason why you might want this enabled is that you should make sure that you don’t have something asking for your Windows password unless that thing is Windows. The Ctrl-Alt-Del combo will always force Windows to jump out of whatever it’s running, so that you won’t ever give your password away.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. RockyH

    Well, this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but as a temporary measure you can add a shortcut to the desktop to:

    This is essentially all that would show up in something like Control Panel as well. I’m still digging for the normal GUI access to this thing. I’ll let you know when I find it.


  2. robfarley

    Thanks Rocky. I checked the source of the help file, and that’s how I found that you could run netplwiz. Typing it into the Search/Run box will find the .exe, but it’s still not the ‘normal’ way of reaching something like this.

    Interesting that something so important would be so well hidden.

  3. alunj

    Hidden? Pshaw!
    Control Panel -> User Accounts -> User Accounts -> Manage User Accounts [-> UAC prompt ]-> Advanced
    No problem. It’s pretty much where it was in previous versuions of Windows.

  4. alunj

    Hidden? Pshaw!
    Control Panel -> User Accounts -> User Accounts -> Manage User Accounts [-> UAC prompt ]-> Advanced
    No problem. It’s pretty much where it was in previous versions of Windows.

  5. Paul Turner

    If your machine is on a domain, it automatically shows up.

  6. Paul Turner

    It is in the local security policy too. 🙂

    Local Computer PolicyComputer ConfigurationWindows SettingsSecurity SettingsLocal PoliciesSecurity OptionsInteractive logon: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL

  7. Rocky

    Yup, Alun got it.
    I was coming back to post the proper way to get to it but discover that Alun posted it already.

  8. matt

    Dear Mr Farley, thank you (ever so slightly, mind you!) for posting this handy little trick. I too missed my ALT+CTRL+DEL login screen.

    I’m not in a domain, and I couldn’t find that either…

    Cheers once again.

  9. luke

    Type CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2 as a run command to get the box up!!

  10. Davey

    Well, that’s one relief–but it’d be really nice to see a CTRL-ALT-DEL login box _without_ the User Picture Icon Thing. I’d prefer to just fill in name and password, a la Win2K/XP (and as far back as I can remember). Is there any way to go back to a name-and-password dialogue box and lose the user icons?


  11. Mike Tague

    Start -> run -> netplWiz (Enter)

  12. Rob Farley

    Yes, I mentioned running NetPlWiz.exe.

    I like “control userpasswords2” – that’s very cool.

    Now, as for going back to the classic mode – I think so, but I’ll have to have a look.

  13. Shack's

    Hi all, I am new to this forum and would like to thank the people that have posted so far.
    I have run the NetPlWiz.exe and it does allow Ctrl-Alt-Del log on but as Davey said in still brings up the icon log on screen instead of allowing you to fill in the username and password as before, which is what i want it to do.

  14. nothize

    Hail, I’ve met this problem too and eventually experienced a seemingly terminal approach.

    RegEdit -> Locate key HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem
    -> change the value of “dontdisplaylastusername” to 1.

    Then you won’t see the User Picture Icon thing but two textfields instead.

    Thanks for all the ideas above!
    For Vista Home, it’s not much the same as alunj said because there’s no “Advanced” thing under UAC! So those commands are still good to remember. 🙂

  15. Shack's

    Ref post by Nothize… Your a god
    It works fine thanks very much.
    Just to clarify:
    Run Reg Edit – locate “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” – “Software” – “Microsoft” – “Windows” – “CurrentVersion” – “Policies” – “System” – “dontdisplaylastusername” and change this to “1”

  16. John

    How bout editing the ctrl alt del message like you could in previous versions. I know it can be done, as the people who set up our workstatiosn did it, but they made a typo and I need to correct it. Can’t seem to locate the msgina dll or equivilent on the local machine. we are running a very basic sbs server setup here, but im rather certain it’s a local machine setting still.

    Any help?

  17. John

    Ahh i found it in default domain group policy, what a pain.

  18. instead of typing domain nameuser name

    instead of typing domain nameuser name i likes to use like a Win xp login screen

  19. nafisa

    i have a hidden user account in vista…and i cant login …in xp,after welcome screen,it shows teh adminstrator acoount but not my hidden one, so tehn i had to press alt+ctrl+del and then i coould login my account….is there any way in vista to do the same? like in xp,the adminstrator account and othera ccounts will be displayed without username required like it normally but only my hidden account,i want it to be so that i hav eto enter my username and password and no1 can know i even have an account…

  20. robfarley

    Hmm… not sure about that one. I’ll try to find out for you.


  21. Ramsey

    just put %systemroot%system32netplWiz.exe into a text file and name it AdvUserCtrl.bat then it is a bat file and you can run it from anywhere without opening anything.

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