Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast

Where I rant about Microsoft products, computers and technology, and much more.

Enable a more Classic log on style in Windows Vista

If you are used to the old style logon screen from Windows 2000 and Windows XP (where you typed in your user name and password), you may be a little shell-shocked to find that you cannot disable the Welcome Screen in Windows Vista, which also means you cannot revert to the older style of logon screen, and the only way to achieve this functionality was to be joined to a domain... until now.

This guide applies to:

  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Ultimate

The tool we will be working with today is called the Windows Local Security Policy Editor, or "secpol".

To launch the Local Security Policy Editor:

  1. Click on Start, and then click on Control Panel.
  2. Click on "System and Maintenance".
  3. Click on "Administrative Tools".
  4. Double click on "Local Security Policy", and if User Account Control prompts you for consent, click on "Continue".

In the Local Security Policy editor you will see two panes, one on the left with tree-view navigation and one on the right which will have the actual definitions and items to edit.

On the left hand side, expand (either by clicking on the arrow or double clicking) the "Local Policies" section, and then click on "Security Options".

On the right hand side, scroll down until you see "Interactive logon: Do not display last user name". Double click on this entry and you will be presented with a dialog box that has two options - "Enabled" and "Disabled", with Disabled being selected as default. Change this setting to "Enabled", and then click on the OK button.

Now locate the entry "Interactive logon: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL" and double click on it. Again, you will see two settings, "Enabled" and "Disabled", although neither will be selected by default. Select the "Disabled" option, and then click on the OK button.

Close the Local Security Policy editor and log off. You will now see that you are required to press CTRL-ALT-DEL and after doing this you will be prompted with a more "classic" style log on screen where you can type your user name and password.



  • Excellent tip Kristan!

    Screenshots wouldn't be a bad idea too :P

    December 7, 2006 12:16 AM
  • Christian said:

    It seems that this works only in Vista Ulimate. There is no "secpol" in Home Premium :(

    December 8, 2006 5:37 AM
  • Ashraf Ali said:

    Its not really secpol. Lol that must have been his stupid abbriviation because i run Ultimate and secpol is not a command. Just go the manual route. Although I highly doubt it being in Home Premium. Sorry.

    December 12, 2006 1:44 PM
  • bassie` said:

    Hi Kristan, does this implement the oldstyle CTRL ALT DEL dialog box ? Like mentioned here

    They should fire the nerd that came up with the new style ...

    December 13, 2006 1:45 AM
  • ikyouCrow said:

    i'm probably late with this, but instead of digging through compmgmt.msc, you can:

    run "control userpasswords2", jump across to Advanced and in the Secure Logon group box, check the "Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete" box.

    January 21, 2007 6:29 AM
  • Michael Welch said:

    You are a life saver.  The new style loggon was bugging the heck out of me.  Now if I can only figure out how to get rid of the stupid picture that appears over my start menu.  In some ways the UI is completely goofy.  Thanks for your help

    March 3, 2007 2:00 AM
  • some1 said:

    is there any way this can be done in Vista Home Premium

    March 30, 2007 10:35 PM
  • Andrew I. said:

    Hello! Very interesting! Thank you.

    May 29, 2007 3:17 AM

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