Windows 8: Setting Up Picture Passwords and PINs

Back in the days of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, locking your computer just meant activating a password, writing it on a piece of paper (just in case you forget it) or backing it up in a USB flash drive and entering it every time you want to use your computer. The breach comes when someone else discovers your password and accesses everything saved in your machine and if you also used the same password on your other accounts like your email and other stuff then there’s a big possibility that every information of you and all your other accounts will be used by another person for some fraudulent transactions. Sounds like a nightmare right? That’s the reason why Windows 8 has more than just one way of locking your device aside from just the traditional one.

Yes! Windows 8 has brand new ways of setting up security passwords and PINs so you can protect your computer or mobile device more effectively. In this tutorial, you will be able to learn how to set up a “Picture Password” and a “PIN” on your Windows 8 device. Wondering what it looks like and how it is done? Well, you’ll find out all the process involved a little later and for now, you first need to prepare a photo which you’d like to set up as a lock screen image and later on, we will create a “Picture Password” from it.

The First Steps

As the name itself suggests, setting up a “Picture Password” would of course require a picture. The more personal a picture is, the more likely that you’ll remember the sequence of gestures that you need to open in order to open your computer. To choose a picture for your computer’s lock screen, simply open the “PC settings” section by pressing the “Windows + I” keys. Once you see a metro screen appear on he right, simply click on “Change PC settings”.


Next, on the “PC Settings” screen, simply click on the “Users” item on the left portion of the screen.


Then, on the right portion of the screen, simply look for the “Sign-in options” section and under this, click on “Create a picture password”.


Creating Your Picture Password

After clicking the “Create a picture password” button, you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll be asked to enter your account password (if you’ve set up one).


After inputting your password and pressing the “OK” button, you’ll be taken to the screen that shows the picture where you can create patterns and gestures on, you can also choose your own picture by simply clicking on the “Choose picture” button at the left.


You’ll also be able to read some tips in entering some gestures, taps and lines and the picture you’ve chosen and as I have mentioned earlier, a personal picture will help you easily remember all the gestures, lines and circles that you’ve drawn on it. All these gestures and patterns will then be saved and become part of your “Picture Password”.

Picture Password Tips

After choosing your own photo and trying to draw patterns on it, you need to remember the sequence of all the stuff you’ve drawn and entered in order to unlock your device. It is important to take note that the picture password works only for touch-enabled devices and computers with touchscreen monitors. If you installed Windows 8 Pro on an old computer that doesn’t have a touch enabled screen then you will not be able to take advantage of this feature. Here are some personal tips which you need to consider in setting up your picture password.

  • Be sure to use personal pictures and make your patterns tough yet easy to remember. Using a personal photo of your pet, favorite mug, your husband, wife or children will encourage you to create your own set of patterns and not just follow the example given by your computer when you open the “Create a picture password” screen.
  • Gestures can be a combination of lines, circles and taps on some specific points of the picture. There should be a combination of three (3) gestures that you need to enter on the screen in order to create a picture password and you need to repeat doing these gestures three (3) times to completely set it up as a picture password and repeat it a few more times just to make sure you remember it the next time you open your computer.
  • After you input the gestures to unlock your device, be sure to wipe any possible marks left on the screen so no one will be able to crack the password you created. Make it a habit to clean or wipe your screen regularly especially after entering your “Picture Password”.

As you can see, guessing a “Picture Password” is harder than cracking a word or code password but there’s one more type of security which you can use to protect your computer and that’s what we’ll be covering on the next part.

How to Create a PIN

Just like creating a picture password, the purpose of setting up and activating a PIN for your device would help ensure that your machine and all the files in it would be very hard to crack into. To set up a pin, simply go to the “PC Settings” section as I have shown earlier and click or tap the “Users” item on the left then under “Sing-in options”, simply click on “Create a PIN”.


If you’ve set up a password for your user account or if you accessed your Windows 8 machine using your “Microsoft Account”, you will arrive at the screen that asks you to enter the password in order to proceed to the next step. If you see this screen, simply input your password then click on the “OK” button.


The screen that follows will then require you to enter your desired PIN. On this part, you need to remember to use something that is not related to you like your birthday, ATM PIN, last digits of your bank account number or any other thing that would be easy to guess. Think for a unique combination of numbers (4 digits of them) and input them on each of the boxes. After doing so, simply click on the “OK” button.


Windows 8: Taking User Protection to the Next Level

Windows 8 is capable of syncing all your settings to all your other Windows 8 devices. This applies if you used your Microsoft account in setting up your computer, tablet or any other device and you set it up as a trusted devices. This means that whatever changes you do on one device will be the same changes that will apply to all your other devices running on Windows 8. this helps users to easily manage all their devices and even the contents in each of those devices. Passwords are part of this and if you really get s bit more serious  in making the most of your Windows 8 machine then you’ll discover that there are even more to this new operating system than the negative reactions given to it by some skeptics. It just takes a little bit of exploring an in time, you’ll surely love using Windows 8 the same as I do!