Update: I've confirmed that the following procedures also work for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.
In a previous post I showed how to enable Autologon for workgroup servers and workstations.
Once you join a server to a domain, Windows will automatically delete the AutoAdminLogon value from the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon registry key. This causes the userpasswords2 control to hide the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" check box shown above.
Here's how to get the missing checkbox back and configure AutoLogon:
- Open an elevated CMD prompt and enter the following (all on one line):
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon" /v AutoAdminLogon /t REG_SZ /d "1" /f
- Click Start, Run and enter control userpasswords2
- Clear the checkbox for Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer and click OK
- Enter the user name and password that will be used for automatic logon and click OK
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon" /v DefaultDomainName /t REG_SZ /d %USERDOMAIN% /fWhen the computer starts up the account you specified will be logged in automatically. Note that the password is encrypted on the computer.
This tip works for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012.
Since you're here, be sure to check out my article about building a super-fast Windows Server 2012 lab server for under $1,000!