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How to add a PIN to make your account more secure on Windows 10

Use a PIN and say goodbye having to type long and complex password to sign in to Windows 10.

Adding a PIN to Windows 10

If you use a password to sign in to Windows 10, you should add a PIN for quicker and more secure access to your account. If you’re running Windows 10, you probably sign in using a Microsoft account, but entering a long and complex password can be troublesome, when you can just use a PIN.

A PIN is not only shorter and easier authentication method to sign in, but in many ways it’s more secure than a password. Perhaps one of the biggest differences between a PIN and a password is that a PIN is tied to a device. If someone steals your PIN, it’ll be useless unless the thief has physical access to your computer.

And because you have to set a PIN per device, if someone were to figure out your PIN, when use the same Microsoft account across devices with the same password, they would only have access to one device.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to create a PIN to quickly unlock your Windows 10 account. And we’ll look at the steps to change as well as remove a PIN from your device.

How to create a PIN on Windows 10

Use these steps to create a PIN to sign in to Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Sign-in options.

  4. Under the “Manage how your sign in to your device” section, select the Windows Hello PIN option.

  5. Click the Add button.

    Add a Windows Hello PIN on Windows 10
    Add a Windows Hello PIN on Windows 10
  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Confirm your current password to verify that you’re who you say you are, and click the Sign in button.

  8. Create a PIN that you will use instead of a password.

    Create personal PIN for Windows 10 account
    Create personal PIN for Windows 10 account
  9. Click the OK button.

While in many aspects a PIN is more secure than a password, remember that you can’t add a PIN without first setting a password, as it’s only a secondary method of authentication.

How to change a PIN on Windows 10

Use these steps to change the current PIN on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Sign-in options.

  4. Under the “Manage how you sign in to your device” section, select the Windows Hello PIN option.

  5. Click the Change button.

    Change Windows Hello PIN on Windows 10
    Change Windows Hello PIN on Windows 10
  6. Type the current PIN followed by providing the new PIN.

    Update PIN on Windows 10
    Update PIN on Windows 10
  7. Click the OK button.

How to remove a PIN on Windows 10

Use these steps to remove a PIN and go back to a traditional password on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Sign-in options.

  4. Under the “Manage how you sign in to your device” section, select the Windows Hello PIN option.

    Remove PIN from Windows 10
    Remove PIN from Windows 10
  5. Click the Remove button.

    Important: If you’re not running the Windows 10 April 2019 Update, version 1903, the settings may look a little different, but the steps still apply.
  6. Click the Remove button again.

    Confirm remove PIN on Windows 10
    Confirm remove PIN on Windows 10
  7. Confirm your current password and click the OK button.

You can now sign out of your account to test the new sign in experience. Additional, once you created a PIN, you can use it to sign in to apps and services too.

Update July 17, 2019: This guide was originally published in October 2016, and it’s been updated to reflect the changes with the latest version of Windows 10.