Windows 8 offers three common and four less obvious ways to sign in — a seven-layer complexity that can cause problems. Here’s what to do when sign-in trouble strikes.
Plus: Cure ‘wicked slow’ startups in any Windows version with built-in, free, or paid tools.
Solving erratic Win8 system sign-ins
Like many Windows 8 users, reader Isabel Berney has configured several different ways to sign in to her PC: a Microsoft account, a local account, and a four-digit PIN.
But getting into her system has become unpredictable. Sometimes it won’t accept her preferred sign-in method, reverting to one of her other options. Sometimes the PIN option works, sometimes not. Here’s the problem in her own words:
- “Although my Windows 8.1 Pro x64 is up to date, I have a problem. After a reboot, I often get the message ‘The user name or password is incorrect.’
“Sometimes there’s a keypad icon below the sign-in message, and my four-digit PIN works. Sometimes there are just two identical keyboard icons. On some occasions, my regular password works; other times, I have to enter my Outlook.com email address and a password.
“I’ve followed instructions to have Windows bypass a sign-in. (I am the only one with access to my computer, so I don’t really need a password.) I’ve also changed my password with Win8’s User Accounts tool, but that doesn’t fix the problem.
“Everything runs well once I re-enter my password. Is there a way to solve this annoying problem?”