Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.


Sign in and out of your Surface

When you want to use Surface, you’ll need to sign in. Find out about your options for signing in and out of your Surface, including switching accounts and unlocking the screen.


Sign in

Step 1:  Dismiss the lock screen by swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen or by pressing a key.
Step 2:  If prompted, enter the password for your user account.
If you want to sign in with a different account, tap or click the Back button, then choose an account.
Notes

Sign out or lock

Sign out or lock – what’s the difference?

  • Signing out closes all the apps you were using.
  • Locking protects your account from use, and lets someone else sign in with their account, without closing the apps you were using.

Here’s how to sign out or lock your Surface:

Step 1:  From the Start screen, tap or click your account picture in the upper-right corner.
Step 2:  Tap or click either Sign out or Lock.
Tips
  • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key. + L to quickly lock Surface.
  • Another shortcut: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard, then choose Lock or Sign out.

Switch to another account

If you’re sharing your Surface with someone else, you can switch to another user account without signing out or closing apps. Here’s how:

Step 1:  From the Start screen, tap or click your account picture in the upper-right corner.
Step 2:  Tap or click an account.
If you don't see the account you want, tap or click Switch account, then choose the account you want.

You can also switch to another user account from the sign in screen. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Dismiss the lock screen by swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen or by pressing a key.
Step 2:  Tap or click the back arrow, then choose an account.

Choose when a password is required

You can control when a password is required to sign in to Surface. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings, then tap or click Accounts.
Step 3:  Tap or click Sign-in options, and under Password policy, tap or click Change and follow the instructions on the screen.
This setting may not be available if you’ve added a work email account to the Mail app, or if your Surface Pro is connected to a network domain.

Other sign in options

There are two other sign-in options: PIN and picture password. (These options may not be available if you’ve added work email accounts to the Mail app or joined a network domain.)

Set up a picture password

You can sign in using gestures on a picture of your choice, using a picture on your Surface, your OneDrive (formerly called SkyDrive) or your network. Don’t have any pictures yet? Take one now with your Surface camera. See Surface cameras for more information.

Here’s how to set up your picture password:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings, then tap or click Accounts.
Step 3:  Tap or click Sign-in options and under Picture password, tap or click Add.
Step 4:  Sign in with your Microsoft account info, then follow the steps on the screen to choose a picture and pick your gestures.

Create a PIN

Instead of typing a password, you can sign in quickly with a four-digit PIN. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings, then tap or click Accounts.
Step 3:  Tap or click Sign-in options and under PIN, tap or click Add.
If you don't have a password on your account, you'll need to create a password before you can create a PIN.
Step 4:  Confirm your current password and then you can create a PIN.

Now you can sign in using your four-digit PIN.

Note

If you’ve added a work email account to the Mail app or if your Surface Pro is connected to a network domain, security policies may prevent you from creating a PIN or picture password. For more info, check with your system administrator.


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