Operating system:

Sign in to and out of your Surface

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


Important

If you're trying to sign in to your Surface but can't remember your password, you can reset your password.

Sign in

Step 1: Dismiss the lock screen by swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen, or by pressing a key if you have a Surface Type Cover or keyboard attached.
Step 2: If prompted, enter the password for your user account.
Notes

Sign out or lock

Sign out or lock—what’s the difference?

  • Signing out closes all of your open apps.
  • Locking protects your account from use and lets someone else sign in with his or her account, without closing your open apps.

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

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select your account picture in the upper-left corner of the Start menu.
Step 2:

Select Sign out or Lock.
You can also lock your Surface by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo+L, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and selecting Lock or Sign out.

Switch to another account

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

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select your account picture in the upper-left corner of the Start menu.
Step 2: Select an account.
If you don't see the account you want, select Sign out and choose the account you want.

Sign in with Windows Hello (Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book only)

Windows Hello is a more personal way to sign in to your Surface with just a look or a touch. The front-facing camera on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book recognizes your face and iris, allowing you to sign in to Windows 10 without having to touch the screen or keyboard. If you have a Surface Pro 4 and a Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID (sold separately), you can sign in with a press of your finger.

To set up Windows Hello, see What is Windows Hello? or Learn about Windows Hello and set it up.

Other sign-in options

You can also sign in by using a PIN or a picture password. (These options may not be available if you’ve added work email accounts to the Mail app or joined a network domain.)

To set up these options, go to Start Start icon, and select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. From there, select Picture password or PIN and then follow the on-screen instructions.

To choose when a password is required to sign in to your Surface: Under Sign-in options, select Require sign-in, and choose the length of time you can be away until your Surface requires you to sign in again.

Sign in to and out of your Surface

When you want to use your Surface, you’ll need to sign in. Find out about your options for signing in to 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 if you have a Surface Typing Cover attached.
Step 2:  If prompted, enter the password for your user account.
If you want to sign in with a different account, select the back arrow and 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 his or her account, without closing the apps you were using.

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

Step 1:  From the Start menu, select your account picture in the top-left corner.
Step 2:  Select either Sign out or Lock.
Tips
  • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo + L to lock your Surface quickly.
  • Another shortcut: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and select 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 Start, select your account picture in the top-right corner.
Step 2:  Select an account.
If you don't see the account you want, select Sign out and 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:  Select the back arrow and choose an account.

Choose when a password is required

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

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings.
Step 2:  Select Change PC settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  Under Password policy, choose the length of time you can be away until your Surface requires you to sign in again.
This setting may not be available if you’ve added a work email account to the Mail app.

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.)

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, or your network. Don’t have any pictures yet? Take one now with your Surface camera. See Take photos and videos with Surface for more information.

Here’s how to set up your picture password:

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings.
Step 2:  Select Change PC settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  Under Picture password, select 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 entering a password, you can sign in quickly with a four-digit PIN. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings.
Step 2:  Select Change PC settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  Under PIN, select Add.
If you don't have a password on your account, you'll need to create one before you can create a PIN.
Step 4:  Confirm your current password, then you can create a PIN.

Now you can sign in using your PIN.

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

Sign in to and out of your Surface

When you want to use your Surface, you’ll need to sign in. Find out about your options for signing in to 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 if you have a Surface Typing Cover attached.
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 arrow and 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 his or her account, without closing the apps you were using.

Here’s how to sign out of 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 + L to lock your Surface quickly.
  • Another shortcut: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard, and 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 and 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 and choose an account.

Choose when a password is required

You can control when a password is required to sign in to your 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 > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  Under Password policy, choose the length of time you can be away until your Surface requires you to sign in again.
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, or your network. Don’t have any pictures yet? Take one now with your Surface camera. See Take photos and videos with Surface for more information.

Here’s how to set up your picture password:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and 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 > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  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 entering 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 > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  Under PIN, tap or click Add.
If you don't have a password on your account, you'll need to create one 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 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.

Sign in to and out of your Surface

When you want to use your Surface, you’ll need to sign in. Find out about your options for signing in to 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 if you have a Surface Typing Cover attached.
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 arrow and 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 his or her account, without closing the apps you were using.

Here’s how to sign out of 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 + L to lock Surface quickly.
  • Another shortcut: Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and 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 and 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 and choose an account.

Choose when a password is required

You can control when a password is required to sign in to your 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 > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  Under Password policy, choose the length of time you can be away until your Surface requires you to sign in again.
This setting may not be available if you’ve added a work email account to the Mail app.

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.)

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, or your network. Don’t have any pictures yet? Take one now with your Surface camera. See Take photos and videos with Surface for more information.

Here’s how to set up your picture password:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  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 entering 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 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 > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 3:  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, then you can create a PIN.

Now you can sign in using your PIN.

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

Contact Us

Answer Desk
Answer Techs are available to help.
Talk to a live agent