Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Operating system:

Sign in 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 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 Switch user, and 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 his or her account, without closing the apps you were using.

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

Step 1: Go to Start , and select your account picture in the upper-left corner of the Start menu.
Step 2: Select either Sign out or Lock.
Tips
  • Press the Windows logo key +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: Go to Start , 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.

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 Switch user, 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 , and select Settings > Accounts.
Step 2: Select Sign-in options, and under Sign-in policies, 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: Go to Start , and select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 2: Under Picture password, select Add.
Step 3: 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 , and select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 2: Under PIN, select 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 3: 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.

Sign in 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 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 button, and 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 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 + 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, 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, and 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, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings, and then tap or click Accounts.
Step 3: Select 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, 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, tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings, and 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 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, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings, and 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.

Sign in 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 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 button, and 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 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 + 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, 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, and 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, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings, and then tap or click Accounts.
Step 3: Select 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, 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, tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings, and 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 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, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings, and 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.