Mar 05, 2013

How well do "picture passwords" in Windows 8 work?

I'm looking at getting a new tablet, and pretty much have it down to a Surface or a Nexus 10. I have an Android phone, but I've also had a work issued iPhone, and one think I like is using the screen lock pattern instead of entering a PIN. I know it's not a big deal, and a "first world problem" at best, but it still annoys me to enter a pin each time I unlock the screen. I know Windows 8 has a "picture passwork" option where you can unlock the device through "drawing" on a photo. Two question about it: First, is it pretty easy to use? By that I mean is it really picky that you get it exactly right, or is does it give you a little leeway so if you don't stop on exactly the right pixel it will still unlock? Second, does it work ok from a security standpoint? Could someone just draw around on a photo and eventually get it to unlock?

HS Soni

The picture password works in a manner that the way in which you draw the patten of the picure password, that will got stored as password.

Next time when you login to it then in the same way you have to type the pattern of picture password so it will match to the previous one and then it will  Authenticate the user.

For setting the picture password to the windows 8 you may visit the link: setting picture password in windows 8.


If you like to use the patter lock on Android, you will probably like the picture passwords on a Windows 8 tablet. Instead of a 3x3 box of dots to connect in your chosen pattern, you take a photo and connect noses/elbows/clouds/whatever in a set pattern that you chose. You can do things such as circle a face, then draw a line from foot to hand, for example. I've never sat down and tried to figure out someone else's lock pattern, but I would imagine it would be reasonably secure. There are always smudges that could give you away, I suppose, if you don't maniacally clean your screens the way I do. 

I don't run Windows 8, but here's some info on how the picture password works.


"You can use a picture password in Windows 8 and Windows RT, so that even signing in to your PC is more personal. Because you choose the picture and the shapes you draw on it, the combinations are infinite—a picture password is actually more secure from hackers than a traditional password. You can draw a picture password directly on a touchscreen with your finger, or you can use a mouse to draw your shapes.

Here's how to set it up:

From the Settings charm, tap or click Change PC settings and then tap or click Users.
Under Sign-in options, tap or click Create a picture password and then follow the on-screen instructions.
If you don't see this option, check with your system administrator or see Why can't I create a picture password?
Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Don't make a picture password harder than it needs to be. Keep the photo simple and choose shapes that are easy to remember and to draw. For example, it's easier to draw on a close-up photo of your favorite pet than to tap the right individual tulip in a garden scene each time.
A picture password is limited to three gestures, and these must be some combination of circles, straight lines, and taps. Again, it's a good idea to keep it simple. It's easier to tap one person's nose than to trace a city skyline."
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