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How to Enable or Disable PIN History in Windows 10

information   Information
Windows Hello in Windows 10 enables users to sign in to their device using a PIN (Personal Identification Number). You can use this PIN to sign in to Windows, apps, and services.

One important difference between a password and a Hello PIN is that the PIN is tied to the specific device on which it was set up. That PIN is useless to anyone without that specific hardware. Someone who steals your password can sign in to your account from anywhere, but if they steal your PIN, they'd have to steal your physical device too!

Even you can't use that PIN anywhere except on that specific device. If you want to sign in on multiple devices, you have to set up Hello on each device.

PIN history specifies the number of past PINs that can be associated to a user account that canít be reused. This enables administrators to enhance security by ensuring that old PINs are not reused continually. PIN history is not preserved through PIN reset.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable a PIN history requirement for users so old PINs are not reused continually in Windows 10.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.


Contents:
  • Option One: To Enable or Disable PIN History using Group Policy
  • Option Two: To Enable or Disable PIN History using Registry Editor





Enable or Disable PIN History in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Enable or Disable PIN History in Windows 10
To Enable or Disable PIN History using Group Policy

Note   Note
Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Two below.


1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. In the left pane of local group policy editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\PIN Complexity

Name:  PIN_history_gpedit-1.png
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3. In the right pane of PIN Complexity in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the History policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4. Do step 5 (disable) or step 6 (enable) below for what you would like to do.


 5. To Disable PIN History

A) Select (dot) Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Note: Not Configured is the default setting.


 6. To Enable PIN History

A) Select (dot) Enabled, enter a number between 1 and 50 previous PINs to store in history, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Name:  PIN_history_gpedit-2.png
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7. Close the local group policy editor.

8. Restart the computer to apply.






Enable or Disable PIN History in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Enable or Disable PIN History in Windows 10
To Enable or Disable PIN History using Registry Editor

1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

2. Navigate to the key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
If you do not have the PassportForWork key, then right click or press and hold on the Microsoft key, click/tap on New, click/tap on Key, type PassportForWork, and press Enter.

If you do not have the PINComplexity key, then right click or press and hold on the PassportForWork key, click/tap on New, click/tap on Key, type PINComplexity, and press Enter.


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\PassportForWork\PINComplexity

Name:  PIN_history-1.png
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3. Do step 4 (enable) and/or step 5 (disable) below.


 4. To Enable PIN History

A) In the right pane of the PINComplexity key, double click/tap on the History DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 2)
Note   Note
If you do not have a History DWORD, then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the right pane of the PINComplexity key, click/tap on New, click/tap on DWORD (32-bit) Value, type History, and press Enter.


B) Select (dot) Decimal, enter a number between 1 to 50 previous PINs to store in history, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

Name:  PIN_history-2.png
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 5. To Disable PIN History

Note: This is the default setting.

A) In the right pane of the PINComplexity key, right click or press and hold on the History DWORD, and click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below step 2)

B) Click/tap on Yes to confirm, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below)

Name:  PIN_history-3.png
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6. Close the local group policy editor.

7. Restart the computer to apply.


That's it,
Shawn