Windows 10: Is there any alternative to the terrible sign-in screen?

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  1.    24 Sep 2015 #1

    Is there any alternative to the terrible sign-in screen?

    Is there an alternative to the indescribably bad windows 10 sign-in screen?

    Windows XP was perfect - use the arrow keys to move up or down to the chosen user and the password box was immediately ready for you to type your password. Quick, simple and efficient.

    I missed out Vista but Windows 7 was a step backwards. Having selected your user with the left / right arrows you now have to press <Enter> to select it before entering your password. Why?!?! It's a redundant keypress compared with XP's version.

    But Windows 10 takes user-unfriendliness to new levels. Maybe it works for touchscreen users but, hey Microsoft, not everyone is using Windows 10 on touchscreens. Nor do I want to use my mouse to select the correct user. I have three screens and I do not want to be wiggling my mouse around to find where it is and then move it across two screens to some tiny spot in one bottom corner when I could just hit a couple of keys on my keyboard.

    But no, "a couple of keys"? If only! Firstly I have to press <ESCAPE> to get out of the lock screen.

    Then the arrow keys sit there redundantly while I have to press <TAB> twice just to get to the list of users (three times if I've not realised the last user wasn't me and typed the wrong password)

    Then I have to press <TAB> to go down the list of users (<SHIFT><TAB> if I go too far!), So that's three more times as I'm the last user in our four person family. No wait, the users don't appear in a consistent order anyway, just to make it even less convenient, so who knows how many times I have to press it?... which means I can't do it without really looking like I could with XP or 7!

    Then I have to press <ENTER> and I'm already seven or eight keypresses in before I even get to type my password!

    What moron designed this UI? How can anyone have said, "yes - that's the best way to do it"? What was wrong with XP's way of doing things?

    Please... has anyone yet or can someone come up with an alternative sign-in screen so we can get rid of this monstrosity?

    What is depressing me is that this is an obvious day-one reason to hate Windows 10. God knows what else I'll find.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,148
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18262
       24 Sep 2015 #2

    Hello Simon, and welcome to Ten Forums. :)

    If you like, you could disable the lock screen to only see the sign-in screen afterwards.

    Another option is that you could set to have users must enter both their user name and password on the sign-in screen. This way you don't have to scroll or select them. It just depends on if you find this easier or not.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    24 Sep 2015 #3

    Thanks Brink

    Yes I have come across both of those tweaks but they don't really solve the fundamental problem, which is that the login screen is just badly designed from the very beginning. It's slow, not designed to be used with a keyboard alone and using the mouse to click and then the keyboard to type is just inconvenient. Is there a way for someone to develop a replacement... one for grownups?

    I'm surprised people are not making more of this but then people seem oddly accepting of bad UIs when there's no alternative.

    At least we got the start button back but I'll still be using Classic Shell so I can launch programs with a couple of keypresses. <Windows> <O>(for Office) <E> to launch Excel, <Windows> <I>nternet to launch Firefox, <Windows> <E> to launch Explorer has got to be quicker and simpler. A mouse is not a quick means of navigating a menu. Even <Windows> <P>rograms <A>ccessories <C>ommunications <T>eamviewer is something I can do much quicker than finding it on stupid modern menus where I need to type the name of, say, the "Widget" program only to be given "Widget" and "Uninstall Widget" as options... and Uninstall Widget comes first in the list because U is before W in the alphabet for goodness' sake! How stupid is that?

    Any ideas on the best way to convey this feedback to Microsoft?

    Can't wait to find what else is new in Windows 10
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,148
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18262
       24 Sep 2015 #4

    You can use an option in the tutorial below to send feedback to Microsoft about this.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    24 Sep 2015 #5

    Once I disabled the lock screen, the login process is much easier.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    24 Sep 2015 #6

    satchmo said: View Post
    Once I disabled the lock screen, the login process is much easier.
    Yes I've done that. It's still a mess though with too many key-presses, while the useful up/down arrow keys are being thoughtlessly wasted. XP was how it should be done and I can see no reason why a face-lifted take on that wouldn't work just fine for a touch-based interface too, lock-screen or no lock-screen.

    Thanks Brink. I shall be sending them my two-penn'orth.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    24 Sep 2015 #7

    Disable the Lock Screen, choose a PIN code of 4 digits, and make them all the same digit, then at boot up/sign in it's just 4 rapid taps and you're in! Don't even have to press Enter!
    I don't think it's simpler than that, currently.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    24 Sep 2015 #8

    First, you have to understand that you're probably in the minority. Most people, especially those here, tend to be single-user computers, and most of those set up their systems to log directly into the desktop when it boots up.

    of those here that have multiple users, they probably aren't setup to do so frequently. They probably are the primary user most of the time. So only a small percentage of people ever do more than press a key (you don't have to hit esc, you can hit space or other keys as well).

    Finally, most people probably just don't care.. they use the mouse and type their password, that seems natural. Very few people are both multi-user and keyboard obsessed (and I honestly don't mean that negatively, just can't think of another way to say it).

    However, to answer some of your other questions... a lot has changed with the login screen since XP. XP originally introduced the concept of "fast user switching", but you couldn't use FUS with corporate Domain accounts. Vista's login screen was the first version that allowed both local and domain users to be switched.

    The new login screens also allow, for instance, the ability to log into your VPN first so you can then log onto a domain from your remote PC.

    I know a lot of this doesn't matter to you as a home user, but i'm just explaining some of the changes that happened that probably lead the changing of the way logins work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    25 Sep 2015 #9

    All interesting stuff guys.

    I am actually pretty much the only user on the PC I'm sitting at now. It's in my office; I use it for work. However there are several other PCs in the house and I like other people to be able to use any PC if they need to (or I should be able to use others if I have to) and be able to get at their documents without the kids knowing my password. I also like my IT locked down pretty tight. I have a guest WiFi network on a separate vLan from the main network. Guests can use guest accounts on various PCs in the house in guest rooms or the media PC in the living room but they can't see family documents at all and only have read access to music on the server while the family user accounts are all password protected so that visiting teenagers, nephews etc can't snoop around or get up to any mischief by either accident or design.

    So, I'm not keen on four digit PINs and (we're straying into another BIG issue I have with Windows 10 here) I'm not keen on using my Microsoft ID either which, being accessible from the internet from anywhere through a browser, has a very long and complex password. I would prefer my family to be able to use shorter passwords for their PCs (where you can get away with that because you actually need physical access to the PC and a keyboard) and a different, longer password for cloud accessible stuff.

    I don't have a problem with the enhancements to login processes, VPNs, domains etc; it's just the UI I have a problem with. They keyboard seems to have been forgotten about in the obsession firstly with the mouse and then with touch but a well-designed UI should be capable of working well with both.

    For example, there is nothing on Windows 10's login screen that you couldn't do on Windows 7 with fewer keypresses and on XP with even fewer. It's basically select user, enter password. That's it. Anything else can have a button you can tap / click or (should be able to) get at with a keyboard shortcut.

    You're right Mystere. A lot of people don't care but I think that's because they don't have the imagination to realise it could be so much better.

    I am fairly sure that this will seem to many to be the most trivial of things to hate about Windows 10 (and I'm sure I will find many more things to hate yet) but it's just symptomatic of what's wrong with modern operating systems - too much focus on being modern and trendy without any thought as to whether it actually makes any sense or allowing people to customise things to their way of working (we're heading dangerously towards Apple territory here - only one way of doing anything even if it's rubbish... accessibility for the hard of thinking!).

    I've already installed Classic Shell. Three key-presses to shut the machine down without even needing to look at the screen... bliss!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    25 Sep 2015 #10

    Three key presses? What about Alt+F4
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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