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Windows Reg Entry: Automatic login requires two reboots before working, how to fix?

Here at work we have a policy for "general public" use and office machines. The general public use require specific profile settings and for ease of use, we have them logging in automatically utilizing a registry entry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"DefaultUserName"="Shared"
"AutoAdminLogon"="1"
"DefaultDomainName"="Domain"
"DefaultPassword"="Password"
"ForceAutoLogon"="1"

This requires a reboot, then an additional reboot before the change actually takes place when deploying this reg entry on a new machine. It creates additional work and is a slight annoyance.

How can this be fixed? Presumably this happens because the account hasn't been created yet? I am trying to wrap my head around this and come up with a better solution or an addition to the code here to fix this problem. In a perfect world, the changes should take effect immediately such that if I were to logout after applying the reg entry, I would be logged back in immediately under the Shared username.

1 Answer

Only one reboot is technically required. The problem is that group-policies will apply on their own over-time.... or on a reboot (your first), and then the second reboot is when you actually see the auto-logon. Two solutions could be:

1) Apply the policy... then wait until the group-policy would naturally apply (could be anywhere from a few minutes and up.) and then reboot.

2) Apply the policy then force the policy to apply using gpupdate /force, and then reboot.