How to Run Any Program from Login Screen in Windows 10

The Windows 10 Login screen allows a user to choose a user account to login to, shut down or reboot a computer, or access the Ease of access settings. However, you can tweak your Windows Operating System to run any application directly from the Login screen, without having to sign in to your user account.

This trick is especially useful in case you often need to take screenshots of the login screen or run any other app on your computer. This technique will also save you the hassle if you only need to log in to your account for the purpose of running a program.

Run any program from Login Screen in Windows 10
Run any program from the Login Screen in Windows 10

Let us continue to see how you can run any program or app directly from the Login screen.

Run any app or program from the Windows 10 Login screen

The guide that we are about to give you includes two things:

  • If you use the Ease of Access button on your Login screen, then the process involves replacing it. Hence, proceed with the steps shared ahead only if you do not use that option.
  • Disable Windows Defender Realtime Protection.
  • The process also involves manipulating the System Registry. Therefore, it is advised that you create a complete system backup just in case.

As you must already know, all applications and programs can be executed from the Command Prompt. Hence, all we need to do is replace the Ease of Access button from the Login screen with the Command Prompt, and then use it to execute any program. Here is how to do so:

  1. We shall start by disabling the Virus and Threat Protection settings in Windows 10 as it interferes with registry manipulation. Navigate to the following:
    Start Menu -> Settings -> Update and Security -> Windows Security
  2. Now click Virus and threat protection on the right.
    virus and threat
  3. Click on Manage settings under Virus and Threat Protection settings.
    manage settings
  4. Now click on the slider beneath Realtime protection to disable it.
  5. Now launch the Registry Editor by typing in regedit in Run.
    regedit 2
  6. Navigate to the following location from the left pane:
    HKEY_Local_Machine -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> CurrentVersion -> Image File Execution Options
  7. Now right-click Image File Execution Options, expand New, then click Key.
  8. Name the new Key as utilman.exe.
  9. Now right-click the new key just created, expand New, and then click String Value.
    string value
  10. Name this new String Value as Debugger.
  11. Now double-click the Debugger String Value and enter the path for the Command Prompt under Value Data:
    value data 3
    Click on Ok.
  12. Lock your user account by using the Windows Key + L shortcut buttons and click on the Ease of Access button to launch the Command Prompt directly from the Login screen.

You can now use Command Prompt to run any number of applications without having to sign in. Moreover, you can also switch between the applications and programs by using the Alt + Tab keys simultaneously.

Closing words

Accessing your apps and programs directly from the Login screen can be time-saving, especially for sysadmins. Some computers are only used to run certain monitoring applications. If such is the case, one can run those directly and start monitoring their network without having to wait for the owner of the PC to login.

Subhan Zafar

Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several system and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

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