Windows 10 has brought many improvements including the improved security. One of those improved security features is an option to sign in with a PIN code, but some users report that this option isn’t available for them on Windows 10.
What to do if You’re Unable to Sign in with PIN in Windows 10
PIN sign in can be rather useful, but sometimes issues with it can occur. As for PIN related issues, users reported the following problems:
- Windows 10 add PIN not working, nothing happens – Many users reported that they are unable to add PIN to their Windows 10. This can be a big problem, but you might be able to fix that by creating a new user account.
- Windows 10 won’t let me add a PIN – This is another relatively common problem, but you should be able to fix it by switching to Microsoft or local account.
- Windows 10 sign in options not showing – Sometimes PIN sign in won’t appear at all, but you can fix that by pressing the Tab key on your keyboard.
- PIN sign in Windows 10 greyed out – If PIN sign in is grayed out on your PC, you should be able to fix the problem using one of our solutions.
The PIN code is always useful to use for login because it’s faster to enter than a regular password and easier to remember, but it seems that some Windows 10 users don’t have this option available. Before we try to fix it, make sure that your Windows 10 is up to date. Microsoft is aware of this issue, and it might be resolved with a Windows 10 update, so before we start make sure that your Windows 10 is updated with latest patches.
Solution 1 – Delete NGC folder and add a new PIN code
According to users, you can fix this problem simply by removing the contents of NGC directory and recreating your PIN. This is rather simple, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Go to C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft\NGC.
- In NGC folder delete all the files. To do so you must be logged as Administrator.
After removing all files from NGC directory, you need to recreate your PIN by following these steps:
- Open Settings app by pressing Windows Key + I.
- When Settings app opens, navigate to Accounts section.
- From the menu on the left select Sign-in options.
- Click the Add button in the PIN section.
- Enter the desired PIN twice. Once you’re done, click OK to save changes.
After doing that, the problem with PIN sign in should be resolved.
Solution 2 – Use the I forgot my PIN option
If deleting NGC folder didn’t solve the problem, you can use ‘I forgot my PIN‘ option. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings > Accounts.
- Next, go to Sign-in options and choose I forgot my PIN.
- Follow the instructions and enter your Microsoft account password and you’ll be able to set a new PIN code or use the old one instead.
Some users also suggest combining both Solution 1 and 2. To do so follow the steps from the Solution 2, but when asked to set up a new PIN code click Cancel. Then follow the steps from Solution 1, delete the NGC folder and then add a new PIN code.
Solution 3 – Change your account password
Several users reported that they fixed the problem simply by changing their account password. This is rather simple, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
- Then go to Password section and select Change.
- Change your account password.
- Then go to the PIN section in Sign-in options and choose I forgot my PIN or add a PIN number if you already don’t have one.
Remember, after changing your account password you’ll have to use the new password for all Microsoft services.
Solution 4 – Switch to local account and add a PIN code
And if nothing from above helped, try to switch to a local account, and the add a PIN code. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings > Accounts and locate your account.
- Click Sign in with a Local Account instead.
- Follow the instructions to set up a local account.
- Sign out and sign in to your local account.
- Now add a PIN code.
- After you’ve added your PIN code you need to locate your account under the Accounts section in Settings.
- Choose Sign in with a Microsoft Account instead.
Solution 5 – Remove and recreate your PIN
Another way to fix this problem is to remove your PIN and create a new one. This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:
- Open the Settings app and navigate to Accounts section. From the menu on the left select Sign-in options.
- In the right pane, locate PIN section and click the Remove button.
- Click the Remove button once again to confirm that you want to remove your PIN.
- Now enter your account password and click OK.
After doing that, your PIN should be completely removed. Now you need to add your PIN again. To see how to add your PIN, be sure to check Solution 1 for detailed instructions. After removing and recreating your PIN, the issue should be resolved completely. Many users reported that this solution fixed the problem for them, so be sure to try it out.
Solution 6 – Press Tab on the login screen
This is just a simple workaround, but it works according to users. If PIN sign-in isn’t available, you might be able to fix the problem by using this simple trick.
- On the login screen, press the Tab key on your keyboard.
- After doing that, you should see a password input field. Now click on Sign in Options and enter your PIN.
This is a simple workaround, and several users reported that it works, so feel free to try it out. We have to mention that this isn’t a permanent solution, so you’ll have to use it every time you want to login to your PC.
Solution 7 – Create a new Administrator account
If PIN sign-in isn’t available for your account, you might be able to fix the problem by creating a new administrator account. To do that, you just have to follow these simple steps:
- Open the Settings app and go to Accounts section.
- Select Family & other people from the menu on the left. In the right pane, click on Add someone else to this PC.
- Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
- Now click on Add a user without a Microsoft account.
- Enter the desired account name and click Next.
After creating a new administrator account, switch to it and set a PIN for it. We showed you how to set up a PIN code in one of our previous solutions, so be sure to check it out for detailed instructions.
Once you set the PIN code for the new account, try accessing your old account to see if the PIN code works. According to users, after setting a new administrator account the issue was completely resolved, so feel free to try this solution.
Solution 8 – Modify your registry
According to users, if PIN sign-in isn’t available, you might be able to fix that by modifying your registry. To do that, just do the following:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit. Press Enter or click OK.
- In the left pane, navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\TestHooks.
- Now locate Threshold DWORD and double click it. If it’s not available, you can create it by right clicking the right pane and choosing New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Now enter Threshold as the name of the new DWORD.
- Change the Value data of the Threshold DWORD to 0 and click on OK to save changes.
After making these changes, you just need to delete all files from C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft\NGC directory. This might be a slightly advanced solution, but several users reported that it worked for them, so feel free to try it out.
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Solution 9 – Remove Dell Data Protection security tools
If you’re using a Dell PC, you might experience problems with PIN sign in due to applications such as Dell Data Protection security tools. According to users, there are three different Dell Data Protection security tools, and in order to fix this problem, you need to remove them in the correct order.
Once you remove those tools, you just have to remove your PIN and add it again, and the problem should be resolved. Keep in mind that these applications can leave certain files behind even after you remove them. In order to remove all files and registry entries associated with it, it’s recommended to use a proper uninstaller.
There are many great uninstaller applications that can completely remove any application from your PC, and if you want to remove all files related with Dell Data Protection security tools, we recommend that you use IOBit Uninstaller (free) or Revo Uninstaller. Both these applications are simple to use, and they can remove any application from your PC with ease.
Solution 10 – Check if CNG Key Isolation Service (KeyIso) is running
According to users, sometimes PIN sign in can become unavailable if CNG Key Isolation Service (KeyIso) service is disabled. Windows relies on this service for PIN sign in, and if this service isn’t running, you’ll experience problems with PIN login. To fix the issue, you need to enable this service by doing the following:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Now press Enter or click OK.
- When Services window opens, locate CNG Key Isolation service and double click it.
- When the Properties window opens, make sure that the Startup type isn’t set to Disabled. If it is, change it to Manual. Check if the service is running. If not, click the Start button to start it. Now click Apply and OK to save changes.
That’s it, PIN login should be working now for your account, if you have any comments, just write them down below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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