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Installing a password onto your default user account in Windows 7 is one of the best--and easiest--ways to keep average folk from messing around with your system. However, if you don't often have said "folk" around to bother with your PC, you might be tempted to relax your own security settings for convenience's sake.
After all, locking down your Windows account means that you'll never be able to just hit your power button and brew a coffee while your system boots. To get into the real meat of your operating system's boot process, you'll have to hover around your system and enter your password to continue onward. That's not the most frustrating of situations, however, it does become a pain if you're ever running a huge batch of downloads that's set to restart your system when it's done--or updates, for that matter. Or, worse, if your system just takes forever to boot.
Simply put, you'll never be able to just one-shot it to your desktop. Your own security settings prevent that... until now!
The freeware app Auto Logon & Lock combines the best of these two worlds--quick, unfiltered access to your desktop alongside the same kind of locked-down security that comes with any password-protected user account.
Here's how: the app automatically logs you into a specified Windows account. However, as the system boots, the app automatically locks down your PC. Your programs and startup tasks load in the background, yet your system is kept safe from general access via the conventional Windows login screen.
You get security and speed, not to mention the ability to step away from your powering-up PC and still have quick access to your fully-functional desktop when you return. Cool, huh?
Each week, Maximum PC picks a new free or shareware download as its favorite of... the week. Have a nifty application that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.