The personal identification number (PIN) sign-in option allows you to log into your Windows 11 devices quickly using a 4-digit code. However, some users have reported the PIN sign-in option becoming greyed out and unusable on their devices. If this happens to you, don’t worry – you can remove and reset the PIN to get it working again. Here’s how:
Why Does the PIN Get Greyed Out?
There are a few reasons why your Windows PIN may have become greyed out and unusable:
- You changed your Microsoft account password: If you change the password to the Microsoft account associated with your Windows user profile, this will disable the existing PIN.
- A Domain policy is enforced: If your Windows device connects to a domain network with specific security policies, the administrators may have disabled the PIN sign-in option.
- You used a Local Account instead of a Microsoft Account: The PIN sign-in is only available when using a Microsoft account, not a local account.
- There’s a system error: Also, sometimes a glitch in Windows can cause the PIN to get stuck in an unusable greyed out state.
So in most cases, the PIN getting greyed out is a security measure by Windows or your network admins. You just need to get it reset properly.
Remove and Re-enable the Greyed Out PIN
To remove the greyed out PIN and get the PIN sign-in working again, follow these simple steps:
First, remove the existing PIN:
- Click the Start Menu and type “netplwiz” and select the User Accounts shortcut that appears.
- Then, in the User Accounts window, click the user account that has the greyed out PIN.
- Uncheck the “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” option.
- Then, click Apply. This will remove the existing PIN entirely.
Once you’ve removed the PIN in netplwiz, you need to sign out and log back in:
- Click the Start Menu and select the Power button near the user profile icon.
- Then, click Sign Out.
- Then, at the lock screen, click Sign in and re-enter your account password to log back in.
This resets the account state so the PIN can be recreated.
Now you can set a new PIN:
- Open Settings and go to Accounts.
- Click Sign-in options from the left pane.
- Then, under PIN, click the Add button.
- Enter a new 4-digit PIN and click OK.
- Then, restart your computer.
The PIN sign-in option should now be enabled and working again!
Troubleshooting Greyed Out PIN Issues
If resetting the PIN using the steps above doesn’t work, here are a few other things to try:
- Make sure you are signed into Windows with a Microsoft Account, not a Local Account. The PIN sign-in will not work for local accounts.
- Check if your network administrators have disabled the PIN sign-in option through group policy settings. You’ll need to consult them to re-enable it.
- Try using Microsoft’s PIN Reset Tool to entirely reset the PIN security for your account.
- As a last resort, you can create a new user profile with a Microsoft Account and migrate your data and settings. The new profile should have a functioning PIN option.
- For other errors, you may need help from Microsoft Support to troubleshoot and fix the issue.
Following these troubleshooting tips should help you remove the greyed out PIN and get the convenient PIN sign-in option working properly again on Windows 11.
Having your Windows PIN become greyed out and unusable can be annoying. But in most cases, you can get it working again by simply removing the old PIN and setting a new one using the steps outlined above. Just remember to sign out and back in after removing the PIN, and double check that you are using a Microsoft account. With a few quick steps, you’ll be securely logging into your Windows device via PIN again.