It’s not just for iPhone users. By simply staring through the webcam on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 laptop, you may log in. Have you recently received a new Windows 11 laptop as a present? If that’s the case, there’s a hands-free method for unlocking your laptop that you should attempt. Although many people associate facial recognition with the iPhone’s FaceID, Microsoft was the first to use it with Windows Hello. Hello employs facial recognition to get you in and working in under two seconds using the built-in webcam on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 laptop or tablet. It also works with Dropbox, Chrome, and OneDrive, allowing you to avoid entering in a password.
Unfortunately, not every webcam will work with Windows Hello. Your laptop webcam will need an infrared (IR) camera to use the feature, which are more common in new laptops and two-in-ones from the past couple of years, including those from Dell, Lenovo and Asus. If you’re not ready for a new laptop, you can opt to buy a supported external webcam like Logitech’s Brio 4K Pro, Dell’s 4K UltraSharp or Lenovo’s 500 FHD. Free Microsoft Office? Yes, you can really get Word, Excel and PowerPoint for $0. Why is my PC running so slow? 3 common causes and how to fix them yourself. If you’re not entirely sure what, if any, Windows Hello support your computer has, it’s very easy to check. Using the Windows search bar — typically located at the lower left of your screen or press the Windows key plus S — type “sign-in options.” You can also ask Cortana for sign-in options if you have it activated.
Once you click through to set it up, you’ll hit a “Welcome to Windows Hello” screen, which simply gives you the last chance to back out of setting it up. Don’t worry, though: If you decide you don’t want to use face recognition, you can delete the profile later. Click the “Get started” button and the IR camera will turn on and scan your face. Just keep looking directly at the camera until the blue status bar below your picture finishes. It takes just a couple of seconds to finish as long as you keep your head still and looking at the camera. Once it completes, you’re given the option to improve recognition by running the IR camera scan again. You should do this if you regularly wear glasses or a hat so you can run the scan with those things on and off. Or run it with your head at slightly different angles while still looking at the camera as well as in dark and bright lighting.
Once you’re on the sign-in options screen, you’ll see the Windows Hello options available to you. If your system’s webcam supports face recognition, you’ll see the option to set it up (likewise if you have a supported fingerprint sensor). Click “Set up” and you’re on your way. Note that if the “Set up” button is grayed out, it’s because you must set up a system password before you can use other sign-in options. On the same screen, you click the Add button under the Password heading and create a password (or a PIN for Windows 11). Once that’s done, your Windows Hello options should no longer be grayed out.
After that, you’ll be asked to set up a PIN if you haven’t already logged into Windows, if for some reason Hello is not available or is having trouble recognizing your face — a pretty rare experience in my testing if you did a couple of face scans. First, you’ll be asked to enter your system password, and then you’ll be asked to create a PIN, which cannot be the same as your password.