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How to set up Windows Hello in Windows 10

Windows Hello is a nifty feature for Windows 10 allowing biometric security on your PC with facial or fingerprint logins. This requires either a fingerprint scanner or a special camera array, such as the Intel RealSense ones.

With a fingerprint sensor or a special camera, either built-in or an external one like the Intel developer kit, you'll be able to set up Windows Hello to log you into your computer without having to enter a password, verify your identity, login to some apps or even complete purchases in the Store.

It's very easy to set up, so here's how to do it.

It's important to note that without the necessary hardware you won't see the options to set up Windows Hello.

  1. In the settings app click on accounts.

Windows Hello

  1. Click on sign-in options in the sidebar.
  2. You need to set up a PIN code before you're allowed to use Windows Hello. Once you've added this, the option for Hello will unlock.

Windows Hello

  1. You'll now see which options are available to set up under Windows Hello.

Windows Hello

  1. Click on "Get started."
  2. The next steps will differ depending on whether you're adding a face or a fingerprint.

You'll either have to look at your camera in a certain way or lift and reseat your finger on the fingerprint scanner until the PC has recorded it. With facial recognition, you have the option to re-run it to make the recognition better, and with fingerprints, you can simply go back and add more.

And that's all there is to it. After following these steps you'll be set up with face recognition on Windows Hello.

How to set up Windows Hello from the Lock screen on Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Updated May 28, 2018: Updated to reflect the latest Windows 10 April Update.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

81 Comments
  • This on a Surface phone,yeah.
  • Thanks barrey Allen!!
  • And Lumia flagship..
  • That's what the iris scanner on the Lumia flagships are for.
  • I never understood why people here seem obsessed with the concept of a Surface phone. It doesn't make sense. It would be just a different design on the outside.
  • It should work on Surface Pro 3 :(
  • It will work on the Surface Pro 3. Once you plug in one of the cameras shown in the top image. Surface Pro 3 doesn't have the necessary hardware. That's just the way it goes.
  • How much? I mean that external camera..
  • 99 bucks from Intel.
  • Are they only built by Intel, or are there other manufacturers, too?
  • The technology is Intels. But other people will no doubt license it.
  • The camera pictured above is the creative labs one. This one as well as an Intel branded one are available through their dev site. 
  • Why should it? it's not like Microsoft parterned with Intel to put that special camera into the Surface Pro 3. I'm not even sure the camera was officially available at the time the pro 3 was released.
  • Bought a Dell 5548. Upgraded to Win 10. Didn't work until I went to Intel's site and downloaded the software. Dell didn't even have it. But it is nice. Set it up in a pitch black room., just to check out the IR. Worked like a charm.
  • Yeah the Intel downloads are probably the best way to guarantee you get everything working.
  • Well I watched trick in YouTube a week ago.. And it works beautifully... In Android you can use a photo of person and unlock but in Windows Hello I cannot ..
  • That's been around since Android 4.0 ;-)
  • That was 2D... And in Windows there was a application named Luxand Blink... That also helps you to log in to Windows by your face since ages
  • thats because windows hello takes an actual 3D model of your face and uses that to unlock the computer. Much more secure than using a photo.
  • I thought it also used infrared to help establish that the image is actually alive. Sure you can probably fake that too but it seems it would take more effort than most normal people would care to exert.
  • I've been unlocking with my face on Windows for years, but Windows Hello is a whole different beast.
  • Why wouldn't Windows Hello be compatible with Kinect? Seriously, Microsoft. smh
  • I don't know exactly what's inside Kinect but there's 2 cameras (one regular, one IR) and one IR Laser projector in the RealSense set up. I assume that's what's required and that Kinect doesn't have that?
  • I mean, I don't know the technical or programming side of things either, but if Microsoft can have facial recognition auto-sign in via Kinect on Xbox One, surely they can do the same for Kinect on Windows 10.
  • You just said it yourself, you don't know the technical or programming side of it. You don't know the differences between the Kinect and this camera, nor so we know the implications of what would happen if MS allowed the Kinect to handle this. It's sold as a security feature, not an easy way to sign in like the Kinect is. Can't have your company being liable for the Kinect possibly not working in this situation.
  • From what i understand, realsense is developed from scratch to work with short distance while you have to be at a distance with kinect for it to work.
  • Clearly the Kinect technology could be used this way.  It already does on XBox.  I assume that it's a matter of cost and market demand.  Kinect isn't exactly cheap or small enough for most devices so perhaps MS feels that the demand isn't high enough to allocate the resources needed to make Windows Hello work with Kinect (and other) APIs.  I agree that it would be nice to see Kinect or a smaller cheaper spin off of Kinect work with Windows Hello at some point though.
  • I'm thinking it doesn't work with Kinect 2 because they changed technology to "Time Of Flight". Technically, it sounds compatible with Kinect 1 (didn't that also have RGB, IR, IR Projector?), but that is no longer supported after Apple purchased PrimeSense. While owning 2 Kinect 1s and 2 Kinect 2s, I'm more than a little annoyed with having to buy another depth camera. However, if the resolution is better for 3d scanning/modelling on the RealSense, I'll buy it immediately...
  • So no standalone webcams out yet it seems.  Damn, was looking forward to trying this.
  • Intel sells a developer kit camera for $99, but they claim you need a least a 4th Gen Intel CPU for it to work.
  • Correct. 4th Gen Intel CPU, 4GB of RAM, Windows 8.1 (or 10 in this case) 64-bit, USB 3.0 port
  • So no AMD cpus supported?
  • Would like to know that, too. AMD ftw :D
  • not necessarily true - it works fine on my 3rd gen i5-3570k cpu and asrock extreme4 motherboard.
  • Thanks... I was on their site, they should list that. 
  • Yeah I only know because it's on the back of the box! I bought it not knowing.
  • FYI, it doesn't actually need a 4th Gen processor, I have a 2nd Gen i5 and mine works perfectly. That's probably a requirement for the developer side of this. It would be good for people to know this information, Intel should clarify this. What it does need is a 3.0 USB port.
  • http://click.intel.com/intel-realsense-developer-kit.html if anyone is looking for it.
  • Do you have a link for tech specs? I couldn't find them on the intel site...
  • See link for technical specs. https://software.intel.com/en-us/realsense/devkit    
  • i heard some chatter on the intel forums that it *might* depend on your USB 3.0 chipset - FWIW
  • My thoughts exactly. I'm surprised that for the launch of Windows 10 Microsoft haven't made sure there is a range of 3 or 4 compatible webcams ready on the market.
  • S​ince it requires a pin, I guess it can't be used for enterprise active directory logins. A shame since it would have been a good feature to attract businesses to windows 10.
  • Works on AD login. It actually does your credentials and SMS them for you when using a PIN.
  • Excellent! Thanks! ​
  • But can this camera be used for anything other than Hello?
  • Developers can build apps for it
  • Can you use it as a webcam?
  • Yep. I just did a Skype video call.
  • Cortana. You don't need an additional mix, since it has a dual mix array which picks up your voice very clearly.
  • Whoever voted this Cortana comment down probably didn't understand the context. The microphone that comes with these cameras is fantastic, and works flawlessly with Hey Cortana voice activation.
  • Probably the biggest feature of RealSense cameras (besides Windows Hello and traditional webcam / video calling use) is "scanning" of 3D objects. You could then take the 3D scan, make a few modifications and send it to a 3D printer. And now that I'm thinking of it, you probably could do the same thing and drop your 3D model into a Hololens application.
  • Aside these minor benefits are there any others if adding this camera to a desktop PC? Was considering upgrading my old Logitech 720p webcam if this one's substantially better. But if it's to save 0.05 seconds to sign into my PC forget it.
  • It's a really good camera, and besides using its mix for Cortana, you can use your hands or face to control some apps, there's stuff being developed (there's some games available, actually).
  • Just need to be able to by a webcam with this for my desktop. And not something that's a developer kit.
  • Indeed. Also I hope that thee will be others, who will build then, because Intel probably require one of their chips to run all that, won't they?
  • The developer kit is actually just a way to get the camera as it's not yet available commercially. It will probably soon be.
  • this CREATIVE logo is right there on my speakers too. I was under impression Intel manufactured it.
  • Intel partnered with Creative to produce the developer kit.
  • A feature which is usable or required only for a tiny fraction of the market, which is a security nightmare and a me-too thing without current hardware gets delivered in time, but enhancements to the central UI paradigm (tiles) or installing apps on SD are pushed to ... when, exactly? Seriously, this is just embarrassing.
  • What part exactly is a security nightmare? The Windows Hello/Passport feature is meant to be an improvement in security, together with ease of use.
  • How can you hide your face?
  • Put a bag over your face. Seriously though, why would you need to hide your face if you're in front of your computer. My understanding is that when it can no longer detect your face, it locks your device. What's more secure than that considering many people are too lazy to select Win+L when walking away from their device?
  • If you refer to auto-unlock when sitting in front of the computer, there's an option for that. In any case, it works like a lockscreen password, only one that no one else can have.
    Also, it can probably be setup so it locks the computer when not in front of it, though it's not stupid-proof like every security measure that allows a degree of freedom.
  • WHat if I put my lifesize photo of face?
  • What's embarrassing is that long, run on sentence you posted. What are you talking about?  
  • I want this so badly but the external RealSense cameras are quite costly.
  • Only about the same price as a decent quality, higher end webcam. My Logitech C920 cost about this a couple years ago.
  • I would have bought it if I was economically independent. But since I am just 16 and still dependant on my dad for money, I don't think I should ask him for $120 to by a fancy webcam (that's what he will call it). :P
  • Damnit, and I just bought the C920 in the Amazon Prime sale :(
  • Is the Intel RealSense camera will be available on July 29 launch? Is it worldwide?
  • This one is already available. We bought a few. It will be in some new laptops, too.
  • I hope that Microsoft makes a LifeCam with a 1080p60 Realsense camera so I can use that on my desktop! I am guessing this will be in the 4th gen Surfaces (to bad the Surface 3 doesn't have one)!
  • So a normal webcam dont work. Can't see this to be a hit then.
  • Shame there are not more hardware partners available at this time.
  • When I try to add Windows Hello - Biometric finger login in Win10, it was not working?.  But before update  I had used HP client security finger login.  My laptop is HP probook 450 g 1 (I5). Please help me... 
  • Hi, I want to set Windows Hello for my Lumia 730 mobile, as per instructions in "Settings->Accounts->Sign-In Options"  i am not getting the option to set a "Windows Hello" for the lock screen.Can you please suggest me how to set a Windows Hello to my mobile and i upgraded my mobile from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
  • Hi, I want to set Windows Hello for my windows 10 laptop, as per instructions in "Settings->Accounts->Sign-In Options"  i am not getting the option to set a "Windows Hello" for the lock screen.Can you please suggest me how to set a Windows Hello to my laptop and i upgraded my laptop from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
  • Guys help me out here, can surface pro 2 internal camera with windows 10 setup Windows Hello???? i will download whatever drivers it needs.
  • Sir i have problem ,my windows hello is not working Before i used windows hello feature , i download a software called #Destroy Windows 10 Spying Rollup edition that is the link i download it {http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/destroy_windows_10_spying.html } after that i run this software it says restart it than i do the same as application says. After restart over Windows Hello Didnt recognize me and i check it my system =https://i.stack.imgur.com/YAskF.png ---Please Help me fix my problem i will be really happy.   Sir I m using Dell Inspiron 13 5368 2-in-1
  • I want to use my MS Lumia950 to sign in and unlock my Windows 10 pro laptop, anyone knows if there is a app for it? I already use my Lumia 950 to lock my laptop when leaving it with my Lumia 950 which is in contact by Bluetooth with Dynamic-lock! On my Lumia 950 it works very fine to logon with Windows Hello.