What Is Windows Hello?

All you need to know about Microsoft's biometric security system

Windows Hello is Microsoft's biometrics security that uses facial and fingerprint recognition or a PIN number to make it easy to log in to your Windows 10 devices. Here's how Windows Hello works, and how it could improve your Microsoft account security.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

What is Windows Hello and How Does It Work?

With Windows Hello, you could log into your computer or other Windows 10 device up to three times faster than you can by using a password. Although you can create and keep a PIN as a backup, Windows 10 has multiple ways to recognize you and give you instant access to your system.

Windows Hello uses biometrics to identify and authenticate users. Biometrics analyze and measure specific, unique human characteristics as an extremely secure way to identify someone. For instance, not even identical twins share identical fingerprints. Microsoft Hello technology utilizes these distinct identifiers as authentication.

Windows Hello Pin, Face, and Fingerprint Options

Windows 10 offers 6 different login methods, including 3 Windows Hello options, which are:

  • Windows Hello Face: Uses a specially-configured camera to authenticate and unlock Windows devices.
  • Windows Hello Fingerprint: Scans your fingerprint.
  • Windows Hello PIN: An alternative password that is tied to the device.

How to Set up Windows Hello Face

Use Windows 10 face recognition to teach Windows to recognize your face.

  1. Type hello into the Windows Search box and select Open under Set Up Face Sign-in.

    Screenshot of Set up face sign-in
  2. Select Windows Hello Face > Set Up.

    Screenshot of Windows Hello Face Set Up
  3. Select Get Started.

    Screenshot of Get Started in Windows Hello Setup

    If you have already set up a PIN, you must enter it to continue setup.

  4. Make sure your face is centered in the frame and complete the setup.

    Screenshot of Windows Hello Face setup

How to Set up Windows Hello Fingerprint

If you have a fingerprint reader installed, you can use the biometric fingerprint option to sign in to Windows 10 quickly.

  1. Type fingerprint into the Windows Search box and select Open under Set Up Fingerprint Sign-in.

    Screenshot of Set up fingerprint sign-in
  2. Select Windows Fingerprint > Set Up.

  3. Select Get Started.

    If you have already set up a PIN, you must enter it to continue setup.

  4. Scan your finger on the fingerprint reader and complete the setup.

    Screenshot of Hello Fingerprint setup

How to Set up Windows Hello PIN

A PIN you create provides a secure backup login option. It is also a secure and fast option if Windows Hello Face and Windows Hello Fingerprint are not available on your computer.

  1. Type sign in into the Windows Search box and select Open under Set Up Sign-in Options.

    Screenshot of Sign-in Options in search results
  2. Under PIN, select Add

    Screenshot of PIN in Sign-in Options
  3. Verify your account password if prompted. Enter and Confirm the PIN you want to use, then select OK.

    Screenshot of Set up a PIN window