I am looking for a program that allows me to login to any user on my computer via a USB. This means that I also get an option to insert my USB key when I am asked to select the user normally.


  • (aka free)
  • Not replace the standard Windows login screen, it should be an extra icon or similar
  • Must lock the computer as soon as the USB is taken out (possibly a short delay of 10-20 seconds)
  • Runs on Windows 7 (64 bit)
  • Gives you the option to type in a short 4-6 digit pin on insertion

Bonuses (not required!):

  • Logs into the account that corresponds to the pin (above)
  • Emergency password if the pin (above) is not remembered
  • Doesn't require the USB to be completely emptied / formatted
  • Allows the USB to be in any format (eg. NTFS not FAT32)
  • 1
    If you are planning to use normal USB flash drives for this, you should be warned that it's not going to be very secure. The most you'll be able to do with a flash drive is either use the drive's serial number, or put a file on the drive, either of which could be easily copied or possibly even spoofed. May 26, 2014 at 15:11
  • @MichaelKohne TBH I'm just looking for this on my personal computer, and having a pin after inserting the USB is some sort of security... May 26, 2014 at 15:14
  • I have found a possible answer serverfault.com/questions/158404/…
    – Virusboy
    Jun 5, 2014 at 6:50
  • @Virusboy There a a lot of answers there... Which one are you referring to? I can't find one that doesn't require you to buy something... Jun 5, 2014 at 16:14
  • Namely the first answer and the last answer. I know they don't recommend anything, but it does give you some ideas of what would need to be done.
    – Virusboy
    Jun 5, 2014 at 19:53

4 Answers 4


I finally found a program to do this, I'll post it here in case anyone in the future looks for a similar program (for free).


VSUsbLogon allows to login Windows in a secure way via USB device, replacing the password based Windows login. You don’t need to remember and type your Windows password (but your system is still password protected). Users can be automatically logged into Windows as they insert the USB flash drive into the USB port. VSUsbLogon allows you to use PIN code to login Windows when USB device has been connected.

  • Free
  • Doesn't replace standard Windows login screen
  • Locks computer (or shutdown, log off, hibernate, standby, restart) when USB is removed
  • Runs on Windows Vista and 7 (32 bit and 64 bit)
  • Allows to enter a pin on insertion
  • Logs into account corresponding to pin
  • Doesn't require USB to be completely empty / formatted
  • USB can be in any format

Even more bonuses:

  • You can use your phone, iPods etc. as the USB - you only need something that has a USB connection
  • Secure:

    All user data are encrypted via AES 256 algorithm. And all user data are encrypted with using unique encryption key that is dependent from the unique user settings.

  • Easy to install, just like a normal program
  • Doesn't slow computer boot up (in my experience)

Screenshots via website:

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My USBLogon is another software that fits into your requirements scheme:

  • Free, no ads
  • Simple user interface
  • Locks/Shuts down computer/logs off user upon removal of the USB drive
  • Set-up of an arbitrary PIN code for each USB drive possible
  • Logs on user automatically if set up without PIN code
  • Login tile can be hidden from Windows login UI
  • Runs on Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1 and 10 (both 32- and 64-bit)
  • Does not replace standard Windows login
  • USB drive can be any format; does not delete files


enter image description here

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  • 1
    Thanks! This is a nice alternative :) +1 Jan 28, 2017 at 23:40

I think Predator is what you are looking for. It has many features, which will help you.
What I like most of this software is it doesn't completely integrate with Windows system files. I just run as an application. It's light weight. It has an alarm option.

To get most security out of it, I recommend to

  • have your Windows account password protected
  • enable Always required option for password in Predator. So you have to provide the password and USB to unlock.
  • enable to start with Windows option in Predator. It's in Advanced Settings tab of Predator
  • Set Read and Write to lowest in Predator. So that it'll activate its lock mechanism as soon as you remove your USB.

What I don't like about this software is even you are locked by this software, you can still shutdown, restart, or switch to other user by typing Ctrl+Alt+Del. Fortunately locked person can't access the Task Manager.

It allows you the option to enter pin on USB insertion in free version.

Doesn't completely integrate means, it doesn't lock your user account upon USB removal. You are still logged in. Your Windows user session is still active. It just makes your screen black and you can't run any application. Ctrl+Alt+Del still works, but you won't see a link to Task Manger in it.

It works as any other start-up application. So USB and PIN doesn't require you to start your computer. After you come to your Desktop screen by entering password for your Windows account (if you have any), Predator will start like any other software in your start-up. At this point, if your USB is not plugged in it'll lock your system (make a complete black screen). So according to your processor speed and number of start-up application it may take some seconds to minute to start the Predator at start-up.

  • 1
    Welcome to Software Recommendations! This post does not contain enough information to be considered a high quality answer. Please read our discussion on what makes an answer high quality to see if you can incorporate some of these improvements into your answer, otherwise it will be removed. Like mention why you're recommending it, anything you don't like about it, list what requested features it does/doesn't match etc. May 27, 2014 at 5:43
  • @Kanhu So it doesn't lock the computer if you take it out, it just makes a black screen which disappears when you put the USB back in? If so, then unfortunately this won't be the option for me. What about the single USB for multiple accounts? When you edit, please comment with my name so I know you've replied, thanks May 27, 2014 at 16:56
  • @shub single USB can for multiple account, I don't know about this. Visually it just makes the screen black and you won't able to start any application even with shortcut key, or any other way. By typing couple of keys, it'll show you an option to enter the password with which you'll able to unlock even without USB.
    – Kanhu
    May 27, 2014 at 17:09
  • @Kanhu Thanks, but the fact that it doesn't actually lock the computer kind of ruins it for me. Thanks for answering but I won't be able to use this, I don't want to be able to open Task Manager after the removing of USB May 27, 2014 at 17:10
  • @shub Yeah. But what stops me using this software personally is that after USB removal one can shut down the system, which will result in data loss that you were working when you removed USB.
    – Kanhu
    May 27, 2014 at 17:20

Rohos Logon Key can lock or unlock your PC using a USB key. It also support face recognition. Available for Windows and Mac.

Here are some Rohos Logon Key features from there site:
*.Regular password-based login can be disabled
*.As USB Key you may use: any USB flash drive, U3 Smart flash drive, SD/MMC memory card, Aladdin eToken, Yubikey, etc
*.Automatic login or unlockwhen USB Key is detected
*. AutomaticWindows lock when user withdraws USB Key from computer. And more options of what you’d like to happen whenever the USB key is removed, such as: Hibernation, activate Screen Saver, Logoff
*.[Unique]Protects your computer even inWindows Safe Modelogin. It is not possible to bypass USB Key security by loading computer into Safe Mode
*.Emergency Logonthat helps to access your system in case you lost USB drive or forgot PIN code
*.Flexible USB Key options: A single Key can be used to log in into multiple computers - OR - A computer can accept only a single Key for login, ignoring stranger keys
*.Rohos Logon seamlessly integrates into any Windows configuration automatically choosing authentication modes
*.Allows to use USB Key to log intoRemote Desktop
disadvantage : non free / Commercial for full functional software.
free version is also available.

  • Sorry, as I said in my requirements, I need this to be free Jun 2, 2014 at 15:56
  • Can you tell the (line) number of that requirement as I don't see it
    – totti
    Jun 2, 2014 at 17:43
  • First requirement - gratis (free). Roll over the gratis tag for more info. Jun 2, 2014 at 18:26
  • @shub Updated with link to free version
    – totti
    Jun 4, 2014 at 1:53
  • Free version does not allow you to enter a pin... Jun 4, 2014 at 7:07

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