Logging Onto A Local Account With Windows

This is one of those really small things I didn’t realise you could do that’s actually really helpful. It’s one of those things that isn’t really a secret but I’ve just never come across it.

With a Windows XP or Windows 2003 machine that was domain joined if you needed to logon to a local account there was the very helpful dropdown that showed all available domains as well as the local computer account.


Just choose where you want to logon to and away you go.

Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 are a little different. The drop down list isn’t displayed.


if you click the “How do I logon to another domain” link you’ll get a helpful dialog box with the name of the computer listed which you can then manually type.


Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are largely the same.



Having to find the computer name and then type it in is one of those minor inconveniences that waste a few seconds of your day. Winking smile

The solution is to replace the computer name with a dot (or period if you’re from the US)



is just the same as




The PC name is then filled in automatically for you.

If you’ve always known about this you’ll probably wonder what I’m rattling on about it for but as I mentioned earlier it’s the first time I’ve ever come across it. Hopefully it’ll help someone else out too.

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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1 thought on “Logging Onto A Local Account With Windows

  • Another Windows 7 & 8 login thing that gets people confused is around the Administrator account.

    By default any login as administrator logs onto the machine as the hidden default administrator account. You get onto the domain admin, you have to prefix this with the domain name.
    It’s the same with any other account name which may be the same locally as on the domain.

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