Windows PIN vs Password - What's the Difference

Oliver updated on Jul 01, 2024 | Home > Knowledge Center

When it comes to securing personal data on your Windows PC, you can choose to log in with a password or a PIN. You can also enable them both according to your needs.

However, do you know the difference between PIN and password? In this comprehensive article from EaseUS, we will explore the distinctions between them and help you determine which is more suitable for your needs.

Before learning the differences between Windows PIN and password, you should know their concept first.

What is a Windows PIN

PIN stands for "Personal Identification Number." A Windows PIN is a numerical code, typically four to six digits long. (You can also enable letters and symbols in PIN setup.) It is a part of the Windows Hello feature. PIN is designed to provide a more convenient and user-friendly way to log in to users' Windows devices.

Unlike passwords, PIN is tied to a specific device, which means it serves the one and only local device that you set for. Windows Hello PIN is backed by a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a specialized security chip integrated into modern computers and devices. When you log in with a PIN, the TPM verifies your credentials and grants access to your device. This means no one can obtain your Windows Hello PIN through online attacks.

What is a Windows Password

A Windows password is a traditional form of authentication that consists of a string of characters, including letters, numbers, and symbols. It is used to protect your user account and prevent unauthorized access to your Windows system and data in it. You can set your password as complex and long as you want. A combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters for example.

Windows password is linked to the Microsoft account so it works across devices and services. When you use password to log in to the Windows system, it will be verified via the stored credentials. That is to say a Windows password can be used to access online services and accounts beyond just the local device.

In addition, Microsoft password supports additional security features like two-factor authentication (2FA), AKA two-step verification. This provides extra security against brute-force attacks, where attackers attempt to access your PC by guessing the password through trial and error.

🚩Read Also: How to use two-step verification with your Microsoft account

Windows PIN vs Password: Understanding the Differences

Both password and PIN have their own advantages and weaknesses when it comes to security. Below, I listed certain main differences between those two security measures. From the portability to recovery options, you can see the major distinctions of these two Windows security methods:

Comparison Windows PIN Windows Password
Portability Works only on one device. Linked to the Microsoft account, thus can be used universally across multiple devices.
Complexity Typically shorter, often 4-6 digits, but you can choose "Include letters and symbols." Can be long and complex, including a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Security Method Stored on the local device, often backed by TPM for encryption. Stored and transmitted over the network for authentication.
Vulnerability If the device is physically stolen, brute force cracking may bypass the PIN. Vulnerable to phishing, brute-force attacks, and network interception.
Recovery Options

Limited to the specific device;

Reset PIN via Microsoft account.

Recover by answering security questions;

Reset the Microsoft account password.

Many users believe that PIN is not as secure as password, but Microsoft and many companies suggest that PIN is more secure than passwords. However, as you can see, both Windows PIN and password have their own strength and weaknesses. Which one is safer for securing your device and data depends on the specific environment and scenarios you are in.

Besides PIN and password, Windows also provides biometric authentication features like Facial recognition and Fingerprint recognition for certain devices. You can also set up MFA for your Microsoft account to provide multiple protections for your account. These features greatly enhance the security of your device and account.

Don't forget to share this page on your social media to let more people know the difference between PIN and password.


Additional Tip: How to Remove Forgotten Windows PIN/Password

If you accidentally forgot the Windows PIN or password of your computer, or they suddenly are not working, you'll need a way to reset them so that you can access the Windows desktop. Is there any tool that can reset your PIN/password without logging into Windows?

The answer is YES! EaseUS Partition Master Professional Professional offers an additional feature that can detect the password or PIN you set up for your device. After then, you can easily reset it with one simple click.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

With its clear interface, you can bypass the login screen even if you are a Windows beginner. Follow the instructions here to use this password-removal tool:

Step 1. Connect the USB drive/external drive to a working computer, open EaseUS Partition Master (RE), and click "Create Bootable Media."

epm re interface

Step 2. Select EaseUS Boot Toolkits and other components you need. Then, click "Next."


Step 3. Select your movable device and click "Go" to create an image on your USB drive/external drive.


Step 4. Before making the bootable media, you will receive the warning message: data will be erased. Click "OK" to confirm.

data will be erased

Step 5. Connect the created bootable drive to the faulty computer and reboot it by pressing and holding "F2"/"Del" to enter the BIOS. Then, set the WinPE bootable drive as the boot disk and press "F10" to exit.


Step 6. Then, the computer will enter WinPE desktop. Find and launch Password Reset.


Step 7. Select your Windows version and choose the Windows account you want to reset.


Step 8. When this prompts, click "Confirm" to continue resetting your Windows password.


Step 9. Wait patiently, and you will receive an message that the password has been changed successfully. Click "OK" to complete the password reset process.


If you encounter a similar situation below, click on the link to find the corresponding solution.


This article introduces Windows PIN and password and compares them comprehensively. It is hard to tell which is safer when it comes to securing your device because each user uses their system under different scenarios. Therefore, the safest means is to set up more complex (but memorable) passwords and PINs for your device and configure an MFA for extra protection.

You can also use a third-party tool like EaseUS Partition Master to reset the forgotten password or PIN and then access your Windows computer if you forget it.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

FAQs on Windows PIN vs Password

Below are some questions and answers related to DirectStorage.

1. Are PINs better than passwords?

PINs and passwords all have their own strengths and disadvantages. Therefore, to ensure the most security for your device, you can set them both up with complex codes and enable 2FA.

2. Can I use Windows 10 without a password or PIN?

Yes, you can enable Windows auto login without a password or PIN. However, it is not recommended because this means anyone can access your device without any effort.

3. How do I turn off the PIN?

Follow the steps here to turn off PIN on your PC:

  • Click the Start menu and open Settings.
  • Go to "Accounts" > "Sign-in options" > "PIN (Windows Hello)."
  • Click "Remove" to disable the PIN.

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Updated by Oliver

Oliver is an EaseUS professional writer who dares explore new areas. With a passion for solving tech issues with straightforward guides for common users, Oliver keeps honing his writing craft by developing in-depth solutions for disk and partition management, computer boot-up issues, file transfer, etc.

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