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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Disabling accessibility features on the Welcome Screen for Windows XP

As I said before, one of the first thing I do when I install WinXP is to disable the accessibility features. However this is a per user setting and I would like to disable it on the welcome screen also.

This is especially useful for the default setup I do: an administrative user and a limited user. The system is set to automatically log in to the limited user, and if you want to prevent this, you have to hold down the SHIFT key, which could result in StickyKeys to be activated for the Welcome Screen. Below are two ways to disable this:

First, the hard way:

  1. Find the SID for the System account. The easiest way I know of is using PsGetSid: psgetsid.exe SYSTEM
  2. Open a registry editor and navigate to HKEY_USERS\[the SID from the previous step]\Control Panel\Accessibility
  3. Use the values enumerated in this article to customize your settings.

Now, the easy way:

  1. Get PsExec.
  2. Run the command: psexec.exe -x c:\windows\system32\control.exe
  3. Go to the Winlogon desktop (the Welcome Screen) by doing Start -> Log Off -> Switch User. You should see the Control Panel displayed and you can change the settings the way you would like them.

PS. This second way makes the Welcome Screen disappear. Don't worry, you will get it back after the next reboot.


  1. have you considered building a special xp install cd with nlite that simply doesn't have the accessibility tools on it in the first place?

  2. Interesting idea, however for me it would be more trouble than it's worth (I don't really keep around the ISO files, but download them when they are needed from the MSDNAA).