Password won’t work at login screen after sleep
Recently, I heard about someone who was away from their computer long enough that it went to sleep. This is both to reduce energy use and to protect the computer from other people prying into your stuff. The latter works by requiring the user’s password when the computer is woken from sleep. Granted, that’s more appropriate for an office, but the feature is often enabled by default even for individual, home users.
The person knows her password, uses it all the time, and yet today, she was unable to regain access to her account. She tried over and over and over again. Even tried variations — all lower case, first letter capitalized, older passwords for good measure — but nothing worked.
My first thoughts were:
- the keyboard layout has been inadvertently changed.
- a Shift, Control, or Num Lock key is stuck in the “on” position.
I have had a lot of headaches with Windows, because the login screen doesn’t always keep the same keyboard layout the user as chosen and it doesn’t always indicate which keyboard layout is in effect. So if your password has letters that have different locations on the keyboard depending on the layout (QWERTY vs. AZERTY vs. QWERTZ, etc.), then you should try (by memory) typing in your password using one of keyboard layouts that might be defined on your system.
There are other options, sometimes, such as pressing Alt-Shift (Windows) to invisibly toggle between available layouts. In some cases, there will be a small, almost unnoticeable indication of what keyboard layout is in effect. Clicking on this might give you other options to choose from. Lastly, you can also try to find the Accessibility options that are available for those who have various disabilities (sight, hearing, missing or unusable limbs, etc.). These options include an On-Screen keyboard which allows you to use the mouse to press keys, but more importantly, it lets you see the keyboard that’s currently defined.