One of my biggest annoyances in the move to Windows 7 is the loss of the drop down box for whether to login to a local account or a domain account. When you spend your life as a computer technician and constantly need to get access to local administrator accounts in addition to domain-based accounts, this is very irritating.

For a computer bound to a domain in Windows XP the login box looked like this:

When I need to login as the local computer’s administrator it was as easy as changing the Log on to: box.

Now I can login as a local administrator and complete the work I need to do.

For a computer bound to the domain in Windows 7 you get this:

There is no longer a quick way to login to the local account. Unless you know the computer’s hostname 1 you had to click the “How do I log on to another domain?” link.

Then write down or remember the name.

I have found a faster way. If you type .\ in front of the user name, it will automatically set the Windows 7 computer to login to the local PC.

For example, .\administrator will give you localcomputer\administrator instead of domain\administrator.

Now, instead of having to remember a long, convoluted name, you have this:

This is easier than trying to recall hostnames or making little notes at every computer I access where I need to login locally.

  1. Usually something like the machine’s serial number, user’s last name or some other long, hard to remember set of characters