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We are running a Windows domain environment with many PCs that are running Windows XP. Users log on to the PCs with their domain user.

Many users attempt to login, enter their username but then hit Enter to try and move down to the password field. This submits a login process and results in an error saying invalid login (due to no password entered) and ends up with many support calls in about this constantly (we train our users, but it does not always stick).

Is there a way to have something (like Group Policy rules) roll out a change to either disable the Enter key in this situation, or have it act like the Tab key?

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This is a user training issue: You need a bigger bat. – SmallClanger May 18 '12 at 15:59
Sadly we use other major software here where the Enter key does move down to the next field, and training is never going to stick when they do both daily. – JBurace May 18 '12 at 16:03
This is not an expected behavior, though--enter means submit in most applications, as well as on the web forms. This is something they use (hopefully) several times a day, and is not all that difficult to comprehend. – Andrew M. May 18 '12 at 16:25
Unfortunately there are still many major applications that still use the Enter key as Return (even on login screens), thus acting like a Carriage Return. We happen to use one and users login to that more than Windows itself. – JBurace May 18 '12 at 16:33
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is no built in method (Group Policy or otherwise) that will let you alter the default behavior of the login screen. You can, however, write your own Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) component to replace the default. Custom GINAs are typically written in unmanaged C++. This link can help you get started:

If you're not down with that, you might want explore an alternative logon method, like smart card authentication.

Sidenote: GINA was replaced in Windows Vista and later with the Credential Provider API:

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