Default NumLock State

I’m a NumLock OFF girl, myself. See, when I started using computers, keyboards didn’t have dedicated arrows, you had to navigate using the arrows on the number pad. Now, a couple of years later 🙂 the habit is well ingrained. My husband and I spent years changing the NumLock back and forth on our home computers.

I was very happy when I found out the Windows XP default NumLock state was OFF!

I win!

Then, a client asked me how to set the default state to ON. Since I never wanted to do that, I asked my favorite IT guy how to do it. He started talking about the bios and the registry and then my eyes glazed over and I started to hear the ocean – or a Prius, I’m not really sure.

There had to be a simpler way. And there is. The NumLock state can be set differently for each user profile in Windows XP. Here’s how to set the default NumLock state to ON:

1. While logged in, set the NumLock to ON.
2. Click the START button and select “Log Off” (the second option from the bottom).
3. Select “Log Off” again (NOT switch user)
4. You should see a message which reads “Saving your settings” as the computer logs off.
5. After log off is complete, you should see a message which reads: “To begin, click your user name”
6. When you do, you should see a message which reads: “Loading your personal settings”

The NumLock should automatically turn on all by itself!

It should stay set to ON until or unless someone LOGS OFF with a different NumLock state active. Shutting down without logging off shouldn’t change the NumLock setting.

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