This is something that we use every day. It is a short little trick to login with a local user account instead of a domain account. By default, when a username is entered into a domain-joined machine, and there is also a local account with the same name, the domain account will take precedence. We keep coming across people that don’t know this little trick, so we thought it would be worthwhile sharing.
After the computer is added to the Active Directory domain, you can sign in under the domain or local user account. In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 on the login screen, there is a drop-down list “Log on to“, in which you can choose whether you want to log in under the domain account or using local user (select “this computer”).
However, in newer versions of Windows, this drop-down menu no longer exists. Instead of this, a user is facing with a small button How to log on to another domain which appears near list on the domain-joined computers logon screen. If you click this button, the following tip will appear:
Type domain name\domain user name to sign in to another domain.
Type PKZ-TSZI01KZ1\local user name to sign in to this PC only (not a domain)
As you can see, the message contains the name of your PC (PKZ-TSZI01KZ1 in our case). If you want to login with a local account, for example, Administrator, type in PKZ-TSZI01KZ1\Administrator in User name field and type the password. Of course, if your computer name is quite long, its input can be a real challenge!
Fortunately, there is a simple trick that allows you to log in under a local account.
Login with Local Account
Windows uses the dot as the alias symbol for the local computer. In the username field simply enter .\ and the domain below will disappear and switch to your local computer name.
Then simply finish filling out your username after the .\ and it will use the local account with that username.
You can also type the computer name followed by a backslash and the username and it will accomplish the same thing.
This way you can logon to a local account on a domain-joined computer on all Windows versions starting from Windows Vista an ending with Windows 10/Windows Server 2016.
Tip. The same trick can be used when you need to use the local user credential when accessing the shared folder over the network (using SMB protocol).