Starting Plex Automatically After a Reboot Without Signing In on Windows

Has an automatic Windows update ever broken your connection to your Plex server? For some reason Plex runs under a standard user account and not under a service user. This means that if you reboot your computer the Plex service will not run until you log back in with the user Plex runs under. This is a problem if you’re not at home to sign back in but need to access your Plex media. There is a project someone developed to solve this issue:

However, this isn’t officially supported by Plex, and involves making some configuration changes. I didn’t feel like trying it, so I found a simple workaround on Windows.

Simple Group Policy Modification

There is a predefined group policy that you can enable that will automatically sign in the last interactive user. This is great because it means that if Windows decides to force an automatic update and reboot your Plex server it will start the Plex service after it’s finished rebooting. It also means that if you signed in a different user before the reboot it will load that user instead, so this method won’t work. However, I only have one user that signs into my Plex server so this isn’t a problem. Here’s how to enable this:

  1. Open Group Policy: In the Start menu, search for “Edit group policy”
  2. Find the following policy: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Logon Options
  3. Double click Sign-in and lock last interactive user automatically after a restart
  4. Select Enabled
    Group policy window
  5. Click the OK button

Optional Steps for Better Security When Using Bitlocker

  1. For increased security if you have Bitlocker enabled, you may also want to change another setting in the same Group Policy window: Configure the mode of automatically signing in and locking last interactive user after a restart or cold boot
  2. Choose Enabled
  3. In the drop-down choose Enabled if Bitlocker is on and not suspended
    Group policy window
  4. Click the OK button

Now automatic updates and unexpected reboots won’t mess up your streams!

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