Overview#Windows Credential Provider is an interface within the Windows SDK to allow the Windows Client Authentication Architecture to be customized by implementing and registering a Windows Credential Provider with Winlogon.
Windows Credential Provider are the primary Authentication Mechanism for user authentication for Windows 10 and are currently are the only method for users to prove their identity which is required for logon and other system authentication scenarios. With Windows 10 and the introduction of Microsoft Passport, Windows Credential Providers are more important than ever; they will be used for authentication into apps, websites, and more.
Windows Credential Provider is used when Winlogon wants to obtain credentials, the Windows Logon UI queries each Windows Credential Provider for the number of credentials that it wishes to enumerate. After all Windows Credential Providers have enumerated their "tiles", the Logon UI displays them to the user. The user then interacts with a "tile" to supply the necessary credentials. The Logon UI submits these credentials for authentication.
Multiple Windows Credential Providers can be installed on a single machine and Each Windows Credential Provider may have multiple Authentication Mechanisms referred to as "Tiles" when presented to the user.
System Credential Providers#Microsoft provides a variety of Windows Credential Providers referred to as "system credential providers" as part of Windows, such as
- Smart Card
- Windows Hello (Fingerprint recognition, Facial recognition, and Iris recognition).