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Login vs. Logon: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 4, 2023
"Login" often refers to a combination of username and password, while "Logon" is the action or process of gaining access to a computer or system.

Key Differences

"Login" and "Logon" are terms frequently used interchangeably, but subtle differences exist between them. "Login" is commonly used to denote the credentials - a combination of a username and password - that a user provides to access a system. "Logon," on the other hand, often signifies the actual process or action of entering a system or network.
One might think of "Login" as the key, and "Logon" as the action of using that key to enter a room. While both terms imply gaining access, "Login" emphasizes the information aspect, and "Logon" emphasizes the activity aspect.
In software interfaces and user documentation, the word "Login" is frequently seen preceding input fields where users are expected to provide their access credentials. "Logon," conversely, might be seen as a button label or as a system message indicating that a user is in the process of accessing the system.
The variations in usage might also be regional. In some contexts or regions, "Login" might be preferred over "Logon" and vice versa. Regardless of these nuances, the fundamental concept behind both words remains the same: they're related to accessing a system or service.

Comparison Chart

Primary Meaning

Credentials (username/password)
Process of gaining access

Usage in Interface

Often seen near input fields
Commonly seen on buttons


Information aspect
Activity aspect

Common Context

"Enter your login details."
"Please wait, logon in progress."


Both noun and verb

Login and Logon Definitions


Login refers to a user's credentials.
He forgot his login details.


Logon is the act of accessing a system.
The logon process was quick today.


Login often pairs with "password".
Enter your username and login password.


Logon emphasizes the entry action.
Your logon attempt has been recorded.


Login can be used as an identifier.
The system recognizes her login.


Logon can refer to a session's start.
The logon time was 9 AM sharp.


Login is specific information for access.
Your login is case-sensitive.


Logon events can be monitored.
Any suspicious logon activities will be flagged.


Login is essential for user verification.
Without a proper login, access is denied.


Logon might require multifactor authentication.
For security, the logon now needs a fingerprint.


The process of identifying oneself to a computer, usually by entering one's username and password.


Variant of login.


A username.


(computing) A combination of a user's identification and password used to enter a computer.
Using the same logon for different systems can be a security risk.


(computing) A combination of a user's identification and password used to enter a computer, program, network, etc.
I've forgotten my login again.


(computing) The process of logging on.
The user's desktop is displayed shortly after logon.


(computing) The process of logging in.
Your login failed because you weren't connected to the office network.


Misspelling of log on


Can "Login" be used as a verb?

While occasionally used as a verb, "Login" is more commonly a noun.

What's the main emphasis of "Logon"?

"Logon" emphasizes the action or process of accessing a system.

What does "Login" primarily refer to?

"Login" primarily refers to a user's credentials like username and password.

Where might one see "Login" in software?

"Login" is often seen next to input fields for entering credentials.

What's more common - "Login" or "Logon"?

Usage varies, but "Login" is more commonly seen in many contexts.

Are "Login" and "Logon" interchangeable?

While often used interchangeably, subtle differences exist between the terms.

How does "Logon" relate to system security?

"Logon" events are crucial for monitoring unauthorized access attempts.

Can "Login" refer to other details beyond username/password?

While usually referring to credentials, "Login" can denote any access-related information.

How is "Logon" time recorded?

Many systems record the timestamp when a user logs on.

Is "Login" data always confidential?

Generally, yes. "Login" details should be kept confidential for security reasons.

Is it incorrect to use "Login" as a verb?

While less standard, it's not wrong, and many people use "login" as a verb colloquially.

Can "Logon" processes be multifactor?

Yes, many modern systems have multifactor "Logon" processes for enhanced security.

Is "Logon" both a noun and a verb?

Yes, "Logon" can be used as both a noun and a verb.

What's the relation between "Logon" and user sessions?

"Logon" can indicate the start of a user session on a system.

How is "Logon" seen in computer logs?

It can be seen as events indicating when users access the system.

How does "Logon" relate to user activity?

"Logon" events can initiate user sessions, and activities during the session might be tracked.

Do all applications have separate "Login" and "Logon" labels?

No, the choice of term varies, and some applications might use them interchangeably.

How do failed "Logon" attempts impact security?

Multiple failed "Logon" attempts might lock an account or trigger security alerts.

Do all systems require a "Login"?

Not all, but many systems require a "Login" for security and user-specific functionality.

What happens if I forget my "Login"?

Systems usually offer password reset or account recovery options.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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