Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope

PIN may refer to any of the following:

1. Short for personal identification number, PIN is a set of personal numbers used to prove positive identification. It is often used with automated bank teller machines, telephone calling cards, and accessing Wireless networks. Below is an example of Microsoft Windows asking for a PIN when connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

Network PIN


If you are trying to access your wireless network and don't know a PIN, select the option to use your network key or passphrase.

Pin to taskbar picture

2. With Microsoft Windows, Pin is a term first introduced in Windows 7 that describes permanently placing a shortcut on the Taskbar or Start menu. To pin a shortcut, right-click the program icon, then click Pin to Taskbar or Pin to Start. Or, drag the icon to the taskbar until it looks like the picture to the right.

With the introduction of Windows 8, this term is also expanded to mean any object in a UI (User Interface). For example, in Windows 8, you can also pin tiles. Windows 8 also introduced a PIN login, which allows a user to log into their computer using a four-digit pin.


3. A pin also describes the short and usually thin piece of metal found on the end of a male cable. For example, the picture to the right is an example of the end of a VGA connector with pins (top image) that connects to the female connector (bottom image) on the computer.

4. The term pin is also used to describe the small metal pieces on the bottom of a CPU or IC that allows it to connect to a socket or circuit board. The picture below is a close up of a CPU and an example of how the pins on the CPU can become bent.

Computer CPU with bent pins

Google Chrome Pinned tab

5. In an Internet browser, such as Chrome and Firefox, a pin refers to making a tab smaller and permanent on a browser tab bar. Mozilla Firefox refers to these as App tabs. The picture to the right shows an example of a pinned tab, which in this case is YouTube, next to a Computer Hope tab. In most cases, when a tab is pinned, you'll only see the favicon.

Access number, Authentication, Computer acronyms, Hardware terms, Male connector, Password, Phone terms, Pin-compatible, Security terms, Software terms