How to Lock Your Windows Computer

Lock Computer Home

There are several ways to lock your computer, and the method you choose is a matter of personal preference.

Is Your Screen Saver Enabled?

Procedure for installing a password-protected screen saver - Make sure you have selected a screensaver and it is set to start within 15 minutes of inactivity.

Step 1 - Right click anywhere on your desktop (except on an icon) which will display the following panel:

Step 2 - Highlight the <Properties> selection (as shown above ) and click it with your left mouse button.
This will display the following panel:

Step 3 - Click on the <Screen Saver> tab on the upper center of this panel.
Pick a screen saver from the screen saver drop down list (highlighted in green).

Step 5 - Select a <Wait> time of 15 minutes or less by clicking on the up and down arrows in the <Wait> box.
Step 6 - Click on the <On resume, password protect> check box.

Note: Screen Saver configuration settings maybe grayed-out and not accessible due to Brookhaven Windows security policies.

Step 7 - Click <Apply>, then the <OK> button.

Your machine is now configured for a password-protected screen saver.

via the Keyboard (Windows XP Only)

The easiest way to lock Windows XP is by simply pressing the Windows logo key and the letter L (for Lock) on a Microsoft Natural Keyboard or any other compatible keyboard that includes the Window key. Doing so will pop-up the Unlock Computer Password box. Look on the bottom row and to the left of the spacebar on your keyboard. Do you see a key with the flying Windows logo? Depending on your keyboard you might also have one to the right of the spacebar.

via the Windows Security Screen (Windows 2000/XP)

Users running Windows 2000 or Windows XP can lock their computer using the Task Manager.

  • On your computer keyboard, press the <Ctrl+Alt+Delete> keys at the same time.
  • The Windows Security window should appear.
  • Click the Lock Computer option or button to LOCK your computer.
  • You will see a pop-up window displaying the Unlock Computer Password Box.

via a Shortcut

If you don't have a keyboard with a Window key or simply don't like the keyboard method, then here's how you can make a desktop shortcut to lock your computer. Right click an empty area of your desktop, choose New/Shortcut.

Copy-and-Paste the command line: rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation
as shown below and press the <Next> button.

Insert the shortcut name or label <Lock Computer> as shown below.
Press the <Finish> button. That's it.

You should now is an Icon on your desktop labeled <Lock Computer>.
Double-click this Icon to LOCK your computer.
You will see a pop-up window displaying the Unlock Computer Password Box.

via the Welcome Screen (Windows XP)

Whether the Welcome Screen is enabled or disabled also has an effect on the way your computer can be locked. If the Welcome screen is enabled, you can also lock your computer in Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) by clicking the Lock Computer option or button in the Shutdown menu list. This option will only appear if the Welcome screen is enabled -- without Fast User Switching being enabled.

If you experience problems, please contact the ITD Helpdesk, (631.344.5522, for assistance.

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Last Modified: January 31, 2008
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