Windows allows you to lock your screen so that no one else can access your computer without entering a password. This is useful when you need to stay away from your computer and don’t want others to use it or access your documents. This guide will guide you on how to lock your screen in all versions of Windows as well as a method to automatically lock your screen when your computer has been idle for a certain amount of time.
How to lock the screen in Windows XP
The only method you can use to manually lock the screen in Windows XP is to use the Windows + L keyboard combination . Simply hold the Windows key with one finger and press the L key with another finger. This will lock the screen as shown below.
To unlock the screen, simply click on your account name and enter the password. You will then go back to where you were before it was locked.
How to lock the screen in Windows 7 and Windows Vista
To lock your screen in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, please click the Windows Start button (
) and the Start Menu will open. At the bottom of the Start Menu, you will see an Off button with an arrow to the right of it. Please click on the arrow and a submenu will open as shown in the image below.
In the menu that appears, click the Lock option. This will lock your computer and take you to the Windows Welcome Screen, where you will be prompted to enter the password for your user account.
Just enter your password to unlock the screen and start using Windows again.
To lock the screen in Windows 8, you need to click on your username or account picture in the top right corner of the start screen. This will open up a submenu as shown in the figure below.
When the submenu is open, click on the Lock option. This will take you to the Windows 8 lock screen as shown below.
To sign in, press Enter on your keyboard or left-click on the lock screen and Windows will prompt you for the password to unlock the screen.
If you don’t want to use the lock screen in Windows 8 and want to just log in, you can check out this tutorial:
How to lock the screen after a certain period of time
If you want to lock your screen when it’s not in use for a certain amount of time, you’ll need to use a screen saver in Windows. When you set up the screen saver in Windows, you have the option of showing a login prompt when the screen saver is interrupted. This is a great option if you want to lock your computer automatically when it has not been used for a specific amount of time.
For the most part, the screen saver settings screen is similar for all versions of Windows, but accessing the screen is a little different. If you are using Windows XP, click the Start button and select Control Panel . Now switch to the layer view and double click on the Display icon. Finally, select the Screen Saver tab.
If you are using Windows Vista and Windows 7 all you have to do is click on the Start button and type screen saver and then click on the Change Screen Saver option when it appears.
For Windows 8, at the Start screen simply type screen saver , click the Settings item in the search results and then click the Change Screen Saver option when it appears.
You will now be at the screen saver settings window as shown below. It may differ slightly depending on the version of Windows you are using.
To turn on the screen saver that automatically locks your screen, select the screen saver you want to use from the drop-down box and then put a check in the checkbox labeled On resume, display logon screen . Windows will be configured with a screen saver that automatically locks your screen when someone tries to use it.