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How to lock your Windows 10 screen

Here's four quick methods to lock your screen.
By
July 7, 2023

Sometimes, life’s little interruptions can’t be helped — you need to step away from your laptop, even if only for a few minutes. Perhaps the doorbell rings unexpectedly, or an urgent call pulls you away from your workspace. These instances are inevitable, and in such moments, you probably don’t want prying eyes peeking at what’s on your screen. Regardless, knowing how to lock your Windows 10 screen swiftly can be invaluable. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to secure your screen, ensuring your data stays private and safe.

QUICK ANSWER

The easiest way to lock your Windows 10 screen is by pressing the Windows key and the "L" key simultaneously on your keyboard.

How to lock the screen on your Windows 10 PC

Below, we explore four varied methods to lock your Windows 10 screen:

Keyboard Shortcut: Windows-L

This method, quick and easy, uses a keyboard shortcut. Simply hold down the Windows key (marked by the Windows logo) and the letter “L” on your keyboard simultaneously to instantly lock your screen.

The Three-Finger Salute: Ctrl-Alt-Del

A classic command, Ctrl-Alt-Del, can also be used to lock your screen. Press these keys together, and a menu will appear on your screen. From the listed options, click Lock — your screen is now secure.

The Start Button Route

Locking your screen is also possible via the Start button. Click the Start button, found in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Then, click on your user icon, and a drop-down menu will appear. Select Lock from the menu, and your screen will be locked, safeguarding your privacy.

Auto Lock via Screen Saver

For a more automated approach, you can set your PC to lock whenever your screen saver activates. Navigate to Settings, and under the Personalization tab, find and click on the Lock screen section. There, select Screen saver settings.

In the next menu, check the box for On Resume and display the logon screen. You can also specify the delay before your screen saver kicks in after a period of inactivity. Once these settings are in place, you’ll need to input your system password each time you return from the screensaver, ensuring your screen stays locked and secure during your absence.

If you are looking to lock your Windows 11 screen, we also have a guide for that.


FAQs

Yes, Windows 10 does have a lock screen feature. This feature secures your computer by requiring a password or a PIN to access the system after the screen is locked.

If you want to prevent your desktop icons from moving, right-click on the desktop and select View > Auto arrange icons. If you’re talking about screen orientation, go to Settings > System > Display, and under Orientation, choose Landscape.

Your screen automatically locks with a password if you’ve set one for your account. When you lock your screen—either manually or it locks automatically—Windows will ask for your password or PIN to unlock it.

You can manually lock your Windows screen by pressing the Windows key + L on your keyboard. Alternatively, click the Start button, select your user icon, and choose Lock. Another way is to press Ctrl-Alt-Del and select Lock from the menu that appears.