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How to lock the screen in Windows 11

You should rely mostly on manual locking even if you have automatic options on.

Published onJuly 3, 2023

There’s probably no need to lock your screen/profile if your PC’s at home and you’re reasonably sure you’ll be the only one with access. Otherwise, though, you should be locking your screen as a matter of basic privacy and security. Below, we’ll highlight several ways you can lock your screen in Windows 11.


To quickly lock your screen in Windows 11, do one of the following:

  1. Hit Windows + L on your keyboard.
  2. Open the Start menu, click your profile icon, then Lock.
  3. Hit Ctrl + Alt + Del and choose Lock.

How to lock the screen in Windows 11

Typically you’ll be able to settle on one preferred method, but it’s good to know others as a fallback, or if circumstances happen to make them more convenient. Two of the options listed are automatic.

Using the keyboard

Windows logo

The vast majority of the time, you should probably be taking advantage of Windows keyboard shortcuts. Hit Windows key + L and your screen will lock in a flash.

Alternately you can hit Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Lock.

Using the Windows screen saver

Windows 11 screen saver settings
Roger Fingas / Android Authority

Even if you prefer manual control, automatic lock via your screen saver can be a nice failsafe.

  • In the Windows search bar, type in screen saver.
  • Click Change screen saver from the results.
  • From the drop-down menu, pick any screen saver you like.
  • Under Wait, choose a delay, then tick the On resume, display logon screen option.
  • Click Apply.

Finding the right delay can be tricky. While 1 minute is the most secure, that’s so short that your screen might lock during a brief distraction. Conversely, even 15 minutes might be more than enough time for someone to sneak in and do damage.

Using Dynamic Lock

Windows 11 Dynamic Lock
Roger Fingas / Android Authority

One of the lesser-known features in Windows 11, Dynamic Lock relies on a connection to a Bluetooth-equipped phone — when that device is out of range, your screen locks. You can combine this with the options above for a very secure system.

To enable Dynamic Lock:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Click Accounts, then Sign-in options.
  • Open the Dynamic lock drop-down menu and toggle Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away.
  • If you don’t have a phone paired, you’ll be prompted to go to Settings >Bluetooth and devices to do so.

You’ll want to update this setting and/or your Bluetooth pairings when you upgrade to a new phone.

Using the Start menu

Using Start to lock Windows 11
Roger Fingas / Android Authority

This is almost as quick as using the keyboard, but it does mean you’ll need access to the taskbar — which might be inconvenient if you’re running a fullscreen app such as a game.

  • Click the Start (Windows logo) button.
  • Select your username/profile image.
  • Click Lock.

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