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7 Ways to Lock Your Windows 11 PC

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If you’re going to leave your Windows 11 for a while, you can’t go wrong with locking it. In fact, doing so might just protect your PC from unauthorized access and the resulting ragtag of problems that usually follow such an incident.

In this article, we’ll cover the top ways to lock out a Windows 11 computer. Let’s get started.

How to Lock Your Windows 11 Machine

When you lock your PC, what you’re really doing is signing out of your computer and temporarily putting all your work on the hold. All the programs that you were running before the lock will stay untouched as if you had walked away, but nobody can tamper with them.

And when you’re back, all you need to do is enter the relevant login credentials and everything will be back to where you left it.

Broadly, there are two ways to go about doing this. You can either lock your Windows 11 manually, i.e., you’ll be taking an action yourself—whether through your mouse or keyboard. Or, you can use what’s known as the “dynamic” lock, which is a way to lock your PC automatically.

Let’s start and cover all the manual methods first.

You can lock your PC right from the Start menu, the sleek graphical user interface which has been a part of the operating system since the time of Windows 95. Here’s how:

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  1. Click on Start button (the Windows icon) and select your user profile.
  2. Now click on Lock.
start menu
locked windows 11

Your Windows 11 will be close as soon as you select the Lock option. To fire up your account again, press any key from your keyboard or simply click your mouse. You can then select your account (if you’re using multiple accounts) and then Sign in with the relevant credentials.

Related: How to Customize the Start Menu in Windows 11

2. How to Lock a Windows 11 PC via a Keyboard Shortcut

If you’re rushing, then a keyboard shortcut might be suitable for you. Simply press the Win Key + L together and your account lock itself instantly.

3. How to Lock a Windows 11 PC via Task Manager

The Task Manager is a tool that provides a bird’s-eye view of all processes and programs running on your PC. Famous for being the last resort in case of random freezes in Windows computers, it can also be used for locking a PC.

Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘task manager,’ and select the Best match.
  2. Head to the Users tab, click on the account you’re locked in through, and select Disconnect.
task manager

You’ll get a pop-up for confirmation. Click on Disconnect user and your PC will be locked finally.

Related: Top Windows Task Manager Processes You Should Never Kill

Ctrl + Alt + Delete is a keyboard shortcut that launches a separate Windows menu on your screen—this menu then lets you do a host of different things.

When you launch the Task Manager you get the ability to do a variety of things: switch the user account, change your password—and our focus right now—lock your PC. So as soon you click on Lock, your Windows 11 will be locked instantly.

5. How to Lock a Windows 11 PC via Command Prompt

You can also lock your Windows 11 from the Command prompt, a text-based user interface that takes input from the keyboard.

To get started, go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘command prompt,’ and select the Best match. Then on the Command prompt, type the following command and hit Enter:

Rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
command-prompt-2

Your PC will be locked as soon as you execute the above command.

6. How to Lock a Windows 11 PC via Screensaver Settings

If you’ve never fiddled with your screensaver settings, this might be a good time. Apart from giving you different ways to manage the features of the screensaver, it also gives you an option to lock your Windows 11. Here’s how:

  • Go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘screen saver,’ and select the Best match (Change screen saver).

The Screen Saver Settings menu will pop open. There, click on the Screen saver drop-down menu and select any effect of your liking. In the Wait dialog box, set the number of minutes your PC should wait for inactivity before the screen saver gets activated (and lock your screen along with it).

Toggle the On resume, display logon screen check-box and click on OK.

screensaver settings windows 11
screensaver settings

Now, whenever your PC will be inactive for a minute straight, the screensaver will be launched, locking your PC along the with it.

Related: The Best Ways to Make Your Own Screensavers in Windows PC

7. How to Lock a Windows 11 PC With Dynamic Lock

Windows 11 can activate “dynamic lock” when it notices a weak signal between your Windows 11 and your Bluetooth device.

The basic idea behind Dynamic Lock is this: Whenever you’ve paired your Windows to a Bluetooth device, it becomes possible to detect whenever you are away from our PC.

First up, you’ll have to pair up your PC with Bluetooth. When you’re done with that, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.

Now select Dynamic lock. From there, pick Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away check box. Now, whenever you move your Windows 11, take your phone with you. As you move away from the Windows, your Bluetooth signal will gradually weaken, turning the lock feature on.

Related: How to Automatically Lock Your Windows 11 PC When You Are Away

All the Ways to Lock Your Windows 11 PC

And that pretty much covers all the different ways of locking your Windows computer. At the risk of being pedantic, we’ll say again that it’s always a good idea to lock your Windows computer whenever you plan to move away for a while. This holds doubly true if you work at a shared space, as this magnifies the possibility of unauthorized access.

However, the buck doesn’t stop at a simple lock; there are many additional workarounds to protect your Windows computer, such as using an appropriate antivirus, regular updates, and so on. So make sure you’re not on the short end of the stick in terms of security.


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