How To Lock Your Computer When You Walk Away

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How to Lock Your Computer When You Walk Away

Imagine this: You’re rushing to the restroom, almost got your pants down, and then it hits you—you forgot to lock your computer! Panic sets in as you try to reach your desk, but it’s too late; your coworker, who you don’t trust as far as you can throw them, has been eyeing your computer like a hawk. You finally make it back, and thankfully, they’re still writing code, but you can’t shake the feeling that your secrets are no longer safe.

To avoid such mishaps, it’s crucial to develop a habit of locking your computer every time you step away. This simple action can save you from potential embarrassment, data breaches, and even identity theft.

Automatic Locking


  • Method 1 (Windows 10/11):

    • Go to Settings > System > Power & Battery
    • Set Screen off to a desired time
    • Check “Require password on wakeup”
  • Method 2 (All Windows versions):

    • Right-click on the desktop
    • Select “Personalize”
    • Click “Lock screen”
    • Under “Screen saver settings,” choose a screensaver
    • Set the “Wait” time to your preferred duration
    • Check “On resume, display logon screen”


  • Method 1 (macOS Mojave and later):

    • Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy
    • Click the “General” tab
    • Select a time from the drop-down menu next to “Require password after sleep or screen saver begins”
  • Method 2 (macOS High Sierra and earlier):

    • Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver
    • Choose a screensaver from the drop-down menu
    • Click the “Hot Corners” tab
    • Select “Put Display to Sleep” from the drop-down menu for one of the corners
    • Click “OK”

Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows and Mac:

  • Windows:
    • Windows key + L
    • Ctrl + Alt + Delete > Lock
  • Mac:
    • Option + Command + Q

Expert Tips

  • Use a strong password or passcode: This is your first line of defense against unauthorized access.
  • Enable automatic updates: This ensures that your operating system and applications are always up-to-date with the latest security patches.
  • Install antivirus software: This software can detect and block malware that could compromise your computer’s security.
  • Create a backup of your data: In case your computer gets lost or stolen, you’ll have a copy of your important files.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: If you’re working in a public place, be mindful of who’s around you. Don’t leave your computer unattended and avoid entering sensitive information on unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.


Q: Can I lock my computer when I’m using a VPN?

A: Yes, you can lock your computer while using a VPN, as it only encrypts your internet traffic and does not interfere with your operating system’s lock function.

Q: How do I change the time it takes for my computer to lock automatically?

A: The instructions for changing the automatic locking time vary depending on your operating system. Refer to the “Automatic Locking” section above for specific instructions for Windows and Mac.

Q: What should I do if I forget my password and can’t unlock my computer?

A: If you forget your password, you will need to contact your system administrator or use a password recovery tool. The specific steps vary depending on your operating system and the password recovery tool you choose.


Locking your computer when you walk away is a simple yet effective way to protect your privacy and data security. By following the tips and instructions outlined in this article, you can ensure that your computer is secure even when you’re not around to watch it.

Are you committed to implementing these measures to safeguard your computer? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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