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How to Disable the Lock Workstation Functionality (Window+L) in Windows
By default, using the Windows+L key combination locks Windows, so you have to re-type your password to use the computer. If you find yourself occasionally hitting that combination by accident—and you don’t really have a need to lock Windows—here’s how to disable it.
Versions of Windows going back to at least Windows 2000 have given you the ability to lock your workstation. Since the Windows XP days, the easiest way to do the locking is by pressing Windows+L, though you can also press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and lock your PC from the page that comes up or choose the “Lock” command on the Start menu. You can even create a shortcut for locking Windows. When you lock your PC, it immediately returns you to the sign in screen, but unlike signing out, all your open apps and windows remain intact. It’s much like when your PC goes to sleep, assuming you have it set to ask for a password when you return. To disable locking your PC in Windows 7, 8, or 10, you just need to perform a quick hack in the Registry or Local Group Policy Editor.
Home Users: Disable Windows Lock by Editing the Registry
If you have a Windows Home edition, you will have to edit the Windows Registry to make these changes. You can also do it this way if you have Windows Pro or Enterprise, but feel more comfortable working in the Registry than Group Policy Editor. (If you have Pro or Enterprise, though, we recommend using the easier Group Policy Editor, as described in the next section.)
Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.
To get started, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC.
In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:
Next, you’re going to create a new key inside the
Now, you need to create a new value inside the
Next, double-click the new
You can now close Registry Editor. The changes take place immediately, so no need to restart your computer or anything. Now, if you press Windows+L, nothing at all should happen. And if you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete—or click the User button on the Start menu, you’ll see that the “Lock” command has been removed.
If you want reverse the change, just follow the same steps and set the
Download Our One-Click Registry Hack
If you don’t feel like diving into the Registry yourself, we’ve created two downloadable registry hacks you can use. One hack disables the Lock Workstation functionality and the other enables it, restoring the default setting. Both are included in the following ZIP file. Double-click the one you want to use, click through the prompts, and then restart your computer.
n Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, hit Start, type “gpedit.msc,” and then press Enter.
In the Local Group Policy Editor, in the left-hand pane, drill down to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Ctrl+Alt+Del Options. On the right, find the “Remove Lock Computer” setting and double-click it.
In the properties window that opens, select the Enabled option and then click OK.
You can now exit the Local Group Policy Editor. Changes are immediate and pressing Windows+L should do nothing. The “Lock” command should also be removed from the Start menu and from the Ctrl+Alt+Delete security screen. If at any time you want to enable workstation locking again, just follow the same procedure and set that option back to Disabled or Not Configured.