How to lock your PC automatically after inactivity on Windows 10

Use this old trick to lock your Windows 10 PC automatically after certain period of inactivity.

Lock Windows 10 PC automatically

When you need to move away from your Windows 10 PC for an undetermined amount of time, you may want to lock your device after certain period of inactivity. This is just as a security measure to prevent prying eyes from peeking your work.

While you can simply use the Windows key + L keyboard shortcut to quickly lock your computer, or use the Lock option from the user account menu on Start, Windows 10 doesn’t include an option in the Settings app to lock your device automatically when you’re not around.

However, if you need a way to lock your Windows 10 PC automatically after a period of inactivity, you can still use an option that has been around for years.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to use screen saver settings to lock your Windows 10 session after a specific period of inactivity.

How to lock your PC automatically after inactivity

  1. Open Start.

  2. Do a search for Change screen saver and click the result.

  3. Under Screen saver, make sure to choose a screen saver, such as Blank.

  4. Change the wait time to the period you want Windows 10 to lock your computer automatically.

  5. Check the On resume, display logon screen option.

    Lock Windows 10 automatically
    Screen saver settings
  6. Click Apply.

  7. Click OK to complete the task.

Once you completed the steps, your computer will lock automatically after a period of inactivity, and you’ll need to enter your password to unlock it.

Do you usually lock your computer before moving away from the screen? Tell us in the comments below.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].