Locking and Unlocking Your Windows Computer

If you’re working on a document and have to leave your computer for a little while, you can protect your work by “locking” your computer. Locking your computer keeps your files safe while you are away from your computer. A locked computer hides and protects programs and documents, and will allow only the person who locked the computer to unlock it again. You unlock your computer by logging in again (with your NetID and password).

Locking Your Computer

  • Press and hold the Windows logo key on your keyboard (this key should appear next to the Alt key), and then press the L letter key. Your computer will be locked, and the Windows login screen will be displayed.

NoteAny applications, files, Web pages, or other windows you opened before you locked your computer will remain open while your computer is locked.

Unlocking Your Computer

  1. From the Windows login screen, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete (press and hold down the Ctrl key, press and hold down the Alt key, press the Delete key, and then finally release all the keys).
  2. At the prompt, enter your NetID password.   

    Note: If you have more than one account, be sure to type the password of the account you were using when you locked your computer.

  3. Press the Enter key, or click on the right-pointing arrow button.