Windows FAQs

  • Why should I lock my workstation and how do I do it?

Lock workstation is a feature in Windows 2000 or later that allows a user to secure his or her desktop while he or she has momentarily stepped away from the computer. The lock workstation feature hides all running applications or open files from view and displays a dialog box prompting the user to unlock by typing the proper user name and password. This tool is very helpful if a user is working on confidential matters or simply wishes to prevent incidental snooping by passers by. The Lock workstation feature does not protect unsaved work. Therefore, it is prudent to save your work before locking your workstation.

How to lock a workstation:

   1. Press CTRL-ALT-Delete
   2. Click on Lock Workstation

Unlocking a workstation:

A workstation can be unlocked only by the user who originally locked it or by a user with administrative login privileges. To assure one's privacy, the computer will log the original user out as an administrator attempts to unlock the workstation in his or her absence. Physically powering-down the computer in an attempt to unlock it is not recommended. In the event of a restart while the computer was locked, once rebooted, the computer will revert to the basic login screen. The previous state of the workstation prior to locking it will be lost along with any unsaved work.

How to unlock a workstation:

   1. Press CTRL-ALT-Delete
   2. Type your username if it is not already being displayed
   3. Type your password
   4. Hit Enter
   5. You are now back to your original desktop screen.