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How to Set Windows 10 Screen to Auto Lock Sleep When Inactive Not Using

Updated on March 23, 2020
TurtleDog profile image

I forget how to do this PC stuff all the time, so I write about it to remember and hopefully help you out too.

My computer

So, let's say want to have your screen auto lock if you are away from the computer for a certain period of time. Specifically, you are like me and usually forget to lock your PC screen when you step away from your desk. To remedy this you want your computer screen to lock itself.

Took me a bit to figure this out but it is easy to do. The computer I set the screen to auto lock on is a laptop running on the Windows 10 operating system. Like all laptops, my PC can be powered on it's own charged battery and can be set on a docking station. I do both ( you will see why this super obvious point is mentioned soon.) Keep reading to learn How To Set Windows 10 Screen to Auto Lock Sleep When Inactive

Right click on the battery in the lower right corner

Right click on the battery icon in the lower right corner of your PC screen. You would think you should click on the screen icon but, have to right click on the battery icon. Makes perfect sense when you think about it a while. Actually for me it doesn't make sense but keep reading anyway please. Windows 10 probably attribute it to some sort of power saving mode..

Battery icon on the lower left of screen
Battery icon on the lower left of screen | Source

“Choose or customize a power plan”

“Choose or customize a power plan” screen appears. Click “Choose when to turn off the display” in the left column. This will get you to where the settings where you will be able to adjust your time to set the screen to automatically lock the screen on its own when you aren't using it.

I guess 'Power' is the operative word as to why you need to click the battery icon rather than the screen icon.


Change settings for the plan screen appears

Change settings for the plan screen appears. See where it says turn off the display? Select a time (ie 5 minutes) in one of the drop down menus to the right. For those with a lap top, you can individually specific when to auto lock sleep the computer screen when your PC laptop is being carried around on battery and when it is connected to a power source. See the picture below. This setting is the amount of time before the screen auto locks if there is no activity. In other words, if you forget and do not manually lock the screen when you get up to get a drink of water, the computer will auto lock the screen after the amount of time you set here.

As mentioned earlier, here is where you can specify different amounts of time if you computer is on battery power or if it is plugged in to a power source.



That pretty much does it. Going forward now your PC screen will shut off on its own when you are not actively using it. To unlock it do the old <CNTRL> <ALT> <DEL> then typically enter the password you have set up and then you will have access to that screen again.

I do not know about you but my place of employment is a stickler for IT security. This is for good reason of course. There are a lot of people who want to take advantage of a vulnerable computer. There is no better way of ensuring that your computer monitor is locked by remembering to do it yourself. That way it is done right away but if you do not have faith in being able to remember this all the time set your screen to auto lock. It keeps me from worrying if I forget and the computer is not nearby.


I've done some other articles to please check them out.

For example, if you want to be able to create a email template in lotus notes you can learn how to here. This will help you to avoid having to type the same old email over and over again, especially those that reoccur for different recipients often. Type in once, label it something like "email for new contractors', save it and then you always have it quickly when needed.

© 2020 TurtleDog


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