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Disable/Enable Lock Workstation Functionality (Windows + L)

As everybody knows, using the Windows+L keys together will lock your workstation running Windows 7, XP or Vista. Did you realize that you can also disable this function by using a registry hack?

I suspect that this article will be much more useful to those of you who can’t lock your workstation, but either way we’ll show how to configure this setting.

Manual Registry Hack

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search box, and then browse down to the following key, creating it if it doesn’t exist:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

image

On the right-hand side, create a new DWORD 32-bit value named DisableLockWorkstation and give it one of these values:

  • 1 – Disable Lock Workstation
  • 0 – Enable Lock Workstation

The changes should be immediate, no need to restart anything.

Downloadable Registry Hack

I’ve provided the hack in a downloadable registry file. Just unzip and then click on the Enable or Disable script, depending on which action you feel like taking.

Download DisableLockWorkstation Registry Hack

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/20/07

Comments (34)

  1. przeme

    Hi, Its working on XP too :D thanx

  2. Brian

    Used it on XP, just perfect. Thanks!

  3. Fred

    It didn’t work in vista. I can still lock the Vista using (windows+L), but no “lock workstation” under start menu. Do you know any other reg key to fix it?

  4. Joe Chung

    Funny, I had the opposite happen to me. I can’t press Windows-L to lock the workstation any more after the registry modification, but the Lock option is still on my Start menu (though it does nothing when clicked). This is nice for Mac users running Windows who are used to the Windows and Alt keys being elsewhere.

  5. Dru

    I can’t lock windows XP by using Windows+L keys.. and neither is there the “lock workstation” on the Start Menu :s..

  6. Vin

    Thank you! This worked great for me. Now I have disabled the windows lock function which was causing constant problems for me.

  7. mario

    How to automaticly run some programm when user press WIN+L or other way he locks the workstation?

  8. rob

    Works great for our xp kiosk I setup. Now there is no more ctrl-alt-del lock computer choice, it is grayed out. win-l does nothing. users were doing win-l and locking up the unit. we had to ether reboot the computer or wait for someone from engineering to log the kiosk out to use the kiosk again. was able to merge the reg hack into the registry with out login as administrator or even loging the kiosk out, worked like a charm.

    Just in case it is a combo of things i wanted to state that i did run gpedit.msc and disable the ctrl-alt-del in the -user configuration -administrative templates -system, I actually had to right click and ad/remove templated before i could see the system template with ctrl-alt-del.

  9. Ray

    This has saved me. Works under Vista. The value was there but had reset itself to 1 for some reason.

    Many thanks for a great tip as I using Windows-L to lock my PC when I go away for a few moments all the time.

  10. TONYH

    It’s works, thanks. WINXP

  11. Zwollewood

    Thank’s, the Opposite happened to me, it is solved again….

  12. T101

    Thanks a lot…
    working like a charm…

  13. Joe H

    Go to Run -> GPEDIT.MSC

    Then navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Ctrl+Alt+Del Options

    Change the ‘Remove Lock Computer’ option to enabled if you want to remove the ability to lock the computer.

  14. latika

    gracias y chupenmela}

  15. ashu

    This has saved me.Now there is no more ctrl-alt-del lock computer choice, it is grayed out. win-l does nothing. users were doing win-l and locking up the unit. we had to ether reboot the computer or wait for someone from engineering to log the kiosk out to use the kiosk again. was able to merge the reg hack into the registry with out login as administrator or even loging the kiosk out, worked like a charm.

  16. Ashu(idea)

    Funny, I had the opposite happen to me. I can’t press Windows-L to lock the workstation any more after the registry modification, but the Lock option is still on my Start menu (though it does nothing when clicked). This has saved me. Works under Vista. The value was there but had reset itself to 1 for some reason.

    Many thanks for a great tip as I using Windows-L to lock my PC when I go away for a few moments all the time.

  17. trosti

    How do I hide User information(last user logged on) from the following: Lock Workstation Screen, Ctrl Alt Del, Task Manager?

  18. Mike

    I don’t want to know to how to lock my computor in the startup, shut menu taskbar. Iwant to know how to unlock. any help

    thanks,
    Lockedup

  19. gabe

    worked for me in Win 7! thanks!! i was looking all over for this, so that I could use the win+L combo in an OS X virutalbox guest.

  20. Austin Fisher

    Works great the lock workstation – computer was haveing lots of problem at my house people where changeing there password the locking it and they got my password to my admin account and then they had to unlock it becaues admin or the user that locked it had to be the one to unlock it.

    Thank howtogeek.com
    i got a lot of help from u

  21. Bhanukiran

    This really helped me out….my windows 7 was locked up while downloading at night while i was sleeping i was really pissed…more like full mindfuck….and this helped me Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u

  22. pras

    In windows 7, key under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System works for the current user only . If any other user logs in, windows lock is still available!!! Any idea how to apply this for all the users who logs ino the system through regisry ?

  23. Eric

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system\

  24. casperb

    My Windows 7 machine doesn’t have a ‘system’ subfolder within the ‘policies’ folder. Will it work if I place the new DWORD 32-bit value named DisableLockWorkstation in the policies instead? i.e. here:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\

  25. anil

    Thankz its working…

  26. Kolorex

    tyvm!

  27. mezoo

    its not worked on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE….
    its work only for HKEY_CURRENT_USER….

    plz how i can applay this policy for all users ????

  28. Umer

    Thanx
    Used it on XP, just perfect. Thanks!

  29. ashok

    very good option

  30. thank you :)

    thanks

  31. Rajesh

    thanks, great !!!!!!!!!!!! i can able to do this by using the given steps.

  32. Rajesh

    dear pras,

    regedit is applicable for the single profile , if u want to apply dor all the profile means try it gpedit

  33. Aasim Ansari.

    Guys,

    It was worked after running gpupdate /force.

    But any ways thanks !!!!!!!!

  34. Adrienne Boswell

    Thank you! Thank you! I have a seven year old that likes to jump on my computer when I don’t want him to. Now, I will have to input the password when he wants to use it. I wonder now whether when I installed Family Safety, that it makes changes to disable the lock. Windows 7 Ultimate.

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