Using a Windows 11 feature called Dynamic Lock, you can make your PC automatically lock and secure itself when you physically step away out of Bluetooth range. All it takes is a linked Android smartphone and a few changes in Settings. Here’s how to set it up.

First, Connect Your Smartphone to Your PC

To make Dynamic Lock work, you’ll need to link your Android smartphone to your Windows 11 PC as a Bluetooth device. An iPhone might work, but we’ve seen reports on forums that it might not work reliably. To get started, open Windows Settings (press Windows+i on your keyboard), then click “Bluetooth & Devices.”

In Bluetooth & Devices, make sure the switch beside “Bluetooth” is turned on. Then click “Add Device” (with the plus symbol on it) near the top of the window.

On your smartphone, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled and that your device is in range of your Windows 11 PC (about 10 feet or less is ideal). Windows will scan for your smartphone. Once detected on the “Add a Device” screen, select your smartphone from the list.

If asked to confirm a PIN number displayed on both your PC and your smartphone screens, make sure the PIN number matches, then click “Yes.”

After pairing, your smartphone will show up in a special box at the top of Settings > Bluetooth & Devices.

When paired, you'll see your smartphone listed at the top of Settings > Bluetooth & Devices.

If you’re having trouble connecting through Windows 11, you may need to attempt to connect to your PC though your smartphone’s Bluetooth settings menu. Also, double check that Bluetooth is enabled on both your PC and the smartphone.

RELATED: How to Turn On Bluetooth on Windows 11

Next, Set Up Dynamic Lock

While still in the Settings app (press Windows+i to bring it back if you closed it), click “Accounts” in the sidebar, then select “Sign-In Options.”

Next, scroll down until you see “Dynamic Lock.” Below that, place a check mark in the box beside “Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away.”

In Settings, check the box beside "Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you're away."

After that, close the Settings app. The next time you carry your smartphone away from your PC and leave Bluetooth range (which can vary depending on which devices you’re using and the walls and furniture that might be in the way), your Windows 11 PC will automatically lock itself within one or two minutes. To use your PC again when you come back, just sign in again as usual. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Lock Your Windows 11 PC

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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