Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 23, 2020)
In Windows, the Lock Screen is what you first see when you get your computer's attention. It serves the same function as the introductory screen you see when you activate your phone or tablet. It typically contains a picture, the time, the date, and little else.
The Lock Screen can be very helpful when you are working with a phone or tablet; it provides a degree of protection to a device that is easily misplaced, bumped, or jarred. (The biggest plus in my book—the Lock Screen on a phone helps prevent "pocket dialing" which can be bothersome and, at times, embarrassing.) If you are using Windows on a desktop computer, though, you may want to get rid of the Lock Screen, as it serves very little practical purpose.
To turn off the Lock Screen, you'll need to use the Registry Editor. If you've used Windows for a few versions, you may already be familiar with the registry editor (or policy editor as it is known in earlier versions of Windows). Rest assured that the familiar interface is still buried within Windows, waiting for you to dig it out. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Registry Editor.
Figure 2. New Registry Editor item renamed as NoLockScreen.
Figure 3. The Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box.
You will no longer see the lock screen when you get your computer's attention. Remember that turning off the Lock Screen doesn't mean that people can get into your system without your say-so. Windows still keeps the login screen in place, even if the Lock Screen is disabled. In other words, someone will still need to know your password in order to start using your system.
Follow these steps if you are using Windows 8:
The change is effective immediately; you don't need to reboot your system.
This tip (12821) applies to Windows 8 and 10.
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