If you are irritated by the Windows 10 lock screen you can get rid of it – but you need to be brave

Windows 10 Lock Screen

The seemingly pointless Windows 10 lock screen

The Windows lock screen is that seemingly pointless screen that pops up when you haven’t touched anything for a while and before a sign-in screen. I dare say there’s some kind of logic behind its existence. Probably to do with hiding the screen’s contents from prying eyes. However, most of my own computer support clients (who tend to be professionals working in the privacy of their own home and/or home users) don’t need this to be present and just find it irritating.

Regedit Command

Figure 1. Starting the regedit command from the Start menu

This is one of those cases where I wonder just what goes through the heads of les grands fromages at software companies such as Microsoft. During all the thousands of man hours of development of Windows 10, did it really not occur to any of them that the lock screen is usually a pain in the neck and that it would be really nice to give the user an easy way of disabling it? Apparently not, because you can look in vain for a method in “Settings” or in “Control Panel”.

However, if you are brave enough to make changes to the registry in Windows 10, then it’s not difficult to get rid of it. But be warned: if you make a mistake when editing the registry then you can very very seriously break your Windows. You may not be able to boot up your computer. On your own head be it. You have been warned.

  • Click on the “Start Menu” button
  • Type “regedit” (without the quotes)
  • Click on the “regedit run command” option that comes up (see Figure 1)
  • Click on the “yes” button in the User Account Control window
  • Back up the registry by clicking on File, Export, and then supply a name for the backup and then wait for the backup to complete (it will only take a minute or two)
  • Down the lefthand side of the window, open up the “hives” (these are analogous to folders in File Explorer) as follows:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

  • Right-click in the right-hand pane and create a new key
  • Rename this to “Personalization” (without the quotes and note the US spelling)
  • Select this key by clicking on it
  • Right-click in the righthand pane and select “New” and then “DWORD (32-bit) Value”
  • Name the new Value “NoLockScreen” (without the quotes)
  • Double-click on NoLockScreen and place a figure 1 in the space below “Value Data”
  • Click on OK and then close the registry editor by clicking on “File” and then “Exit”
  • Re-boot the computer. The lock screen will have gone

Windows10 - another logoYou can bring the lock screen back by going into the registry editor again, navigating to the same entry, and replacing the figure “1” with a “0” (zero).

Of course, there’s a slightly easier way of achieving the same thing: ask me to do it during a computer support visit. If you are not a client of mine, move to London first (if you are unfortunate enough not to live here already) and then call me.

© 2011-2015 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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