Tech Corner: Locking Your Devices

Stephanie Edwards, Manager of Web Strategy and IT Communications 

locked computer screen on a desk

If you’re stepping away from your device for a few minutes, it’s a good idea to lock it so that others can’t see what’s on your screen or access anything on it. This is good cyber security advice for all of your devices – phones, tablets and computers.  

To quickly lock your Windows desktop using shortcut keys: 

Press the Windows Logo Key + L to immediately lock your computer. When you return, you’ll just need to authenticate, and you’ll be right where you left off. 

To quickly lock your Mac computer using shortcut keys: 

Simply press CTRL + CMD + Q and you’ll immediately be transported to the lock screen. Try not to accidentally hit CMD + Q instead, as this will shut down the application you’re currently using, which could be disastrous if you haven’t saved whatever it is you’re working on. When returning to your device simply authenticate, and just like with Windows, you’ll be right where you left off. 

Windows also recently released a Dynamic Lock 

Windows can use devices paired with your PC to help detect when you’re away, locking your PC shortly after your paired device is out of Bluetooth range. This makes it more difficult for someone to gain access to your device if you forget to lock your PC when you step away. 

  1. On your Windows 10 PC, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.  
  1. Under Dynamic lock, select the Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away check box.  
  1. Use Bluetooth to pair your phone with your PC. Learn how to pair devices using Bluetooth.  

Once they’re paired, take your phone with you when you walk away and your PC will automatically lock a minute or so after you’re out of Bluetooth range.  

Apple offers similar tools comparable to dynamic locks but require 3rd party applications or an Apple Watch.  

For more information, or if you have questions, please contact the UCO Service Desk at 405-974-2255 or by email to