Key Takeaways

  • To lock your Windows PC using Command Prompt, run “Rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation” in the Command Prompt
  • To set the lock screen timeout, run “powercfg.exe /SETACVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOCONLOCK <time>” in Command Prompt as Admin
  • Activate the lock screen timeout setting by running “powercfg.exe /SETACTIVE SCHEME_CURRENT” after you set the timeout.

One of the first rules of cyber security is to always lock your PC before stepping away. While it may not be the quickest way to lock your Windows 10 PC, you can do it using the Command Prompt.

Lock Your Windows 10 PC Using Command Prompt

First, open the Command Prompt on your PC by opening the Start menu, typing “cmd” in the Windows Search bar, and then selecting “Command Prompt” from the search results.

Click the Start button, search for 'cmd,' then open 'Command Prompt.'

Command Prompt will now open. Here, run this command to lock your Windows 10 PC.

Rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
Locking your PC with Command Prompt.

Once executed, your PC will be locked. You’ll have to sign back in with your PIN, password, or whatever sign-in method you usually use.

Set the Lock Screen Timeout Setting Using Command Prompt

Once you’ve locked your PC, the lock screen will generally be displayed for a certain amount of time before it time outs. You can set the amount of time that needs to pass before timing out using the Command Prompt.

To do this, you’ll need to open Command Prompt as an admin. Do so by typing “cmd” in the Windows Search bar and then right-clicking “Command Prompt” from the results. Next, select “Run As Administrator” from the menu that appears.

Launching Command Prompt as admin.

With Command Prompt open, run this command.

powercfg.exe /SETACVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOCONLOCK <time>

Replace <time> with your desired amount of time in seconds. That means if you want to time out the lock screen after two minutes, you’d enter this command:

powercfg.exe /SETACVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOCONLOCK 120
Change the timeout to 120.

This command sets the lock screen timeout setting for your PC if it’s plugged in to a power source. To set the lock screen timeout setting for your PC if it’s running on battery, change/SETACVALUEINDEX to/SETDCVALUEINDEX and run the command as normal.

Next, run this command:

powercfg.exe /SETACTIVE SCHEME_CURRENT
Apply the setting to the currently active scheme.

Now your lock screen will timeout after the set amount of time. Give it a try!