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Article ID: 294317 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q294317

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This article describes how to quickly lock your computer as well as the other Windows logo shortcut keys that you can use.

More information

Windows XP includes a new Microsoft Natural Keyboard shortcut to lock your computer. Any other compatible keyboard that includes the Windows logo key and the Application key can also perform this task.

To use this shortcut, press the Windows logo key+L. The following list has different computer lock-up scenarios that are available to you, as well as other ways to lock the computer:

Fast User Switching Enabled

If the Fast User Switching feature is enabled and you lock the computer, you can observe the same behavior as if you switched users: The computer returns to the Welcome screen and other users can log on to the computer.

Fast User Switching Disabled

If the Fast User Switching feature is disabled and you lock the computer, the Unlock Computer dialog box is displayed that requires the current logged-on user to enter a password to unlock the computer.

Welcome Screen Enabled

If the Welcome screen is enabled, the computer can also be locked if you press CTRL+ALT+DELETE (to open Task Manager), and then click Lock Computer or click Switch User on the Shut Down menu.

NOTE: The ability to observe "Lock Computer" or "Switch User" on the Shut Down menu is dependent upon whether or not the Fast User Switching feature is enabled.

Welcome Screen Disabled

If the Welcome screen is disabled, you can lock the computer if you press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then click Lock Computer in the Windows Security dialog box.

In all of the preceding scenarios, the "Windows logo key+L" shortcut can lock the computer. If you do not have a password that is set for your user account, anyone can unlock your computer. To set a password for your user account: In Control Panel, double-click User accounts, select your user account, and then click Create a password.

You can also use the following keyboard shortcuts with a Microsoft Natural Keyboard or any other compatible keyboard that includes the Windows logo key and the Application key.

Collapse this tableExpand this table
Press To
Windows logo keyDisplay or hide the Start menu
Windows logo key+LLock the computer
Windows logo key+BREAKDisplay the System Properties dialog box
Windows logo key+DShow the desktop
Windows logo key+MMinimize all windows
Windows logo key+SHIFT+MRestore minimized windows
Windows logo key+EOpen My Computer
Windows logo key+FSearch for a file or folder
CTRL+Windows logo key+FSearch for computers
Windows logo key+F1Display Windows Help
Windows logo key+ROpen the Run dialog box
Windows logo key+UOpen Utility Manager
Application keyDisplay the Shortcut menu for the selected item

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
kbhowto kbui KB294317
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