How to Lock a Screen on Your Computer

Sometimes you may need to pause using your computer for a short while, and you don't want unauthorized access to your device. Activating the lock screen feature is an excellent way to protect your information and apps. Microsoft released the lock screen feature with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and the latest Windows 10 lock screen tool. Apple users can also use system menu options to lock screens on macOS 10.13+ computers.

What does it mean to lock your screen?

Whenever you plan to leave your computer unattended for a short while, you manually activate the lock screen feature that requires the user to enter their password to access the display window. The automatic lock feature only activates after a preset time. But you don't want your screen and all the windows you opened exposed for that long. That's when you must manually lock the computer screen. It protects the information stored in your PC and ensures the device continues to run in the background.

How to turn on lock screen

As mentioned before, Windows and Mac computers come with the lock screen feature. You only need to master the procedure for activating it to put your screen on standby without shutting down the processor. Below are the steps on how to lock screen on Windows 10 and Mac.

Turn on Windows lock screen

There are three ways to enable your lock screen feature on Windows:

Using the keyboard:

  • Method 1 - Press the Windows key and the L key simultaneously to activate the lock screen (Windows + L).
  • Method 2 - Hold down Ctrl, Alt, and Del simultaneously (Ctrl + Alt + Del). Several options will display on the screen. Press Lock to activate the lock screen.

Using the Start Menu:

  • Click the Start Menu on your screen's bottom-left corner. It's usually indicated by the Windows logo. This action reveals a dropdown menu
  • Click the User icon and then select Lock on the menu list

Turn on lock screen on Mac

As mentioned earlier, only users with the latest macOS versions (Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave and High Sierra 10.13+) can use the computer's default system to put the screen to sleep. Read on to understand how to lock a Mac screen in a few easy steps.

Using the Apple Menu Option:

  • Access the Mac lock screen shortcut by clicking the Apple icon
  • Select Lock Screen on the dropdown menu; the login window will automatically pop up on display.

Using the Keyboard:

  • Press and hold Command and Control, and Q simultaneously (Command + Control + Q). That instantaneously locks the Mac screen.

Locking Windows or Mac screens does not log out the user account. Therefore, the applications will continue running. To start the screen saver, you'll have to unlock the screen by entering your password.

How to lock screen with Parallel Toolbox

Computer users have been using various tricks to lock their Windows or Mac screens. The innovative Parallels Toolbox is a powerful and easy-to-use multi-platform application that lets you carry out tasks and commands on Windows and Mac without the need to reboot. With over 30 one-touch buttons in a single feature suite, you can do anything on your computer, from turning on the Do Not Disturb feature to locking the screen.

To make your computer screen sleep using Parallels software, below are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch the Parallels Toolbox on your computer's toolbar to access the dropdown menu
  2. Select System located above the menu list
  3. Click Lock Screen, and the login window will immediately appear on the screen


There's a lot of online information on the tricks for locking computer screens, but some cumbersome procedures that non-technical users can't comprehend. While you can use your Mac lock screen shortcut or Windows Start Menu to lock the computer screen, Parallels Toolbox provides you the ability to lock your screen in three steps. An upside to using the Parallels application is that it comes with over 30+ one-button commands to simplify your tasks.