How to Automatically Lock Your Windows 11 PC When You're Away
Working in a shared environment? Learn how to automatically lock your Windows 11 PC when you're away to prevent any authorized access to your system.
Leaving your PC unlocked can pose a serious threat to the information present on your machine, especially when you are at work or any other such collaborative space where many people are present and there are chances you might need to leave your Windows computer alone for a while during the day.
Fortunately, Windows has a built-in solution to this problem that works efficiently and is specifically designed for this scenario. The Windows ‘Dynamic Lock’ feature enables you to pair your phone via Bluetooth and then whenever you walk away with your phone in your pocket, Windows simply locks itself to prevent any unauthorized access to your system.
Pair your Phone via Bluetooth to your Windows 11 Computer
Before you jump and enable the ‘Dynamic Lock’ feature on your Windows 11 computer, you need to first pair your phone to your Windows 11 computer via Bluetooth so Dynamic lock can automatically lock your PC when your phone is away (essentially, when you’re away).
Pairing your phone (Android or iOS) is as straightforward as it gets and you might have already done that. In case you haven’t paired your phone with your Windows computer in a while; here’s a little refresher on that for you.
First, head to the ‘Settings’ app from the Start Menu of your Windows 11 computer. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows+I shortcut on your keyboard to access it.
Next, click on the ‘Bluetooth & devices’ option from the left sidebar present on the ‘Settings’ window.
After that, click on the ‘Add a device’ tile situated in the upper section of the window. This will open a separate ‘Add a device’ window on your machine.
Next, click on the ‘Bluetooth’ option present on the overlay window.
Windows might take a few seconds to find your device. Once you can see your device name on the window, click on it to pair it with your Windows machine.
You will also receive a Bluetooth pairing request on your phone, accept it from your device to allow the connection to be made.
Once paired, you will receive a message on the window stating the same. You can now close the window.
Enable Dynamic Lock on your Windows 11 PC
The Dynamic Lock feature is disabled by default on your Windows 11 computer. However, you can enable it quickly from the ‘Settings’ once you have paired your device via Bluetooth you wish to use for ‘Dynamic Lock’ on your computer.
First, click on the ‘Settings’ option present on the Start Menu of your Windows 11 computer. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows+I shortcut to access it.
Then, click on the ‘Accounts’ tab from the left sidebar present on the ‘Settings’ window.
After that, click on the ‘Sign-in options’ tile situated in the left section of the window.
Now, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘Dynamic lock’ option under the ‘Additional settings; section on the ‘Sign-in options’ window.
Then, click to check the checkbox preceding the ‘Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away’ option to enable the Dynamic Lock feature.
The Dynamic Lock will automatically scan your connected peripherals list and select the most suitable one.
And that’s it you have enabled the Dynamic Lock feature on your Windows 11 computer.
Loophole in the Dynamic Lock Feature
While Dynamic Lock is a great solution to prevent any unauthorized access to your Windows machine, it is still not completely foolproof. It takes roughly 30-40 seconds for your computer to lock after your phone goes out of the Bluetooth range, and if there’s any user input during that time, your machine will not lock itself defeating the feature’s purpose.