How to disable or delay the lock screen in Windows 8

There’s a large part of my heart that feels like Microsoft neglected non-touch screen users with Windows 8.  Yes, I get it, touch is purported to become increasing ubiquitous; however, I like my non-touch laptop just fine.  For people like us, it’s disconcerting to have to jump through hoops to make our computers work the way we want.

If you’re in a bad mood, I’m convinced that your bilious disposition is a function of everything Microsoft took away in Windows 8.

But it doesn’t have to be all bad.  With a few nimble clicks, we can easily disable the lock screen.  Or if I can’t induce you to completely forsake the lock screen I’ll show you how to increase how long it takes before the screen locks on your computer when it’s idle.

Let’s talk about disabling the lock screen.  We’ll set it up so when Windows wakes up, it zips right to the password input screen and completely avoids that annoying tablet biased screen…

Disabling the Lock Screen

Windows 8 Lock Screen

We can make Windows comply with our wishes by kicking open the Local Group Policy Editor and enabling the Do not display lock screen attribute.

Press the Windows Key + r to bust open the run dialog box then type this:

gpedit.msc

Welcome to the Local Group Policy Editor.  This program is what Microsoft calls a MMC snap-in and it gives you a single interface to a myriad of configuration goodies.  I encourage you to explore all the stuff you can change here after you read this post.

Windows 8 Do not display lock screen

To disable the lock screen, click through the following folders in the left pane: Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, Personalization and then double click Do not display lock screen.

In the properties screen, change the radio button from Not Configured to Enabled, click OK and you’re done.

Do not display the lock screen, enabled

Give it a quick test: press the Windows Key + L and you should see the password input box instead of that inane lock screen.

Windows 8 Password Lock Screen

If you don’t have the group policy editor, I don’t think Windows 8 core has it, you can accomplish the same magic with the registry editor.

From the Start Screen, type it out and press enter

regedit

Windows 8 Regedit

When it launches the User Account Control box pops into your face.  Click Yes.

User Account Control Regedit

Now, click File and choose Export so you can save a copy of the registry.  It’s really important to do this every time you make a Registry change because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can really break things. Save the export to a jump drive and follow me.

In the left pane, navigate to:

 Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Now right click that Windows key, choose New and pick Key from menu.

Disable the lock screen from the Registry

Name it

Personalization

Next, right click an empty area of the right pane and choose New and choose DWORD (32-bit Value)

Name it

NoLockScreen

and double-click it and change the value from 0 to 1.

Click OK and that will do it for you.  It should look like the graphic below.

Windows 8 No Lock Screen

Delaying the Lock Screen

To increase the time it takes the lock screen to appears on your idle computer, just right click the desktop, choose Personalize and pick Screen Saver.

Windows 8 Screen Saver

In the Screen Saver Settings box change the wait time to a higher value, check On resume, display logon screen and choose OK.

Windows 8 Screen Saver settings

 

That’s it!

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Posted in How To, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with:
  • fivekitten

    Tried this in Windows 8.1 (not Pro) and didn’t work. 🙁 But thanks for posting it anyhow.

  • dragonnightfire

    It Works With Windows 8.1 but you have to reboot in order for any REGISTRY Changes to take affect. 🙂

  • pscottcummins

    Thanks SO MUCH for this! You really saved my hide Vonnie. I wish you were president of Microsoft, relating their arcane ways of doing things in a common sense how-people-actually-think-and-talk manner seems to have escaped the bazillion people working there…

    • Bob Peck

      Agreed – Vonnie for President!

  • Bob Peck

    Thanks Vonnie. I had found several instructions on this, but my system won’t recognize the gpedit.msc command and evidently doesn’t have a local group policy editor and my registry didn’t have a “Personalization” key. Your instructions to create a new key did it. Seems it would have been simple for Microsoft to have put an option for this somewhere in the control panel. I could have saved millions of us an hour each searching the internet for a solution.

  • FoxHelms

    Here is a much easier and more effective way to do it (if you’re using a laptop)

    Click on the battery icon in the task tray at the bottom right of your screen
    Select “More Power Options” This should bring you to a control panel window. Make sure HP Recommended is selected, and click on the link to the right that says “Change Plan Settings” Where it says, “Put the computer to sleep”. Change both drop downs to “Never” Then click Save Changes, and you’re done! Now you can leave your laptop idle for as long as you want, and you will still return to an unlocked laptop!

  • Shrdlu42

          Thanks, it worked! (I’ll omit the obvious complaints about Why the heck Microsoft did this to us!)

          However, I still have a secondary screen (with my account Id – I guess) which I have to get past before going to the Start Screen. I never had to do so before (see next paragraph). Any ideas on how to skip this step and have the system go automatically to the Start Screen (the way it did before)?

          By the way, word of warning to everyone. These problems only started because I tried to use DosBox, VMware Player, and then Oracle VirtualBox on my system. I’m not sure which one caused this to happen. Though uninstalling VirtualBox didn’t correct it. (Uninstalling it did, however, cause one of my two wireless mouses to stop working! Ah the joys of Windows 8.1)

  • Emily

    Thanks for your sharing. Here I also find a good article about how to disable Windows 8 lock screen in easy steps on http://tinyurl.com/jvgzmxw

  • Gebeca54

    Well, I love to read this article, and I find another tutorial about how to customize Windows 8 lock screen, you can read it in: http://goo.gl/mTkMlv

  • Ananth Kumar

    Thank you ….. tried everywhere but couldn’t find the right solution for it….. it was quite irritating when the computer locks every minute….

  • Thanks! It also works with my brand-spanking new Windows 10.

  • Ranjith Nagendhiran

    if i press winkey+l it takes too much time to lock the screen
    help me to solve this please…