Windows has the option of locking your computer with a screen saver password. You set the amount of time the computer is idle before the screen saver will come on. When that time is up without a movement of the mouse or a key punch, the screen saver will appear. Then someone must enter the password to access the hard drive. This is important on a personal work computer or for home use for roommates or children. Once someone moves the mouse or uses the keyboard, a box pops-up on the screen asking for a password. Use this method for Windows XP as well as Vista.
Select the "Start Menu" icon. Click the "Control Panel" tab. Allow the control panel options to load before selecting an option. If you attempt to open a setting before finished, the computer could lock up.
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Double-click the "User Accounts" menu icon. This will bring up a list of the current user accounts.
Select the account to change the screen saver password.
Press the "Change Password" link on the left. Your screen saver password is the same as your login password for the account if you haven't changed it.
Select a password. Make sure it is a password that is easy for you to remember but will be difficult for others to guess. Use a mixture of numbers and letters.
Do not forget the password to your account. It is nearly impossible to retrieve without formatting your hard drive. If you are setting a password for security reasons, create one that is difficult to guess.