How to Disable an Auto Lock Workstation

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Disable the Auto-Lock feature of a workstation through the Registry.

The Auto-Lock feature, present on most Windows operating systems, provides an additional security option that restricts access to other users when you're not present. However, if privacy is not a concern for any of your workstations, then disabling this option might be a good idea if you wish to have uninterrupted access to a given computer. Disabling this built-in feature can be accomplished by making a quick configuration change through the Windows Registry Editor. Be careful when making changes through this utility since an erroneous change could lead to serious functionality problems on your system.

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Disable Through the Registry Editor

Step 1

Log in to the workstation for which you wish to disable the Auto Lock feature.

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Step 2

Launch the Registry Editor b clicking "Start," then "Run" and typing "regedit" in the command line (for XP/ME/2000 users). Vista and 7 users, click on the "Start" orb button, type "regedit" in the "Start Search" field and press "Enter."

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Step 3

Expand the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" hive by clicking on its corresponding "+" sign. Continue expanding down the tree-directory as follows: "Software," "Microsoft," "Windows," "CurrentVersion," "Policies" and "System."

Note: If "System" sub-folder is not present, right-click the "Policies" folder, choose "New" > "Key," name it "System" and press "Enter." A new sub-folder named "System" displays below "Policies."

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Step 4

Right-click on an empty space on the right pane. A popup menu opens. Mouse-over "New" and choose the "DWORD Value" option. Name it "DisableLockWorkstation" and press "Enter."

Step 5

Double-click on the newly created DWORD "DisableLockWorkstation." A dialog box opens. Type the number "1" (one) on the "Value data" text field, make sure the "Hexadecimal" option for "Base" is selected and click "OK." Close the Registry Editor.

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