More on Locking Windows XP Quickly

By Neil J. Rubenking  |  Posted 2004-02-03 Print this article Print

Depending on your XP settings, the traditional locking method can work just like it did in Windows 2000.

The article "Quickly Lock the Computer" offers a workaround for the fact that you can no longer lock a Windows XP machine by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del followed by Enter. Quite a few puzzled readers wrote in, because they found this key combination still works for them precisely the same way it did under Windows 2000.

Why would it work on some systems and not others? The difference involves the use of the Welcome screen. If you configure Windows XP to use the Welcome screen, Ctrl-Alt-Del brings up Task Manager. If you configure it to log-on using the Windows 2000 style, Ctrl-Alt-Del brings up Windows Security and pressing Enter at that point locks your computer.

To enable or disable the Welcome screen, launch the User Accounts applet from the Control Panel and click on the link Change the way users log on or off. The box titled Use the welcome screen for fast and easy logon controls whether the Welcome screen is displayed.

Neil J. Rubenking Neil Rubenking served as vice president and president of the San Francisco PC User Group for three years when the IBM PC was brand new. He was present at the formation of the Association of Shareware Professionals, and served on its board of directors. In 1986, PC Magazine brought Neil on board to handle the torrent of Turbo Pascal tips submitted by readers. By 1990 he had become PC Magazine's technical editor, and a coast-to-coast telecommuter. His 'User to User' column supplied readers with tips and solutions on using DOS and Windows, his technical columns clarified fine points in programming and operating systems, and his utility articles (over forty of them) provided both useful programs and examples of programming in Pascal, Visual Basic, and Delphi. Mr. Rubenking has also written seven books on DOS, Windows, and Pascal/Delphi programming, including PC Magazine DOS Batch File Lab Notes and the popular Delphi Programming for Dummies. In his current position as a PC Magazine Lead Analyst he evaluates and reports on client-side operating systems and security solutions such as firewalls, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam and full security suites. He continues to answer questions for readers in the ongoing 'Solutions' column and in PC Magazine's discussion forums.

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