Windows 7: Create a Shortcut to Lock Your Computer

If you want to lock your Windows workstation there are a couple of different key combinations you can use. You can also create a shortcut and pin it on the Windows 7 taskbar. If you’re running Windows 10, we documented those steps also. For Windows 7 however, here’s how to do it.

Create a Shortcut to Lock Your Windows 7 PC

First, right-click the Desktop and select New > Shortcut.


In the Create Shortcut window type or copy in the following:

Rundll32.exe User32.dll,LockWorkStation


Next, give the shortcut a name like “Lock Computer” and click Finish.


Now the “Lock Computer” icon will appear on the desktop. Right-click on it and select Properties.


In the Properties window select the Shortcut tab. Click Change Icon.


Now type: C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll into the “Look for Icons this file” field. Select the icon you want to use for the shortcut and click OK.


Set the Run dropdown menu to Minimized, then click OK.


Then drag the Lock Computer icon you just created to the Taskbar and pin it.


Now you can click the icon to lock your computer.


There you go. Now, of course, you will need to sign in to your PC again the next time you want to access a session.


If you’re a keyboard master, use Ctrl+Alt+Delete then select Lock Computer. Or you can use an even quicker shortcut combination of Windows Key+L. One of our readers also pointed out that you can also assign an unused Function Key (I use F11) as a shortcut key if WIN+L takes too long for you.



  1. Rajesh

    like it !!!

  2. Austin Krause

    I always use Windows Key + L, but this is very nice for touch-screens – especially if it works with Windows 8!

    • KG

      Wouldn’t the Control-Alt-Delete combo work? I guess it is an extra step, but it seems to work for me every time….

    • Noah

      Yes! I don’t even know why they made this article. Windows Key+L is built in!

      • James Perkins

        I found this useful. I use my Ubuntu workstation mouse and keyboard provide most of the input to my Windows 7 notebook via the Synergy app, and avoid touching the notebook keyboard most of the time.

        Since the remote computer keyboard is not a keyboard master, the WindowsKey + L method is not honored. I have set my shortcut key combination to Ctrl + Alt + L, which is the same as Ubuntu.

        I still have to touch the noteboook keyboard to enter Ctrl + Alt + Del and password, but that’s all I need it for.

  3. Ritesh

    awesome !!! this is very userful. Thank you

  4. Vaibhav Dingre

    Thanks a million for this tiny yet most useful setting and the keyboard shortcut.

  5. hydralisk

    At my work I have to lock the workstation every time when I’m leaving the desk… On the Linux machine I’ve changed the shortcut from Ctrl + Alt + L to Pause/Break button, which is very convenient, and not used by any program.
    Is it possible to change Win + L, to Pause/Break button on Windows without third party programs?

    I don’t know why the aren’t using that button…

    • Steve Krause

      Not that I’m aware of. This is a “BASE OS” function and Microsoft is fairly picky with the LOCK function. There is a way in the registry to disable Win+L however, I don’t think there is a native function to reassign the keys to lock Windows 10 (or previous version).

      • Austin

        It can be scripted with autohotkey, or better yet I believe if you make a shortcut like in the article above you can assign a keyboard shortcut to run the shortcut.

        • hydralisk

          Unfortunately I can’t assign Pause/Break button as a shortcut to run the shortcut… But with autohotkey I should do this :)

          Thank you.

    • Noah Gregory

      My Linux works with Win-L

  6. trailmax

    I work from home and we have a 2 month baby. Many times I find myself with a baby in one hand and a need to lock the workstation. Win+L assumes (on my keyboard) you have 2 hands on the keyboard.
    This shortcut saves the day since it can be operated with a mouse!

  7. some guy

    thanks computer dude!! saves me a lot of hassle. i pinned it to my taskbar so now its right next to the windows/start button thingy.

  8. Danae

    Thank you! I always use Windows Key + L, but there’s been an upgrade to our Win10 Citrix and now the WinKey+L combination no longer works! Your shortcut works a treat though :)

  9. J. Martin

    1) Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties.
    2) In the Properties window select the Shortcut tab.
    3) Click on the box “Shortcut key”.
    4) So hit a function key you do not use (F7, F8, F10, etc.).
    5) Then click OK.

    Now every time you hit that function key you will lock your computer. =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top