Improve Windows' lock screen with WinLockr

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 24, 2013
Windows, Windows software

Most Windows users know that they can lock the operating system with the shortcut Windows-L, or with a click on the start menu / Charms menu and the selection of lock from the options displayed there. The operating system is locked and users who want to access the computer need to enter the account password before they can do just that.

While that may keep some users from signing in to accounts, it won't protect the system from being shut down or rebooted. There is also no indication if someone tried to sign in to the system in the meantime.

WinLockr is a free program for the Windows operating system that improves the lock screen functionality of the system in several ways. The lightweight application keeps track of failed unlocks and shutdown attempts, and adds a couple of other improvements to it as well:

  • It prevents the shutdown of the computer. It furthermore blocks other power state changes such as restarts or attempts to log off the current user. Note that it won't prevent a shutdown if someone cuts the power supply.
  • The program blocks mouse and keyboard automatically. Only the keys needed to enter the user password are permitted, and those are the numbers from 0 to 9, and letters from a to z.
  • It locks the computer in full screen mode, so that no one can see what the signed in user has been doing on the system previously.

The first time you start the program you are asked to select a password. This password protects the PC when you lock it. As always, it is important to remember the password as you won't be able to unlock the PC by yourself if you forget it.

The main interface of the portable program displays several options that you can activate or use. You can create a lock shortcut, that you can click on or auto-start to lock the system, or use the lock Windows button here to lock it manually.

An option to install the app on an USB Flash drive or storage device is available, and you may improve the protection by enabling the USB unlock option. The PC gets unlocked automatically if you connect the USB device to the PC in this case. Here you can also enable the fullscreen  lock mode. A small lock screen window is displayed otherwise on the desktop, so that users can see the running programs and desktop shortcuts.


WinLockr offers an alternative to Windows' native lock screen. It is completely independent from it though, and can only be activated via a shortcut or a click on the lock Windows button in the program interface. I guess it is possible to assign a keyboard hotkey to the shortcut once you have created it though.

It provides you with information about failed access attempts, which the default lock screen does not. It may be worth a try, especially in situations where someone else knows the Windows user account password and where you want better protection and basic power-state change protection.


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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved:

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run.

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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