College of FAA: How to Lock Your Screen

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This article applies only to Faculty, Staff and Students of the College of Fine and Applied Arts (FAA).
For more information, please contact Technology Services at FAA via:


Details on how customers can lock their screens to secure their data while leaving their computers unattended.

Impacted Systems

  • Computers running Windows or macOS.

Affected Customers

  • Customers throughout FAA.


In order to comply with University guidelines, managed computers in the College of Fine and Applied Arts are being configured so that their screens automatically lock, requiring re-authentication by the current user, after 20 minutes of inactivity. Inactivity is described as no interaction with the computer in any way.

  • Watching a video, writing email, surfing the web, presenting with PowerPoint, any movement of the mouse, or hitting a key on the keyboard are all examples of activity that will reset the 20 minutes.

NOTE: Locking your screen DOES NOT terminate any programs you have running on the computer. When you unlock the computer, you will have everything as it was before.

For increased security, users may wish to set their screen to lock automatically after less than 20 minutes of inactivity, or to have their screens lock immediately. There are various options for achieving this:

  • Immediate screen lock via keyboard shortcuts:

    • Microsoft Windows: Windows Key + L
    • macOS: Shift + Ctrl + Eject (or Shift + Ctrl + Power for computers without an eject button) - note: it may take 5 seconds for the screen to lock after the display darkens
  • Immediate screen lock via hot corners: Hot corners define actions that occur when you move your mouse/track pad cursor into a specified corner of the screen.

    • macOS: Visit System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver, click on the Screen Saver tab, then click on "Hot Corners..." in the bottom-right corner. Here you can define actions for any or all of the four corners of the screen, including "Put Display to Sleep" or "Start Screen Saver". Either of these actions should result in the screen locking after 5 seconds.
  • Timed screen lock via screen saver settings: If a system screen saver begins running, the screen will also be locked. Users that want their screens to automatically lock after less than 20 minutes of inactivity, may set their screen saver start time to a time less than the automatic lock time. This will result in their screen locking sooner.

    • Microsoft Windows: Due to technical limitations it is not possible to set your automatic lock time. If you have concerns with this please contact Technology Services at FAA.
    • macOS: Visit System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver and click on the Screen Saver tab. In the lower-left corner of the window there is a "Start after" drop-down menu where you can configure the screen saver to begin after several predefined time spans. You can choose from various screen savers in the left-hand side of the window and also configure other behaviors under "Screen Saver Options...".


Keywords:screen lock, lockout   Doc ID:72348
Owner:FAA-IT U.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2017-04-05 16:40 CDTUpdated:2019-03-25 14:39 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
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