Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

As we all know, there is a clock on the lock screen. And the lock screen (with clock) disappears when we click to go type a password.

Can I show the lock screen (or at least the clock) from the password entry screen, without logging in and locking it again? Is there some keyboard shortcut or gesture that does this?

share|improve this question
Couldn't find it. :( – Tom Wijsman Oct 27 '12 at 0:01
I switched to the lock screen and pressed literally every combination of keys and still couldn't find anything. I discovered a couple of other interesting shortcuts though (and pushing [Shift] five times turns on Sticky Keys :P). – Nathan Osman Oct 27 '12 at 0:05
Leave the screen idle for a while or press the power button (provided you have not set your power button action to shutdown or restart your computer) – AbhishekGirish Oct 27 '12 at 0:12
trying to drag it down from the top doesn't work either – Journeyman Geek Oct 27 '12 at 0:16
@AbhishekGirish Power button does not work (set to Do Nothing, other options are Sleep and Shut Down anyway). I guess idle would work, but do you know how long the timer is, or if it can be decreased? May as well log in & lock, I guess. – Bob Oct 27 '12 at 0:20
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There does not appear to be any way to do this with the default login settings. Pressing esc does nothing.

However, if you turn on the option to require pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del to log in, then pressing esc will work, as well as hitting the "back" arrow on the login page.

To require Ctrl+Alt+Del for login, go to the run dialog (Win+R) and type in control userpasswords2. Switch to the "advanced" tab and check "Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete".

ctrl alt del options

The locked screen will look the same is normal (clock, pretty picture, and all) but instead of being able to press any key to unlock, you must enter Ctrl+Alt+Del.

share|improve this answer
Perfect! There's a nice little back arrow, too. Now why couldn't they add that behavior to the default? Silly MS. :\ – Bob Oct 27 '12 at 23:31
By default, the back arrow goes to the switch users screen, so I guess they think it would be confusing. What would make sense is if once you were on the switch users screen, you could then hit the back arrow again to go back to the lock screen. – nhinkle Oct 27 '12 at 23:32
I only have one user, so there is no switch users screen for me. But I'll take your word for it (no back arrow in default view for me). – Bob Oct 27 '12 at 23:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .