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I could lock my Windows XP workstation using CTRL+ALT+DEL, K. That keystroke combination does not work on Windows 7. Is there a method of locking Windows 7 using just keystrokes?

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up vote 124 down vote accepted

Windows key+L should do what you need.

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It's worth mentioning that this isn't a new shortcut to Windows 7... it has been around since at least the XP days. Check out the "Windows key" Wikipedia page for other useful shortucts that use this key: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_key – Jesse Webb Mar 19 '13 at 22:43
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My habit: try every Windows key + letter combination and see what they do whenever a new Windows version is released. – Alvin Wong Mar 20 '13 at 6:03
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@Alvin and not only letter: the win+arrowkey have nice features too. – Konerak Mar 20 '13 at 7:01
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Win+M (or Win+D), Win+L, and Win+R are the big three for me (Also Win-P, when I used to have a laptop) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Mar 20 '13 at 7:16
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@AlvinWong , you can also check here or here for Win8 for a complete list, or in the Windows manual (printed or online). Should be easier than trying. – Jcl Mar 20 '13 at 7:38

Use Windows+L. If you use AutoHotKey you can reprogram Windows+L to do other things too, like lock your session, and also wait 10 seconds and put monitors to sleep. Powerful little hotkey program.

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Also, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Enter   and   Ctrl+Alt+Del, Alt+K seem to work for me.

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Ctrl-Alt-Del Enter is the way. This has worked across various versions of Windows for a long time, since the default button on the Ctrl-Alt-Del screen is "Lock this computer". – Kaz Mar 20 '13 at 1:35
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Also Space instead of Enter works as well, since it's the default highlighted item. – Viper_Sb Mar 20 '13 at 5:22
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Wouldn't Ctrl+Alt+Del Alt+K depend on one's installed/selected language variant, though? – Michael Kjörling Mar 20 '13 at 12:03
    
@MichaelKjörling: (1) Good point. I hadn’t consciously considered that. You are probably right. (2) I’ll fall back on @Kaz and @Viper’s suggestions that (Enter) and (Space) are the universal answers. (3) Since the OP said that K worked for him on Windows XP, I believe that it’s quite likely that he is an English user. – Scott Mar 21 '13 at 0:42
    
@Kaz: and Windows+L hasn't worked for a long time across Windows versions? Don't remember about Windows 2000, but at least since XP this worked fine. – 0xC0000022L Mar 21 '13 at 2:43

You can even use a simple batch file. Just double click on it & your PC will get locked. Just copy & paste the below code in to Notepad & save it as (for example) "lock.bat". That's it - you're done, just double click on it.

The code is:

@echo off
rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation
cls
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This is over-involved and doesn't answer the question. – Dane Mar 20 '13 at 13:05
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Also, you really shouldn't use rundll32 on things that weren't made for rundll32 (and those are deprecated since Vista) See also: blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2004/01/15/58973.aspx (Sadly down at the moment) – 3Doubloons Mar 20 '13 at 13:41
    
@AlexBrault Working fine for me now. – Michael Kjörling Mar 20 '13 at 14:56
    
If you put this file on your Desktop and assign a Shortcut key (combination) to it, then that keystroke combination will lock the workstation. It must be Ctrl+Alt+(something) or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+(something). You might need to logout and login again before it becomes effective. – Scott Mar 21 '13 at 0:50
    
This code is great when you are trying to plug this into a macro key on your keyboard. Thanks Sunil. – Josh Simar Apr 19 at 17:29

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