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Here is what I would like to happen (and what I mean by "like a phone"):

  1. I use my PC
  2. I stop input to the PC (therefore "idle")
  3. Some time passes (say 3 minutes)
  4. There is an indicator that the monitor that it is about to go idle (by the screen dimming or other)
  5. Some more time passes (say 15 seconds)
  6. Screen goes into power save mode
  7. I wake the monitor by using the computer and am forced to enter my account password.

I want this because I want to be more eco and have the montitor off as much as possible, but I want to prevent the long delay in the monitor waking up when I was actually using the PC, e.g. reading, but not using any input method. The early warning will allow me to interact with the PC, thus preventing full idle mode.

I also want security with convenience, so I don't want the password prompt after step 4, only after step 6.

I can get an approximation of this by setting the "Blank" screen saver for 2 minutes, and the monitor power settings to 3 minutes. However, with those settings I get the password prompt after step 4 or not at all. (Depending on the value of "On resume, display log-on screen")

FWIW, I'm using a custom built desktop PC with a Dell 3008WFP monitor running Windows 8 Pro with Media Center.

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You don't need the screensaver, using the steps below it works perfectly on my laptop. – spudowiar Apr 14 '13 at 9:15
Not all monitors have dimming function. – kinokijuf Apr 14 '13 at 10:28

I would do this using a screensaver that dims the screen rather than blanks it and then disable the option to require a password on going into screensaver mode.

There is a screensaver called PowerDimmer that does this, you would just need to configure it to dim over 30 seconds rather than the default 180 seconds.

I suspect though that Windows may not have as fine a granularity on its timing between screensaver and monitor turning off, you may have to go for 3 minutes before screensaver and 4 minutes to turn off the monitor.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't accept your answer simply based on the screensaver not being from a trusted source, nor open source. So it goes against the "security with convenience" part of the question. I've given you an upvote, tho. – nosilleg Dec 17 '13 at 20:58
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The issue with not being allowed to set a password for step 6 and not step 4 has been rectified in Windows 8.1.

With the process described in the question, you will now get your desired results.

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