On my (Windows 10) lock screen, instead of the normal "Ctrl+Alt+Delete to unlock," there is additional instruction.

Press and hold the power button, and then press the volume down button to unlock. (Or you can unlock by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete.)

I've also seen "Press and hold the Windows button, and then press the power button to unlock (Or you can unlock by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete.)" on a different computer (probably Windows 7).

In both cases, pressing the power button just causes the computer to shut off. Am I doing something wrong? Why do these instructions exist, when Ctrl+Alt+Delete works just fine?

  • 2
    That's a tablet feature, are you using a tablet or a desktop/laptop? – Michael Frank Apr 12 '18 at 3:27
  • @MichaelFrank I'm using a laptop. The Windows 7 computer was a desktop. – Paul Parker Apr 12 '18 at 3:28
  • Did you put Windows 10 into tablet mode? – Ramhound Apr 12 '18 at 3:30
  • @Ramhound Nope. – Paul Parker Apr 12 '18 at 3:32

The behavior ctrl+alt+delete is controlled by the policy
Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Option

User Configuration > Administrative Templates> System > Ctrl + Alt + Delete options

What's more, the information that shows Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to unlock is hard coded.For the message showed on your lock screen, it is really wired. I don't know if some third-party software changed the behavior.


Windows thinks the computer is a touchscreen device like a tablet. The message is hardcoded in Windows, controlled by Windows, and the content cannot be changed.

As I noted in my answer now deleted by an admin who thought a useful answer was less good than the only other answer which was not applicable, there is a thread at https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/7d14c6de-445d-4ace-95d3-dccf0f80e558/change-secure-sign-in-message?forum=win10itprosetup that talks about computers needing a BIOS and/or some Intel HID Event Filter driver updates to fix the issue on Dell laptops. This thread has no directly useful information for permanently solving the problem; it merely talks about the problem being known by both Dell and Microsoft, so yours is not a one-off or unusual problem.

The answer is as stated above and in my original answer, now deleted by somebody else because they're smarter than me, and which I'm not allowed to undelete: update your BIOS, apply all driver updates from the manufacturer, then apply all Windows updates, and the problem will hopefully go away -- at least it did for the 20+ laptops I had the problem on.

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