One of the security features of Windows 10 is the ability to have Windows 10 require a password when the computer wakes up from the Sleep state. The same feature also controls whether Windows 10 requires a password when its been displaying a Screensaver.
Yes, it’s a security feature. It’s meant to control whether someone who has physical access to the computer (family members at home and/or co-workers at the office) can use your computer as if they were you.
At the office, most IT departments implement short-timed screensavers and computer locking, and don’t allow mere users to turn off or change those settings. This is a good thing.
Even better, you can lock your computer easily if you need to get some coffee, go to the restroom, or other activity that takes you away from your desk.
Just hold down the Windows key and press the L key. Instant lock.
However, when we’re at home, many of us view the screensaver lock as an annoyance rather than a helpful security feature.
One thing we can do is to change the screensaver time (via the Power settings) to a high value, such as 60 minutes. On our home computers, though, we can also disable the locking function while still enabling the screensaver — a much better solution.
With Windows 10, the adjustments are found in the Settings app…
To change this setting, start by clicking the Start button and selecting the Settings Cog on the left side of the Start Menu.
Then, select Accounts. That will give you the sub-menu for Windows 10 settings for accounts created on this computer.
In the left-hand column of the Accounts menu, select Sign-in options. That is,
Settings > Accounts > Sign-In Options
If you’re using a Standard User account, and you should be in Windows 10, you’ll get a warning message at this point if Windows 10 is set to require a password when waking (which is the default setting).
The right-hand side of the Sign-in Options has a red error message that says "Authentication is required when this PC wakes from sleep. Sign in as an administrator to change this setting."
If you have signed in with an account that has administrator status, you don’t get the warning, and you can proceed with changes to this setting.
The option box (notice the pull-down on the right-hand end of the box) says "When PC wakes up from sleep."
If you click anywhere in the option box (e.g., on the selected value or on the pull-down indicator), the two available options will be displayed. They are:
- When PC wakes up from sleep
If you don’t want to have to input a password when the computer wakes from sleep or from the screensaver, select Never.
That’s all there is to the change. It takes effect immediately — there are no Apply or OK or Save buttons to be used.
Changing back is just as simple.
Note that this change does not disable the password requirement when starting or restarting the computer.
When Windows 10 starts, it will require selection of a user (you should have at least 2 — and administrator user and your standard user, which you should use for almost everything you do) and a password (if the user ID requires a password).
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