How to lock your workstation

Locking means protecting your workstation with password while you are away. All programs will be left open and running in the background, and the desktop will open wherever you left off when you log back in. Your workstation should always be locked when you leave the desk, whether it's for lunch, coffee, to print something, or to run other errands.


Mac OS X 

Red Hat Linux

Windows workstation

To lock a Windows workstation press CTRL + ALT + DEL and choose "Lock" from the list. 

 Windows CTRL + ALT + DEL view

To resume work, log back in with your password.

Alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows button + L, which immediately locks the workstation.

Mac OS X Workstation

OS X workstations are locked automatically after a specified delay when the screen saver starts. To be able to lock your workstation manually, you have to first configure the locking delay and then configure Hot Corner function. After the Hot Corner function has been enabled, the workstation can be locked by moving the mouse cursor to a specified corner of the screen.

The process has two parts: First configuring the automatic lock delay and then configuring the Hot Corner function.


First configure the automatic lock delay:

1. Click on the Apple button in the top bar of Finder. Choose "System Preferences..."

System Preferences

2. Choose "Security & Privacy" from the "System Preferences" window.System Preferences / Security

3. Check "Require password after sleep or screen saver begins" and specify the delay. It is recommended to set the delay to "immediately", "5 seconds" or "1 minute".

Security & Privacy

Then configure the Hot Corner function:

1. Click on the Apple button in the top bar of Finder. Choose "System Preferences..."

System Preferences

2. In the "System Preferences" window, open "Desktop & Screen Saver"

System Preferences 2

3. Choose "Screen Saver" tab from the "Desktop and Screen Saver" window

System Preferences 3

4. Click "Hot Corners..."

System Preferences 4

5. Specify a corner which you want to use to activate the Screen Saver and lock the workstation. In the example below top right corner will be used as a Hot Corner. After selecting the corner click "OK".

System Preferences 5


Red Hat Linux Workstation

A Red Hat Linux workstation can be locked by opening the settings menu from the top bar and then clicking on the Lock symbol.

Linux Lock Workstation