Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Delay the time between monitor off and workstation lock?

  1. #1


    Posts : 34
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64

    Delay the time between monitor off and workstation lock?


    I like having my monitor power off soon after activity stops. Currently, I have it powering off after 2 minutes of inactivity. I am also very big on locking my PC when I step away. So, I also have the screen saver kick in after 2 minutes. (Of course, I never even see a screen saver because the monitor is off. And, in fact, my screen saver is set to "None". So this setting essentially means the PC is set to lock after 2 minutes.)

    However, what often happens is that I'm sitting at the PC, and the monitor turns off, but I don't want it to lock. I move the mouse, and it's locked--even if I intervened within a second or two.

    With Windows XP, I used to be able to use the ScreenSaverGracePeriod registry value to work around this. I've tried this with my Windows 8 system, but it doesn't work. I have tried using ScreenSaverGracePeriod as both REG_SZ and as DWORD.

    Is there any way to delay the PC from locking after the monitor powers off by just a few seconds? I know I can have the monitor power off after 2 minutes but set the screen saver to 3 minutes, but I'd like to reduce the delay to a matter of seconds, if that is possible.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Crosspatch,

    I suppose one way would be to disable screen saver password protection to prevent it from basically locking the PC and asking for a password when you resume from screen saver.
    The only drawback is that you would then need to lock the PC when you do want it to be password protected when unlocking. If you like, the desktop context menu added by either tutorial below can help make it easier to lock the PC.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 34
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    Thanks. I want everything to be automated, so I don't ever forget to lock it, and just so I don't have to deal with it.

    I'll probably have to find some third-party utility that does what I want.
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  4. #4


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    But your Monitor should not be powering down in the middle of USE, so something is not set right somewhere. You should increase the screen shutdown to 5 minutes, set the wallpaper to 3. at 2 minutes, it may be ignoring mouse moves so it powers down.

    What you need is some shortcut on your desktop to invoke LOCK. But there is none built in to Windows 8 or 8.1, so you would have to make a macro or something.

    Quick Macros - automation software for Windows. Macro program. Keyboard, mouse, record, toolbars.

    Or, try this:

    Lock Windows 8 Computer

    Actually there IS a Key Combo to LOCK the system, it's Windows Key + L
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  5. #5


    Posts : 34
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    It's not powering down during use. It powers down when I pause and do something else, or I'm reading something, or whatever.

    I'm a big, longtime supporter of Win+L.

    At work, Win+L is all I use. At home, I actually care about power use and the wear-and-tear on my monitor. That, and I can't have my family discovering my deep, dark secrets.

    I'll find a solution. Thanks though!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Please share if you do.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 34
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    The closest thing I've been able to find is NirCmd, which is a command line utility that can be scripted to turn the monitor off and lock the workstation. I have not set this up yet, but I imagine it is possible to write a command script (or a NirCmd script) to do those two things, with a delay between them, and schedule it with Task Scheduler.

    (BTW, I can handle setting this up and don't need help with it. )

    I was greedily hoping to also have some way of having the system ignore mouse movements, so I didn't have to worry about that waking the monitor up. That seems to be asking too much though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    If you like, the tutorial below uses that in a desktop context menu. In addition, if you edit the .bat file from the tutorial it'll show you the command I used for this that may help as well.

    Lock Computer and Turn Off Monitor - Add to Desktop Context Menu - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by crosspatch View Post
    It's not powering down during use. It powers down when I pause and do something else, or I'm reading something, or whatever.

    I'm a big, longtime supporter of Win+L.

    At work, Win+L is all I use. At home, I actually care about power use and the wear-and-tear on my monitor. That, and I can't have my family discovering my deep, dark secrets.

    I'll find a solution. Thanks though!

    That's what I mean! I should not be sleeping at that point, even when set to a Minute. I can see it happening while Reading, but when changing from one program to another, shouldn't happen.

    Little mouse moves should prevent it, make sure you have your Sleep able to be awoken by a Mouse Move, that way moving the mouse should keep it awake while using a reading app.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Delay the time between monitor off and workstation lock?
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