So there was a Windows 10 update that rolled in today (for me). Afterward, I noticed that it had changed the ‘Start menu’. Where there used to be an icon to let me log out, lock the PC, or change account settings is now just a file explorer link.
So here’s a secret, in the space above that, black-on-black with no icon, although it’s invisible, there’s a spot that you can click to get to that account menu. In the screenshot below, it’s the slightly lighter grey square next to Notepad. Below that you can see the (now secret, used to be standard) account menu that pops up.
Ctrl+alt+del, immediately followed by hitting return locks the computer and is now a reflexive twitch that’s basically stored in the same muscle memory as my knees flexing in order to stand up.
I blame the company I worked for years ago, that encouraged its employees to sabotage their colleagues’ terminals if they walked away without unlocking, in order to teach everyone a lesson in PC security.
You only need to watch someone work through the stages of “Oh. My desktop is gone. Ah, it turns out it was hugely zoomed in to a blank spot. Oh, it’s upside down. And in photonegative. Oh wait, this was all just a screenshot, saved over my desktop all along. Aaaand now I have to repeat these steps for real, on my actual desktop” before you get really paranoid about it…
1709 is going to be my companies first mass upgrade to a new W10 version (if you dont count our Win7 to Win10 upgrade)
The group that went to 1703 was only a few hundred. I’m generally happy with my task sequence, I just need to fine tune a couple of things for the VPN only folks. And figure out a weird OneDrive message that pops up on occasion.
While I have no proof of this, it seems like it’s a bit more granular than just “out of range” – it seems to take into account signal strength so when I get more than a few feet away with my phone it immediately locks my screen.
I mean, sure, it’s no substitute for just Win+L’ing your damn machine before walking away but I find it to be a really nice feature.
This really is a “welcome to 2003” feature though – my old Nokia 6620 had the same functionality. Pair it with my computer, and their software would lock my screen when I got far enough away.
I guess being able to just walk away from my computer and have it lock has been a wish-list feature of mine ever since I had that functionality with my old Nokia. A few years back, I threw together an Arduino Micro with an ultrasonic sensor that would send a lock command to my computer when it detected I wasn’t sitting in front of it. Unfortunately I could actually hear the pings of the sensor (or more accurately, noise from the components) and it drove me crazy enough to abandon the project. It was a nice little proof of concept, though.
So hard to find a keyboard these days without one.
Pretty much the only thing I use that key for is locking the screen… I know there’s other shortcuts using it, but I’ve never felt the need. Most of the time it just ends up being accidentally hit when I’m aiming for something else.
 Well, I got curious and looked. It looks like there are a (very) few shortcuts using that key that I may have to remember. Most of them are either things I’ve never needed to do or ones I can do just as easily without the key, though.
Windows+arrow key to snap a window to a position on-screen is very useful if you’ve only got one (16:9) monitor but need to reference information from several different programs at once. I probably use it more than any other keyboard shortcut, come to think of it…