Windows 7

Lock the Desktop from the Taskbar

SUMMARY: Add an icon to the Windows 7 Taskbar that locks the Desktop.

Many people lock their Windows desktop while they are away from their computer for a few minutes. In Windows 7 you can do this by pressing Windows Key + L. However, what if you frequently lock the desktop and would like a one-click shortcut directly from the taskbar?

1. Right-click an empty area of the Desktop and choose "New" - "Shortcut".

2. The "Create Shortcut" dialog box appears. Underneath "Type the location of the item", type in:

rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

Creating a new shortcut to lock the Windows 7 workstation

3. Click "Next" to continue.

4. Underneath "Type a name for this shortcut", enter your desired description text. For this example we'll use the following:

Lock the Desktop

5. Click "Finish" to make your shortcut.

6. We're not done yet. Right-click your new Desktop shortcut and click "Properties".

Accessing properties for the new "Lock the Desktop" shortcut

7. The "Lock the Desktop Properties" multi-tabbed dialog box appears. Click the "Change Icon" button.

Changing the icon for the new "Lock the Desktop" shortcut

8. The "Change Icon" dialog box appears. Underneath "Look for icons in this file" type in the following and press Enter:


9. Now scroll through the list of icons and you should see a nice lock icon. Double-click it.

10. Click "OK" on the "Lock the Desktop Properties" dialog box to close it.

11. Now drag the icon to the taskbar. Click and hold the left mouse button on the icon, then drag the icon to the taskbar until "Pin to Taskbar" appears and then release the mouse button.

12. If you don't want to keep the shortcut on the Desktop, you can click on the "Lock the Desktop" icon and press Del to remove it.

This tip was written for Windows 7 RC. Screenshots and information are subject to change between this and the official release of Windows 7.

Return to the Windows 7 page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.