Windows 8

Slideshow: Disable the Windows 8 Lock screen

The Lock screen may be more appropriate on a tablet

In last week's blog post, Make the Windows 8 Start Screen work like the Start Menu, I showed you how to get rid of all the tiles on the Start Screen and populate it with application shortcut icons so that you can essentially use the Start Screen as a replacement for the Start Menu. What I didn't tell you was that I had initially begun my search for reviving the Start menu in the Local Group Policy Editor. Alas, there is no setting for disabling the Start Screen or enabling the Start menu.

However, I did find a setting that will allow you to do away with another possibly annoying feature designed for touch screen tablets and not necessarily for desktops - the Lock screen.

The Lock screen appears when Windows boots up and displays the date as well as notifications. While this screen is useful on a tablet, it just adds one more step to the process of getting to work on a desktop. You have to click the screen, before you can get to the Login screen. While this may not sound like a big deal, many users just want to log in without messing with another Metro doodad. Fortunately, you can disable the Lock screen from the in the Local Group Policy Editor.

This slideshow gallery is also available as a post in the Microsoft Windows Blog.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

6 comments
nicki.dean
nicki.dean

I have been trying to get rid of the Start Screen/Lock Screen, but when I type in gpedit.msc, it says that it cannot be found. Can anyone tell me how to get rid of the Start/Lock Screen, as well as the little bar that comes from the left when I move the cursor across the screen? Thanks!

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Does anyone know how to require control alt delete to login? This was a security feature that kept people from writing a mimic login screen to capture usernames and passwords. Bill

333239
333239

On the desktop all you have to do is click a key to get rid of it. On a tablet however you must swipe it upwards, then you must find and touch the password box to bring up the virtual keyboard before you can start typing your password.

mountjl
mountjl

...the article does do a good job of introducing the lay person to the local policies interface and subsequently act as a starting point for budding power-users to start their adventure in the land of GPOs, but frame it as such, don't fall on to the lame example used.

mountjl
mountjl

The effort of clicking the mouse, or pressing any single key to dismiss the lockscreen is so overwhelming as to render the at-a-glance notifications for the time, number of new messages, network notification etc unworthwhile. Not to mention the effort needed to remove that element of the interface. Jeez. Going out of your way to remove functionality that hardly represents a serious impediment seems a bit....well....stupid. Sorry.

awgiedawgie
awgiedawgie

Skipping the lock screen (and never having to look at the Metro interface) would be great. Of course, the big question will be whether the Group Policy Editor will be available in all editions of Win8, since it's not available in the Home Premium edition of other versions of Windows. Now, if Microsoft is smart, they'll put the Start Menu back in for the Desktop interface. It seems there are a lot of users that want it, and MS just isn't listening. And if they don't put it back in, and if the OEM's are smart, they'll only deploy Windows 8 on tablets, and just make it optional on notebooks and desktop machines. Or include a free downgrade to Windows 7. I suspect I'd get used to using it if I'm forced to upgrade (e.g. if I have to buy a new machine, and only Win8 units are available), but I'll admit it - I'm an old fashioned die-hard. I still use DOS commands and batch files for a number of operations. They work faster, especially when processing a large number of files, because they don't have any interfacing to do, as opposed to windowed programs that have to update their UI while they're performing the operation.