Locking your computer is a simple yet effective way of further protecting UMW data and system access.  On August 3, 2012, we will be implementing a new university-wide screensaver timeout for University of Mary Washington systems.

After 30 minutes of inactivity, your screen will lock, and you will be required to enter your password to unlock the system.  This will not cause any programs to close or shut down; it will only prompt you to log back in.

This change will not affect PCs in open areas intended for public use, labs, classrooms or signage equipment.

If you would like to have a shorter screen saver lockout, you can manually change the setting on your PC (located under Screen Saver Settings) by modifying the power settings.

Windows 7 Set PC to Lock in Less Than 30 Minutes

Windows xp Set PC to Lock in Less Than 30 Minutes

If you have a non-Windows PC (such as Mac or Linux), you will need to manually change your settings and set a screensaver timeout.  The instructions are at the bottom of this page.  The Help Desk is also available to assist.

When you leave your desk, please lock your system.  This can be easily done by holding down the Windows key (bottom left of your keyboard between the CTRL and Alt keys) and pressing the L key.  This will lock your PC.  When you return, hold down the Alt, Ctrl and Delete keys.  You will then be prompted to enter your password.  This will not close any open programs.  This helps to protect your computer from unauthorized access.

Mac and Linux Screensaver Instructions


Mac OS X

1. Screensaver Configuration

a. Open System Preferences either by clicking on the dock icon or selecting System Preferences from the Apple menu

b. Select Desktop & Screensaver

c. Click on the Screen Saver button and select a screensaver, or check Use random screen saver

d. Set the Start screen saver: timer to 30 minutes or less

e. Click back to return to the System Preferences Menu

f. Click on “Security” or “Security & Privacy” (OSx version dependent)

g. Place a checkmark next to “Require a password for sleep and screensaver” and set the level to “Immediately”

h. You will also have to check “Disable automatic login” if it is not already


2. Locking the screen manually

a. Open a Finder window and navigate to Utilities -> Keychain Access

b. Double click on Keychain Access to run the application

c. On the Mac’s menu bar select Preferences…

d. On the General tab, check the box Show Status in Menu Bar and close Keychain Access

e. A lock icon is now on the right side of the Mac’s Menu Bar.

f. To manually lock the desktop, click the lock icon and select Lock Screen


RedHat Linux (Gnome Desktop)

1. Screensaver Configuration

a. From the menu bar select System, Administration and Screensaver.

b. This will open a new window from which you can select a screen saver.

c. Check the box that says to require a password to unlock the screen saver and set the time to 15 minutes or less.


2. Locking the screen manually

a. In the menu bar select System and Lock System.