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How to change Lock screen timeout before display turn off on Windows 10

On Windows 10, similar to Windows 8.1, the operating system features a Lock screen before you sign in to your account. The new experience showcases date and time, quick status for apps you choose, and more importantly a background image, which typically, users opt to display personal pictures or those from Windows Spotlight.

While the Lock screen provides useful information and beautiful pictures, you probably noticed that your computer's display turns off after 60 seconds when you lock your Windows 10 account. This happens even if you change the power options to never turn off the monitor or never put the computer to sleep.

The reason is that by design, the operating system includes a function that detects when the device is locked and waits for 60 seconds. After the time expires, the computer screen goes black. This is a function, which for a mysterious reason, users can't customize in Control Panel or the Settings app. However, you can modify the Registry to enable a new option in the power settings to change the time to anything you want.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to tweak the Registry (or Command Prompt) to customize the operating system should way until turning the display off, which will give you more time to see the background, status, and interact with Cortana on the Lock screen.

How to change the time when the display turns off when your PC is locked

Important: Before diving into this guide, it's worth noting that editing the registry can be dangerous, and it can cause irreversible damage to your system if you don't do it correctly. It's highly recommended to make a full backup of your PC before proceeding. You've been warned!

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type regedit, and click OK to open the registry.
  2. Browse the following path:HKEYLOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\7516b95f-f776-4464-8c53-06167f40cc99\8EC4B3A5-6868-48c2-BE75-4F3044BE88A7
  3. On the right side, double-click the Attributes DWORD.
  4. Change the value from 1 to 2.
  5. Click OK.

These steps only enabled the option on Windows 10 called "Console lock display off timeout." Now the only thing left to do is to customize this option to any time you want. To do this, use these instructions:

  1. Use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu and select Power Options.
  2. Click the Change plan settings link for the selected plan.

  1. Click the Change advanced power settings link.

  1. On Advanced settings, scroll down and expand the Display settings.
  2. You should now see the Console lock display off timeout option, double-click to expand.
  3. Change the default time of 1 minute to the time you want, in minutes.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Click OK to complete the task.

Once you complete the steps, you can test the new settings by locking your computer (Windows key + L keyboard shortcut), and now the screen shouldn't turn off until the time you set expires.

At any time, you can revert the changes by following the previous steps, but this time, on step 4 change the registry value key from 2 to 1.

How to change the Lock screen timeout using Command Prompt

The beauty of Windows is that you can configure the same feature in a number of ways. Alternatively, you can use the PowerCfg.exe utility to change you display timeout setting when your computer is locked. When it's connected to AC power or when your device is running on battery (DC power).

To change the Lock screen timeout using Command Prompt, do the following:

  1. Use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu and select Command Prompt (admin).
  2. Type the following command and press Enter:powercfg.exe /SETACVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOCONLOCK 60Important: You must change "60" in the command-line with the timeout time you want to use, in seconds. For example, if you want the screen to turned on for 5 minutes, then you need to use 300 at the end of the command.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter:powercfg.exe /SETACTIVE SCHEME_CURRENT

  1. Use the Windows key + L keyboard shortcut to lock your PC and see if the new settings work.

The command mentioned in step 2 will work when your computer is using AC power. You must replace /SETACVALUEINDEX for /SETDCVALUEINDEX if you want to change the timeout setting on your laptop or tablet running on battery.

It's worth noting that while changing the Registry settings is an advanced task, during my test, I have found that sometimes using the command lines may settings may not work as expected, but it's an alternative.

On the other hand, changing the Registry worked perfectly, and after making the tweak, I can simply go to the Power Options settings in Control Panel and adjust the Lock screen timeout without having to use any commands.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

18 Comments
  • Great tip!
  • are you kidding, lockscreen is useless for me. it doesn't display any information, and windows highlight doesn't work at all. moreover I don't want to put a password on my desktop, its useless for me and now that I do I have to manually switch on num lock every time i start my pc.
  • Tried this?
    https://www.cnet.com/how-to/automatically-log-in-to-your-windows-10-pc/
  • Yes I have on my laptop but it works kinda funky. On settings i already have selected never but with no success....
  • Actually, with the Anniversary Update, if you use PIN for sign in, it'll let you use the numbers on the keypad regardless of whether Num Lock is on or off. As for displaying information, there are apps that will let you customize what is shown on the lock screen. And if you don't want to type a password or PIN, it's a lot safer to use Windows Hello (face, iris, or fingerprint recognition). And with face recognition, it happens so quickly that you'll barely even nitric the lock screen when you sit down.
  • the numblock ignoring is for the latest 2 insider fast i think   btw: i finally don't get annoyed at startup with my laptop, it's way better and wish it had been implemented from the start. my vaio bios is almost unmodifiable (aka ******) so i couldn't change the default status neither.
  • The problem I am having is i cant get the lock screen to show the status of my apps, although I have chosen them in lock screen settimgs. But if I lock the screen then they show up
  • The problem is that for every walk-around that users figure out, MS blocks it in a later update. I really don't get the reason why disabling lock screen should not be a convenient option for users
  • Why not make this a feature request? And why are control panel settings still not part of settings settings?
  • What about Windows 10 Mobile
  • Why would this apply to mobile where battery life is a priority?
  • For example, you are using continuum and you want to change the screen time out for more than 5 min
  • Wc app tip:: These type of tips are useful. Please add OFFLINE POCKET to save it...
  • My probllem is with Windows 10 mobile not the PC. The black screen really comes on at a bad time,during phone calls and listening to voicemail for example.  Receiving text messages I don't see who is sending the message until after the entire ringtone plays. Incomeing calls, I don't see the caller information until the ringtone plays 3 times.
  • Have u ever tried to hard reset it??
  • Sweet!
  • Don't know why you assume everyone has a keyboard for shortcuts... Bought the Surface couldn't afford the keyboard
  • I just saw this. I don't really care what the screen shows after it locks, be it pictures, time and date, useless info, or even the screen being off. I DO care how long it takes BEFORE it locks to begin with. 1 minute (current default) is annoying. I can't look at my desk, talk to a client, or even take a call before the thing locks. When you use a softphone (on the PC), and you constantly have to CTRL+ALT+DEL and then type your password over and over, not only does it create frustration, it sometimes means lost calls. My company's GP has 30 mins (and forces CTRL+ALT+DEL), but Win10 1803 seems to ignore that, and I am back to 1 minute, no matter what I set. I can't install a "mouse mover" or similar "keybot" tool to prevent this...so what options are there? Thanks :)