How to use the new Dynamic Lock in Windows 10 Creators Update

Another ease-of-use addition available in the Windows 10 Creators Update is Dynamic Lock, which uses a Bluetooth connection between your phone and your PC to automatically lock your PC when you (and your phone) move out of range.

Your PC will stay unlocked for 30 seconds after it senses you've left the Bluetooth range. It doesn't unlock your PC; if you go out of range and Dynamic Lock shuts things down, you have to sign in with your password, PIN, or Windows Hello.

Despite its shortcomings, Dynamic Lock can be useful for people who uses their devices in public or for anyone who likes to lock their device every time they leave the desk. This feature works with any Bluetooth-enabled phone. Let's take a look at how to set everything up so you can add an extra layer of security to your PC.

How to pair your phone with your PC

First, you need to change some settings on your phone. As stated, Dynamic Lock can work with any Bluetooth-enabled phone, but here we lay out the steps using a Windows phone.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap All settings.
  3. Tap Devices.

  1. Tap Bluetooth.
  2. Tap the switch below Status so that it turns on.

Second, you need to set up your PC and pair your phone.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Settings.

  1. Click Devices.
  2. Click Bluetooth & other devices.

  1. Click the switch below Bluetooth so that it turns on.
  2. Click Add Bluetooth or other device.

  1. Click Bluetooth. (Your PC will search for your phone.)
  2. Click your phone.

  1. Click Connect, as long as the PINs match on both devices.
  2. Click Done.

How to turn on Dynamic Lock

Now that your phone and PC are paired, you can enable Dynamic Lock.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Accounts.

  1. Click Sign-in options.
  2. Click the checkbox in the Dynamic Lock section so that a checkmark appears. (You might have to scroll down to find it.)

That's all there is to it. When you and your phone leave the range of Bluetooth, your PC will lock within 30 seconds. Keep in mind that if someone intercepts your laptop and begins using it before the 30 seconds elapses, the lock won't take effect.

The delay is a way to prevent your laptop from locking up when the spottiness of Bluetooth causes a random drop, but it's also a bit of a security risk. However, as long as you don't rely solely on Dynamic Lock to keep your laptop safe, it is a handy way to add an extra layer of security.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

  • Anyone have a recommendation for a problem-free Bluetooth dongle? Maybe one with WiFi also to enable Miracast?
  • What the Dynamic Lock feature *desperately* needs is the ability to fine-tune the signal threshold below which your device will lock. I don't feel like this is a useful feature if your Bluetooth signal strength just happens to still be decent when you're already halfway down the block. Unless I run to that spot where I lose BT connectivity, the classic lock timeout will already have kicked in.
  • There is a registry entry you can make until they figure how to code it into the interface. There is a nice write up in explaining how to measure signal strength and how to adjust the registry
  • Dude, you rock. Thank you!
  • It's a nice idea, but it needs the option to adjust the delay time (say 10-30 seconds)
  • Ideas like this make me appreciate having a Windows phone
  • Learning to actually read the articles, Priceless.
  • You can use any phone with BT.
  • I completely forgot about this feature!
  • Useful to those that have a Windows 10 phone and a Windows 10 PC. What's that.....a few thousand users at best?
  • You don't need a Windows 10 phone: just a smartphone.
  • The article even states that it'll work with any Bluetooth enabled phone. I bet you could even use a flip phone.
  • This would probably work with a Bluetooth beatbox around my neck.
  • Less useful when you have the new Bluetooth 5.0 I guess... The range is dramatically increased.
  • This featuree isnt allowing me to enable it on win 10 UK build 16170.1000 Version 1703
  • Did you already pair your phone? It's greyed out if you don't have any connected phones. Btw, I wish this would work with bt speakers as well 😉
  • Yeah paired but not working
  • "This feature works with any Bluetooth-enabled phone.". Really? My Nokia 7650 can unlock my PC? Cool! /s
  • This has nothing to do with UNlocking your PC.
  • Since Cortana syncs between PC and phone, it would be nice to her Cortana on my phone to "lock my PC named (PC_Name)"
  • Hey Cortana, disable Bluetooth. or Hey Cortana, Lock computer
  • You can disconnect bluetooth by "hey cortana". Just say "hey cortana, turn bluetooth off". It doesn't disable but disconnect your PC Bluetooth by turning it off. Same goes with Wifi or any other toggle buttons in action center.
  • Wow it even works in the UK lol
  • Ctrl+alt+del enter.... Hard to beat that in speed! Look forward to more interactions between phone and pc/laptop though
  • Windows Key + L = even faster ;)
  • Lol thanks guys, I can't seem to untrain myself from ctrl-alt-del back when there was no Windows key!!
  • Since I started doing my current job, I just can't live without win+l 😀 If you have 10 minutes for having a puff, drinking a coffe, gping to toilet and maybe even eat something, the few seconds you spare using the hotkey really makes a difference 😂
  • Faster, but this is a nice backup in case you forget.
  • Yep, I think dynamic lock is intended for just that purpose. Say if you leave and forget - I've worked in numerous places where it is a requirement to lock your PC anytime you are away from it and this is a good backup
  • Win+L is less keys and a bit faster. Or if you have touch pad options you can set it to lock if you touch 4 fingers to the touch pad.
  • Is that built into Windows 10 or using a 3rd party tool?
  • Win+L is built into windows 10. Use it everyday to lock my machine at work. The touchpad part I think is a dell thing. I dont think I've seen that in settings on my surface book.
  • This is useful when you leave the house for your home PC to automatically lock, but you want to leave it on to access files remotely. It's not useful because my phone won't stay connected to my PC for more than 30 seconds at a time. Lumia 640, Windows 10 Laptop. The only bluetooth device that drops is the 640. Maybe my Windows 10 computer only works with iPhone, since that's what Microsoft employees test with.
  • The way it works is that it does not stay connected the entire time. Once you have enabled the dynamic lock option your machine will check your phone peridically. If you watch your bluetooth indicator on the phone at fairly regular intervals you'll see it flash to connected and then back to not connected. The page linked below discusses it and even explains how to measure signal strength and how to make registry entires to change how far you can go before the lock kicks in.
  • Thank you! Finally some useful information about it.  I'm going to test this, as I need to make a quick run to the store.
  • Hey Cortana, dissable Bluetooth!... Or you can swipe down & disaable bluetooth in quick actions while walking away.
  • Doesn't work? I've tried 3 different phones. Same outcome.
  • You need to be far enough away for the BT connection to break. To speed things up, you can disable Bluetooth on the phone and wait 30 sec.
  • Just when Bluetooth upgrades are expanding signal strength...which gives more reason to offer options for distance thresholds.
  • It's a new feature.  I would expect they'll improve it over time.
  • The functionality exists to set the signal strength threshold but it has not yet been exposed via the Settings UI. I guess they need to decide how to make it easy to use for dummies because you can't use distance as that doesn't take into account walls and the like. The author of the article above said they had to cross half their home to get a 10 dB change in signal strength while I could go about 2-3 metres and get a change of over 30 due to solid concrete walls. It will likely take some trial and error for many to get it to work just as they want and we know how many people are ready to condemn Microsoft if Windows makes them put in the slightest of efforts instead of just reading their mind. If there's any mention of decibels in the UI then it will be immeidately panned by many as overly complex, so it will require some serious thought and user trials by Microsoft to get it right.
  • I can imagine a quick setup process whereby a user follows a "calibration" sequence and walks around with a UI on their phone and records at what points (as they walk away from their PC) should the Dynamic Lock activate. Once completed, a general picture/layout would be recorded and an average dB/range or numerical value Microsoft invents can be reported and could be adjusted as needed by the user.
  • I tried this feature for a few days, but my phone would lose it's BT connection for some reason periodically and the computer would lock on me while I was actively using it.  Had to turn it off.
  • One correction, there are a lot of jobs where you MUST lock your PC when you go away from your desk. So this feature will be welcomed! I'm looking forward to it.
  • I was wondering what this would mean if you didn't have your phone with you when you logged into your PC. In testing I have determined that the PC attempts to connect to the phone when it is first unlocked and, if it doesn't find it, will not try again and will basically behave as though the feature is disabled. If the phone then comes into range, you must lock and unlock your PC again. The PC will connect to the phone upon unlocking and will then continue to check for its presence thereafter.