This tutorial will show you how to create a GPO on Windows server to lock Windows computer screen after 10 minutes of IDLE time.

The domain controller is running Windows 2008 R2.

The domain computers are running Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Hardware List:

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Tutorial - Creating a GPO to Lock Windows Computer

Click on the Start menu, locate and open the Group Policy Management tool.

Windows 2008 - Group Policy Management

On the Group Policy Management screen, locate the folder named Group Policy Objects.

Right-click the Group Policy Objects folder and select the New option.

Windows 2008 - Group Policy Objects

Enter a name for your new policy.

Windows 2008 - Lock windows screen

In our example, the new GPO was named: LOCK WINDOWS SCREEN.

On the Group Policy Management screen, expand the folder named Group Policy Objects.

Right-click your new Group Policy Object and select the Edit option.

Windows 2008 - edit lock screen gpo

On the group policy editor screen, you will be presented to User configurations and Computer configurations.

We will change the User configurations to automatically lock the screen after 600 seconds of IDLE time.

We don't need to change any computer configuration.

Windows 2008 - edit lock screen gpo

On the group policy editor screen, expand the User configuration folder and locate the following item.

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Access the folder named Personalization.

Windows 2008 - Lock windows screen personalization

On the right, the configuration items available for the control panel personalization will be presented.

Windows 2008 - Lock windows screen control panel options

Double click the configuration item named Enable Screen Saver.

On the configuration item screen, you need to select the Enabled option.

gpo - enable screen saver

Double click the configuration item named Password protect the screen saver.

On the configuration item screen, you need to select the Enabled option.

gpo - protect screen saver

Double click the configuration item named Screen saver timeout.

On the configuration item screen, you need to select the Enabled option.

Set the amount of IDLE time that you want to wait before locking the computer screen.

In our example, we set a limit of 600 seconds.

gpo - screen saver timeout

Double click the configuration item named Force specific screen saver.

On the configuration item screen, you need to set the following specific screensaver:

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This command will lock the computer screen immediately instead of showing a screensaver.

gpo - Force Specific Screen Saver

Here is a quick summary of our configuration:

Windows 2008 - Lock windows screen summary

To finish the group policy creation you need to close the Group policy editor window.

Only when you close the group policy window, the system will save your configuration.

Tutorial - Applying the GPO to Lock Windows Computer

You have finished the creation of the require GPO to lock the screen of windows computers.

But, you still need to enable the use of your new Group Policy.

On the Group policy management screen, you need to right-click the Organizational Unit desired and select the option to link an existent GPO.

Windows 2008 - Lock windows screen application

In our example, we are going to link the group policy named LOCK WINDOWS SCREEN to the root of our domain named TECH.LOCAL.

Windows 2008 - Applying Lock windows screen gpo

After applying the GPO you need to wait for 10 or 20 minutes.

During this time the GPO will be replicated to other domain controllers that you might have.

After waiting 20 minutes, you should reboot a user's computer.

During the boot, the computer will get and apply a copy of the new group policy.

To test the configuration, you need to login on a domain computer and do nothing for 600 seconds.

Your computer screen should automatically lock itself after 600 seconds.