Computing Services

Password Protecting Computers and Mobile Devices

It is important to ‘lock’ your computer or mobile device whenever you are not actively using it. The instructions below apply to Windows and Macintosh computers, iPod Touch and iPad handheld devices. If you have another mobile device that you use, please be sure to access your manufacturer’s instructions for locking the screen.

LPS Windows-based computers (Windows XP and Win7)

  1. Windows computers have a ‘managed’ feature that will lock your screen automatically after 30 min. of inactivity.
  2. To lock your screen at any time (such as whenever you leave your screen), press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and then click on Lock Screen.
  3. When you wish to return to using the computer, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete again and login.

Macintosh-based computers

Macintosh users must modify System Preferences to make the computer lock.

  1. Go to System Preferences under the apple in the upper left corner of your screen
  2. Click the Security button
  3. Check the box at the top next to “Require password after sleep or screen saver begins. (immediately)”
  4. Click the Show All button at the top of the window
  5. Click the Screen Saver button
  6. Click the Hot Corners button at the bottom left of the window
  7. Select a corner of your choice (representing a corner of your screen) and select Start Screen Saver from the drop-down list
  8. Close the System Preferences window by clicking the Red close button
  9. Drag your mouse pointer to the corner that you selected in step 7. Your screen saver should start. Once you press a key or move your mouse, your computer will request your username and password.
  10. This process protects all information that you have running/showing on your computer.


iPod Touch/iPad

  1. Select the Settings App
  2. Select General
  3. Select Auto-Lock
  4. Select a time setting
  5. Select General
  6. Select Passcode Lock
  7. Select the button title “Turn Passcode On
  8. Enter a 4-digit passcode (Choose one that you will remember)
  9. Re-enter the passcode

From now on, you will need to enter your 4-digit passcode to begin using your iTouch or iPad.

Note: If you forget your passcode, you will need to use iTunes on your computer to reset the device back to its original settings.