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Windows 7: Turn off display after 10 mins; lock desktop after 30 mins?

05 Feb 2014   #1
swiftie

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Turn off display after 10 mins; lock desktop after 30 mins?

Is it possible to turn the displays off after 10 minutes of inactivity, but for the display to lock only after 30 minutes of inactivity? The numbers are examples, but probably close to what I'd set.

I'm keen to save power, but having a short inactivity period, but I don't want to be entering my password all the time.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Feb 2014   #2
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

You can use the power saver options to turn the screen off after a certain amount of time.

Even if the monitor is turned off due to inactivity, you can also set a screen saver to blank screen after the same about of time that you used in the power options to turn off the monitor. Put a check by the "On resume, display logon screen". Then add a delay between the time that the screen saver comes on and the time that the computer locks:

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"ScreenSaverGracePeriod"="1111"
You can change the 1111 to any number between 0 seconds and 2,147,483 seconds.


If you would rather not use the screen saver method...
...you could use a scheduled task that triggers after an idle period:
Code:
rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation


Attached Files
File Type: zip ScreenSaverGracePeriod.zip (327 Bytes, 21 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2014   #3
swiftie

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
Then add a delay between the time that the screen saver comes on and the time that the computer locks:

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"ScreenSaverGracePeriod"="1111"
You can change the 1111 to any number between 0 seconds and 2,147,483 seconds.
Thanks for reminding me of this. I've recently done a test of the grace period, and found that it didn't work at all. Unfortunately, I can't remember if this was on my previous XP system or my newer Win7 system. I'll experiment.

I discovered that I didn't have a screensaver set at all on this Win7 system. Maybe this is why the grace period wasn't working.

There's one thing about the display power saving that puzzles me. Usually, it goes into "hardware" power saving, which has a totally black screen, and the power light changes colour. But occasionally, I get a "pseudo" power saving mode where the screens are black, but the mouse pointer remains in the middle of the primary display. I'd like to know what's going on here...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Feb 2014   #4
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I tested the ScreenSaverGracePeriod key before posting. It worked for me :-)

Custom screen savers might not check/use that key.

I'm not sure why your mouse/cursor still shows sometimes. Maybe a screensaver will cure that too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2014   #5
swiftie

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
I tested the ScreenSaverGracePeriod key before posting. It worked for me :-)
My problem is that with my memory (the one in my head), I can't remember how long it's been since I left my PC.

With the screensaver and power set to trigger after 10 minutes of inactivity, and the lock with a 20 minute (1200 sec) grace period, it seems to be locked every time.

I know... I'll leave my PC now, and come back in 20 minutes... if only I can remember!

OK, the 20 minute alarm went off, and my display was locked. I wonder if it was locked after 15 minutes (i.e. halfway between the power/screensaver timeouts, and the length of the grace period.

I had the screensaver set to "Blank", but I've changed that to "3D Text".

This time, the screen didn't blank at all, presumably because a popup (from a scheduled task) intervened.

On the second attempt, the screen blanked after 10 minutes, and was locked at 12 minutes. My guess is that, as I experienced in the past, the grace period is effectively zero.

Put another way: I've never found the grace period setting has any effect at all, on my PC. It always requires the password, even within two seconds of the screensaver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2014   #6
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Just as a test, set the power settings to "Turn off the display:" = Never
Set (leave?) the grace period to 1200 seconds.
Set the screen saver to 1 minute.
Use blank screen as the screen saver.

Open the Control Panel applet for Date and Time.

Wiggle the mouse until the second hand on the clock reaches an easy to remember spot.
Then don't touch anything for one minute.

Once the screen saver comes on...
...wait 10 seconds
...then wiggle the mouse.

If the computer requires a password, then we have missed some setting or some part of your system is non-standard (e.g. custom log on screen and/or custom screen savers).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #7
swiftie

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
Just as a test, set the power settings to "Turn off the display:" = Never
I really appreciate your help - it keeps me going when I loose interest in things; this is happening a lot as I get older... things just don't seem as important any more.

Anyway, in the interim I had a flash of inspiration (having a good day yesterday). Why not change the settings in the obvious way to achieve what I was after:
  1. Power: Turn Display off after 10 minutes
  2. Screen Saver: Wait 30 mins; require password
  3. Grace Period: I left this at 20 mins
I tested this setup, and obviously it did what it says. My display now turns off after 10 mins inactivity, and doesn't initially need a password when I become active again. But after 30 minutes, it needs a password.

I'd been running without "Require a password" ever since I got this new PC in late 2012. I have a "Lock Desktop" button on my keyboard, and habitually use that. I think I'd confused the password prompt which this caused with the screensaver:requires one, and was assuming I had automatic locking enabled.
One of these days I'll buy one of those proximity detectors which automatically lock your desktop when you're away from the PC.

I'll go back and set the grace period to 5 seconds, just to be closer to "standard" settings. (I wonder if regedit keeps a log of changes, so it would be on record that I'd "fiddled")

You probably assumed that I'd already tried this, so suggested alternative settings, but the "kiss" principle applies here... especially that second "s"!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #8
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Sadly, the simple solution did not come to my old mind :-(

Glad that you got it working.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #9
swiftie

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It would be interesting to find out why the grace period (which was set to 1200 seconds) has no effect - I'm prompted for my password after 30 minutes; the "wait+grace" should have equated to 50 minutes.

Still, no mind. Life really is too short to worry about this one. It's nice to know that there's a limit to my preoccupation for detail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Turn off display after 10 mins; lock desktop after 30 mins?




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