How to adjust the Windows 10 Lock Screen timeout

Dave W. Shanahan

Updated on:

Windows 10, Lock Screen

When untouched, the Windows 10 Lock Screen times out and switches off your screen after one minute. Whether you want to look at your lock screen longer, or just keep Cortana readily available on the lock screen, there is a way to change the timeout settings for your Lock Screen. There are some things you need to do your Windows Registry to add the Lock Screen timeout setting to your Windows 10 power options.

The Windows Registry, which is commonly referred to as just the “Registry,” is a collection of databases of all the Windows configuration settings. The Registry is used to store information for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and other vital Windows PC systems and processes.

For all intents and purposes, the Registry is what makes your computer tick and if you improperly alter a component of the Registry and don’t know how to undo it, you may effectively render your Windows PC inoperable with no recovery option, so be careful.

First, you need to access your Registry to add the timeout setting to your Windows 10 PC power options. You can do this by editing the Registry manually, or by downloading a one-click hack that will do the heavy lifting for you.
After adding this setting to your Registry, you’ll be able to adjust the timeout using the Power Options applet in the Control Panel.

Editing the Windows Registry Manually

In order to add the timeout setting to your power options in the control panel, you need to adjust one setting in the Windows Registry. Please note: Registry Editor (regedit) is a powerful tool that can seriously alter how your Windows device performs and can make your device unstable or inoperable if you misuse it. That being said this Registry hack is fairly simple and can be done successfully, but only if you stick to the instructions exactly.

If you are unfamiliar with how the Windows Registry works, Microsoft provides an in-depth walkthrough. Microsoft’s overview helps provide a background and more information on the Registry and if you’ve never worked with the Registry before, it is an invaluable resource. It is also important to back up the Registry and your computer before moving forward with any Registry changes.

Here are the steps you need to follow to open the Registry Editor in Windows:

Registry Editor,
Opening the Registry Editor
  1. Click the Windows 10 Start button and type “regedit” Press Enter to open the Registry Editor and click OK to give permission to make changes to your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Once you are in the Registry Editor, you’ll need to use the left sidebar to navigate to the following Registry key: “HKEYLOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlPowerPowerSettings7516b95f-f776-4464-8c53-06167f40cc998EC4B3A5-6868-48c2-BE75-4F3044BE88A7”
  3. In the right-hand pane, double left-click the Attributes value to open the properties windows.
  4. Change the value in the “Value data” box from 1 to 2, then click OK.
Windows 10, Registry, Attribute
Editing Attribute settings in Registry from 1 to 2

That’s all you need to do in the Registry. Next, you’ll need to change the Power Options in Control Panel. If you ever want to remove this setting from Power Options, simply go back and change the Attributes from 2 back to 1.

While there are one-click Registry hacks available, which you can easily search for on Bing, learning how to change your Registry settings manually will help you in the long-term. After learning how to use the Registry and alter some settings, you will soon learn how to make your own Registry hacks.

Change the Windows 10 Lock Screen Timeout in Power Options

Now that you have the timeout setting enabled through the Registry, it’s time to go into Power Options in the Control Panel to change your Windows 10 Lock Screen timeout settings. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to change your Power Options.

Registry, Control Panel, Power Options
Opening Power Options in Control Panel
  1. Click the Start menu and type “Power Options” and hit Enter to open Power Options
  2. In the Power Options window, click “Change plan settings”
  3. In the Change Plan Settings window, click the “Change advanced power settings” link
  4. In the Advanced Power Settings window, expand the “Display” item and you’ll see the new setting you added by editing the Registry, called “Console lock display off timeout.”
  5. By expanding the “Console lock display off timeout” option, you can change the amount of time from 1 minute to whatever amount of time you prefer.
Windows 10, Power, Options
Changing Power Option Settings

When your Windows 10 PC is plugged in, you can set the screen timeout time to an indefinite amount of time (although it may not be healthy for your PC screen). But, it is nice to know that if your Windows 10 PC is plugged in, you can have your Windows 10 Lock Screen on for longer than just 1 minute. Obviously, you will have to be careful of the amount of time you set the Windows 10 Lock Screen timeout to if you are running off battery power, as you will seriously deplete your battery life.

If this is your first time editing the Windows Registry, it may seem like a daunting task to alter the Registry to make this setting available. However, once you become more comfortable with editing the Registry, you may find yourself creating other Registry hacks that are most helpful to you.