Your Windows 10 PC may soon lock itself when you walk away

So long, Win + L.

windows 10 laptop pc
Credit: Adam Patrick Murray

Windows 10 Insider previews are sometimes just full of surprises. An unmentioned feature in Build 15002 was recently uncovered by Windows Central that appears to be a complementary feature to Windows Hello, the biometric login system that automatically unlocks your PC when you sit in front of it.

Dubbed Dynamic Lock, this newly discovered feature is designed to automatically lock down your computer when Windows detects that you’re away. It’s not clear if the feature is working yet and Microsoft has yet to discuss it publicly. For that reason it’s unknown what Dynamic Lock actually does. Though Windows Central says Microsoft’s internal name for the feature is “Windows Goodbye,” which indeed suggests a close relationship with Windows Hello.

It’s unlikely that this is just a rebranding of Windows’ long-standing feature of automatically locking a PC after a pre-defined period of inactivity. Instead, this appears to be a feature that will actively scan for a user’s presence, perhaps using proximity sensors or Windows Hello features such as face detection.

The story behind the story: Dynamic Lock is a long-standing idea for Windows. We first got a glimpse of the concept in 2010 when some documents leaked that were presumed to be part of Microsoft’s Windows 8 development plans. The documents discussed a facial recognition login feature, which we now know as Windows Hello, as well as a feature that used a proximity sensor to detect when the user is absent and log them out.

If Dynamic Lock is a new feature using proximity detection to log off users or lock a PC, it will likely be a welcome feature for enterprise users. Instead of having to remember to tap the Windows key + L combination to lock the computer, the PC itself will take care of the security measure for corporate types.

This story, "Your Windows 10 PC may soon lock itself when you walk away" was originally published by PCWorld.

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