Microsoft is preparing to roll out a dynamic locking system for Windows 10 users who step away.
It has become second nature to hit the Windows Key + “L” combination when stepping away from my Windows PC or laptop in order to lock the screen. But it’s easy to forget to do if you’re called away urgently, leaving your system open for others to access. It looks as though Microsoft is set to solve this problem for Windows 10 users with a new feature called Dynamic Lock.
We already have Windows Hello available allowing users to unlock Windows 10 using their face, fingerprint, or iris. Dynamic Lock aims to repeat that same ease of access for locking the operating system, which is why internally Microsoft refers to it as Windows Goodbye (a name they surely should use instead of Dynamic Lock!).
As Windows Central explains, Dynamic Lock will be an optional feature turned on in the Sign-in options of Windows 10. Once activated, it regularly checks to ensure you are still present at the computer. It’s unclear what will be used to determine this, or if the user will be given a choice of what checks to perform. However, it’s safe to assume a webcam could be used to visually check you are there, but also a lack of activity on the machine for a specified amount of time may also feature.
You can get close to the functionality of Dynamic Lock already. Simply enable a screensaver, set an inactivity time to trigger it, and tick the option to lock the screen when it is active. Anyone approaching your PC will then need to unlock it to gain access.
If Microsoft gets this right, approaching and moving away from your machine will seamlessly unlock and lock it without any physical interaction being required. In so doing, it will make Windows 10 more secure by default in public environments as well as in one of the most common environments you find Windows PCs: busy offices.
For now, Dynamic Lock is a feature available to anyone running the latest Insider Preview build of the Windows 10 Creators Update. Hopefully it won’t be too long before it rolls out as a standard feature for the OS as part of a Windows Update.