Desktop Lock Express Help

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Quick Start

Desktop Lock Express (DTLEP) is an access control software that can lock the desktop to prevent people from using your computer. It's a lite version of Desktop Lock. If you want more control over the locked system, check out the Desktop Lock.

After DTLEP has been installed, you need to set a password first. Then you can click Lock Now to lock your desktop. The locked desktop can be unlocked by entering the password and clicking Unlock.

DTLEP can automatically lock desktop after computer booted, see Settings - Auto Lock at Startup.

Set a Password

Without a password, the locked desktop can be unlocked by anyone. The password also protects main program of Desktop Lock Express and the uninstaller, so that without the correct password, people cannot get into main program to change settings, or uninstall the software.

So, the first thing to do after installed Desktop Lock Express, is to click Settings -> Set Password... to set a password.

When setting the password, you can set an optional password hint. On the unlock dialog box of locked desktop, click Options then choose Password Hint to show the password hint.

Password hint can be shown by anyone, so don't make it to be same or similar to your password.

You can delete current password by clicking Delete Password in set password dialog box.

But be cautious: if you deleted the password, anyone can unlock the locked desktop, and use main program to change settings. People even can set a new password that is unknown to you; therefore, you will be locked out of the main program and will not be able to unlock the locked desktop.

Lock the Desktop

Now that you have set a password, you can click Lock Now on the main program window to lock the desktop.

Once the desktop is locked, people will not be able to access your documents, or use programs on your computer. Desktop Lock Express actually blocks all keyboard and mouse inputs to achieve this purpose.

Lock can be automatically done after the system booted to your user account, by enabling the option Settings - Auto Lock at Startup.

You can also use command line parameters to lock. Create a shortcut to the main program (DTLEP.exe) and append a parameter "+lock" in the command line, or use a batch script.

As a basic feature of Desktop Lock, if the computer reboots without being unlocked first, the desktop will be automatically locked again. This prevents people from forcing a reboot to bypass the lock.


When desktop is locked by Desktop Lock Express, an unlock dialog box is displayed on the screen, as shown in the screenshot on top-right of this page.

To unlock the desktop, enter the correct password, then click Unlock.

Click Options then choose Password Hint to show the password hint you specified. The password hint can be shown by anyone, so don't make it to be same or similar to your password.

If you forgot your password, and tried several times without success, a new menu item Forgot Password will be available under Options button. It lets you unlock the desktop with your registration info. However, this feature is only for registered version.

The trial version is only for evaluation purposes. So if Desktop Lock Express is running in trial version mode, there will be always a menu item Bypass under Options button. Anyone can use it to bypass current password and unlock the desktop, or enter the main program.

Other Settings

Click Settings on main program window, to display the popup menu for all settings.

Set Password

See Set a password.

Background Color

Set background color of the locked desktop.

Choose Use System Color to use current system background color.

System background color is *not* the color you selected in system settings -> Personalization -> Colors. It's the color you selected in Personalization -> Background -> Solid Color. Windows will keep current background color if you switch background mode to picture or slideshow mode.

Choose Custom... to use any color as the background color of locked desktop.

*The check mark on the left of Custom... just indicates that it's the current selected option of background color. You can still click on it to choose another color when it has check mark. This applies to background image options too.

Background Image

Similar to background color, you can choose to use current background picture of your desktop, or click Custom... to choose a picture file. Comparing to background color, there is an additional option None - Use Background Color. If choose this option, the locked desktop will never use background image, even there is a background picture on your desktop.

If you are using multiple monitors, background image will only be on the primary monitor. Desktop Lock Express always displays background image in "fill" mode.

Use Original Screen

By default, Desktop Lock Express creates a background window that is large enough to cover the whole screen (all monitors if you are using multiple monitors). Your desktop (screen) is hidden behind the background window, and therefore cannot be seen.

If you enable this option, Desktop Lock Express won't use background window to cover your screen. So the contents of screen will be seen, and will update as usual when changing. However, because the desktop is locked, users can do nothing to desktop and running programs, such as typing, clicking, or switching windows. The screen is "read-only" to users.

Auto Lock at Startup

If you enable this option, Desktop Lock Express will automatically lock the desktop once the computer booted into your desktop.

Settings can apply to current user account only, or to all user accounts in the system, depending on how you start the main program. If you launch the main program "as administrator", setting changes will apply to all users. Otherwise, setting changes will only apply to current user.

Buy & Register

Desktop Lock Express is not a freeware. The trial version is only for evaluation purposes. In trial mode, anyone can bypass the password to unlock desktop, or enter the main program to change settings.

If the software is useful to you, please purchase a license by clicking Buy / Register on main program window, then Buy Now.

It's unnecessary to download another copy after purchased one or more licenses. Once you received the registration email, you can use the registration information in it to register the trial version, activate your license, convert the trial version to registered (paid, full) version.

To enter your registration to the software, click Buy / Register on main program window.