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Windows 2000 and Windows NT provide the ability to lock your workstation by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, then clicking Lock Workstation. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Alt+Del, then press Enter.

Win2K users who find that this process requires too much effort can create a shortcut on their desktop to lock their computers. To do so, right-click on the desktop, then click New, Shortcut. In the resulting Create Shortcut wizard, the system prompts you to type the location of the item. Type

rundll32 user32.dll,LockWorkStation

(A single space exists between rundll32 and user32.dll, but there are no other spaces in the line.) Click Next. You're then prompted for a name for the shortcut. Enter

Lock Computer

and click Finish. Test the shortcut by double-clicking it. The computer should go into locked mode.

If you're really lazy and you don't want to waste the effort getting to the desktop to double-click the shortcut, you can assign a shortcut key to the icon. To do so, right-click the shortcut and select Properties. On the Shortcut tab, select a keystroke for activating the shortcut. Be sure to choose a keystroke that's not used for other applications; Ctrl+Alt+L is a good selection.

If pressing all these keys is too close to the original Ctrl+Alt+Del process, you can add the shortcut icon to your Quick Launch toolbar. Right-click a blank space on the taskbar, select Toolbars, and ensure that the Quick Launch check box is selected. On the Taskbar, you'll see a section that includes icons such as Show Desktop and Internet Explorer. Drag the shortcut you created to the Quick Launch area of the Taskbar. You'll then be able to click the icon and the computer will lock.