[Windows] Lock your computer with ScreenBlur, comes with advanced features

ScreenBlur for WindowsDid you know that by simply locking your computer screen, you can protect your files from being accidentally modified or deleted? After all, you’ll never know what will happen if you leave your computer on idle mode. Someone might attempt to look at your files even without your permission. You cannot also avoid those instances wherein your cat gets to walk on your keyboard. In this case, locking your computer screen is the best option but if you want to gain more control over your screen lock options, you better check out this software called ScreenBlur.

What Is It and What Does It Do

Main Functionality

ScreenBlur is an advanced lock screen software for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. Compared to your computer’s default lock screen, this program is equipped with advanced settings. So aside from using a password to lock your computer screen, you can also do the following:

  • Set a time interval to automatically lock or unlock your screen
  • Assign hot keys to enable/disable certain commands
  • Hide your desktop icons, gadgets and taskbar
  • Put your computer to sleep after a pre-defined time interval
  • Customize your screen lock interface by setting your own front image, background image, text color and fonts

Pros

  • Easy to use, very stable
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Neat and responsive user interface (settings panel)
  • Locks your computer screen with a secure password
  • Desktop blackout – hides everything on your desktop such as your gadgets, icons and app shortcuts
  • Equipped with advanced settings – hot keys, automation, sleep mode, preview mode, etc.
  • Customizable screen lock interface – you can change the front image, background image, background color, fonts, text color, effects, opacity, etc.
  • Non-obtrusive – even when active, the software stays hidden in the system tray area
  • You can shut down your computer even if your screen is locked

Cons

  • Requires the installation of Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 or higher
  • Doesn’t have a password field – you just type the password on your keyboard (if the password is correct, ScreenBlur will immediately unlock your screen)

Discussion

ScreenBlur SettingsThe default lock screen may offer a simple and direct way for you to lock and unlock your computer screen but its features are very limited. While there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple, there will be instances in which you would like to have better control over your lock screen’s settings and options.

This is where ScreenBlur comes into play. With this free screen lock software for Windows, you can automatically enable or disable your lock screen. You can even customize the appearance of your lock screen by changing its background image, font and font color.

Just keep in mind that this software will require you to install Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 (or higher) on your computer. If you already have this component installed, then all you need to do is to unzip the software package and then you’re all set to launch the application directly from its unzipped folder. After which, the software will prompt you to enter a new password. Once you’re done, you’re free to customize the software’s settings in any way that you like. You can also create your own set of hotkeys.

What I like most about this software is that you can automate the entire screen lock and screen unlock process. This means that even if you do not manually click the “enable lock screen” option, you can still program the software to automatically lock your computer screen right after a pre-defined time interval. For example, you can set the software to lock your screen when your computer is on idle mode for 15 minutes.

When enabled, ScreenBlur will prevent you from doing anything on your computer. If you want to unlock the screen, you need to type the correct password. There’s also no password field so you won’t be able to see what you’re typing which could be a bit of a downer especially if you’re using a complex password. There are also no password hints.

Nonetheless, ScreenBlur is a very good screen lock software. It may not guarantee the safety of your data from expert data thieves and hackers but it can definitely protect your files from being viewed or modified by someone else. This software is also great if you have little kids or pets wandering around your house or office. After all, you’ll never know what they’ll do to your computer.

Conclusion and Download Link

ScreenBlur proves to be very handy especially for users who wish to gain more control over their computer’s screen lock settings. It may have a couple of downsides, such as requiring users to download and install Microsoft’s .Net Framework, but it works great. It’s also very stable — no annoying glitches and errors that I ran into. I love how it is non-obtrusive and how you can fully automate its commands. Just make sure to choose a strong password. Overall, if ever you’re looking for a good alternative to your computer’s native screen lock option, go ahead and check this out.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.3.0.24b

Supported OS: Windows XP, Visa, 7 and 8

Download size: 523KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? No

ScreenBlur homepage

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5 comments

  1. Centrinus

    Unless this loads on start (and I haven’t installed the program so I don’t know whether it has that option) a simple way around it would be to merely power off and then on the computer. Yes, a power on password would help, but starting the computer with a boot disc from an optical drive would defeat that.

  2. Seamus McSeamus

    [@Ashraf] Me neither. Like Jim-1 said, the last time I had a problem related to .NET I was probably running Windows 98. I think sometimes people just have that reaction to .NET – they aren’t sure why they don’t want it, but they know it’s bad because everyone on the internet says so.

  3. Jim-1

    [@Todd] There was a time in the Win 98 days when .NET caused problems. Now, however, MS seems to have fixed that situation. I have installed .NET 2, 3.5, and 4 on XP and Win 7. No sign of problems from that yet.