The easiest way to secure your computer is by locking it. Go to Control Panel and set a password (if you haven’t done so), then hit “Windows + L” every time you need to lock it. Your computer screen will change into a login screen, waiting for the unlocking password. But what if you need to see/show what’s on the screen while keeping the computer safe from those annoying fingers? Then maybe you could try a small transparent desktop lock application called.
Choosing The Right Version
ClearLock is a standalone (portable) application that will help you lock your computer without hiding the desktop screen. It will only put a transparent dark layer above the desktop so everything that happens on the screen will still be visible. This kind of arrangement is perfect for people who want to monitor a process on their locked computer, or maybe for those who want to display an on-screen presentation in a public place.
There are two versions of the application provided by the developer: for 32-bit and for 64-bit Windows. All are packed inside a compressed file which is a little bit below 1MB of size. After extracting the content of the compressed file, be sure to choose the version that fit your system.
If you run the wrong version of the app, you will get the warning pop-up window. But no worries, all you have to do is close the warning window and choose the other version.
Locked & Darkened
The first time you run the application, you will be asked to create a password to unlock your system later on. To increase the security level, use a password which combines letters, numbers, and capital letters. Click “Save” and your system will be locked.
A new configuration setting file called “ClearLock.ini” will appear after you set the password.
The ClearLock window will float above the screen layer telling you that the computer is locked. Anybody who wants to enable the computer has to provide the password and hit Enter.
If you enter the wrong password, your access will be denied. After three incorrect tries, ClearLock will be frozen and the system can’t be accessed for several minutes.
This is what the locked screen will look like. Every active progress is visible behind the transparent dark layer, while the ClearLock window stands out in front of everything else. If there’s no input/activity for a while, the ClearLock screen will disappear leaving the darkened desktop screen.
Resetting The Password
Any digital lock is only as good as the password. If the password is revealed, then there’s no point using the lock anymore. ClearLock should have a way to reset the password. My first thought was that we could reset the password by editing the “ClearLock.ini” file. I opened the file using Notepad and saw that the written figures were totally different to the ones that I used for my password. Editing the file is definitely not the answer.
After a quick search I found out that resetting the password is very easy. You just need to delete the “ClearLock.ini” file. The next time you run ClearLock, the app will ask you to create a new password.
I also found out that the ClearLock developer doesn’t recommend using their app as the ultimate system protection because “computer savvy users can bypass the lock”. The app should work fine as light protection, though. It should keep your computer secure while you take a short trip to the rest room.
ClearLock is one good and unique alternative to casually secure your system. Plus, it will also keep your desktop visible. But if you have your own favorite alternatives, please feel free to share them using the comments below.
Image credit: Max Klingensmith
Explore more about: Portable App.