PC security stepped up with new ‘Windows Goodbye’ screen lock

Windows 10 users already have Windows Hello: the biometrics way to unlock systems using their faces, fingerprints or irises.

Now, Microsoft is working on Windows Goodbye: a way to lock your PC when Windows 10 notices that you’ve wandered off.

According to Windows Central, the official name of the feature is Dynamic Lock, but Microsoft insiders are referring to the feature as Windows Goodbye. Well, that makes sense. Instead of letting you in with Windows Hello, this feature would lock users out, ensuring that their security isn’t violated when they’ve forgotten to lock their machines by punching in the Windows Key + “L” combination before they step away.

…or before they’re urgently called away to put out some fire at work, as the case may be. At any rate, it’s a good security precaution to lock a system, given that it’s just too easy to forget to hit Windows Key-L. (That said, of course, Windows will lock automatically after a period of inactivity, which you can change to suit yourself.)

Dynamic Lock showed up on Monday as just one change in the latest iteration of the OS in an Insider Preview build 15002 of the Windows 10 Creators Update, which is due in April.

We don’t yet have details on how Windows will detect whether a user has vamoosed. So far, Microsoft hasn’t provided any documentation, though I have reached out to see if I can get more details.

As Windows Central reports, it could be a simple version of “lock my device after x minutes of inactivity,” or it could use the Windows Hello equipment to detect a face, proximity sensors or more.

Commenters on Windows Central’s coverage are musing about the possibilities.

One, rhapdog, noted that it would be great to have facial recognition built in to the Dynamic Lock feature: as in, “Lock the computer if someone else is detected that is not me.”

Mismatched iris print staring at the screen? Sorry, you’re locked out.

That would be a great security feature for the paranoid. Something I can’t use, since I’m always telling my wife, “Hey, check this out.” The second she would check it out, the computer would lock and she would see nothing, and tell me, “Very funny. Now leave me alone. You’re sleeping on the couch.”