Computers & Electronics

Switching displays on locked Windows PC

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  • Jan 18th, 2022 10:37 pm
[OP]
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Sep 16, 2013
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Switching displays on locked Windows PC

I run one of the PCs in a dual monitor setup with one of the monitors in another room downstairs. Initially I setup shortcut keys in a regular explorer shortcut, then I moved to Autohotkey. I use a combination of keys to switch monitors. For example, if I am at the station upstairs but last time this PC was used downstairs I press a combination of keys and the active monitor switches to upstairs. And the other way around. Each level has a keyboard and a mouse connected to the same PC. I usually kept this PC unlocked and it worked fine. Now our cat started to walk on keyboard occasionally and wreck havoc depending on what programs were open at the time. So, I started to lock the PC. The shortcut to switch monitors doesn't work when locked.

Does anyone know the way to make a keyboard shortcut work when a PC is locked? I googled a bit and it seems there is no easy way. A solution will require some trickery and creativity. Maybe someone went through this. Any thoughts? Monitor mirroring is not a solution for me.
7 replies
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Jul 21, 2005
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Alberta
Sounds awfully complicated setup for something that you can do with RDP? Sorry no help, never seen anyone use that setup.
[OP]
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Sep 16, 2013
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eblend wrote: Sounds awfully complicated setup for something that you can do with RDP? Sorry no help, never seen anyone use that setup.
No problem. I would say this setup is simpler than RDP. RDP requires another PC. This - just two cables besides the monitor, keyboard and mouse which are needed for another PC anyway.
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Oct 14, 2010
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I'm not sure that I understand your intended purpose, but would duplicating (Microsoft's word for Mirroring) the screens be a solution?

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Jan 5, 2003
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Toronto
How often do you need to use the keyboards? You can get something to place over the keyboard so that it won't register footprints as clicks. They have thin, clear plastic covers that are mostly to keep them dust-free, but the cat is probably heavy enough to make keypresses through them. But anything can work, so you just need to visit a dollar store or hardware store and look around. Heck, fold some thick cardboard into a box shape (but bottom is open) to use as a cover.

But might be a minor hassle if changing keyboards often.

In theory, programs shouldn't respond when locked, which is the whole point. Maybe if something ran as a service, perhaps, but I can't see many people other than hackers designing a program to respond to keypresses when Windows is locked.

Perhaps a different program to lock the keyboard instead of using Windows' lock screen?
[OP]
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Rick007 wrote: I'm not sure that I understand your intended purpose, but would duplicating (Microsoft's word for Mirroring) the screens be a solution?

LINK
Sorry, no. I wrote it in the last sentence in the OP.
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alpovs wrote: Sorry, no. I wrote it in the last sentence in the OP.
I guess I missed that.

How are your keyboards connected. Are they wired or wireless.

You could just toggle the power switch on a wireless keyboard. You could add a micro toggle switch to a wired keyboard that would interrupt the 5V USB power lead.
[OP]
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Sep 16, 2013
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Rick007 wrote: I guess I missed that.

How are your keyboards connected. Are they wired or wireless.

You could just toggle the power switch on a wireless keyboard. You could add a micro toggle switch to a wired keyboard that would interrupt the 5V USB power lead.
They are connected by USB. The other station is fed with two cables - HDMI and USB. I am looking for a solution to switch active monitors when locked. I found a solution when it works before the field to enter password appears. Once that field shows up everything stops working.

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