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How to lock PC with a USB stick

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How to lock PC with a USB stick: This curse was truly original, I had never heard it before. Tell me, what is it that made you so angry? Your beloved little sister who, while you were away from home, turned the documents on your PC upside down for the umpteenth time? I expected that. If I were you, I would put ultra-advanced passwords and secret folders aside and opt for a more drastic solution. A password, in fact, however complex and advanced it can be, will never guarantee the total security of your computer because, as you have noticed, it can be bypassed in various ways.

Taking into account what has just been written, how about blocking your PC with a USB stick ? A system that turns out to be as original as it is safe, don’t you think? If you are interested in it, read my guide dedicated to the topic just to find out how to proceed. I can assure you right away that in the end you can say that you are happy and satisfied with what you have learned.

To succeed in the business, I anticipate it immediately, you will have to resort to the use of some programs specially designed for the purpose in question. They are all rather simple to use and configure but at the same time they manage to ensure a high level of protection for PC. Then? How about putting the chatter aside and finally moving on to the real action? Yes? Great. We proceed! I wish you, as usual, have a good read and I wish you a big good luck for everything.


The first of the useful resources for the purpose I want to talk to you about is  Predator . It is a commercial program (however usable in a free trial version for 10 days, the one I used to write this step) that allows just to block the PC with a USB stick, making the latter work only when the pen is connected to the computer. The moment the pendrive is removed from the PC it stops working. Let’s see in more detail how to configure and exploit the program.

The first step is to download the program on the PC. To do this, connected to the Predator download page and select the Download Predator Home Edition item and then select the link relating to the version of Windows in use on your PC: Download Predator Home Edition for 64-bit Windows  (if you are using 64-bit Windows ) or  Download Predator Home Edition for 32-bit Windows  (if you are using 32-bit Windows ).

When the download is complete, extract the compressed archive you just obtained in any position on your computer and start the executable file InstallPredator.exe  inside it and, in the window that opens, click on the Next button . Then accept the conditions of use of the program, selecting the item I Agree , and click first on Next for three consecutive times, then on Yes and then on Close , to complete the setup procedure.

How to lock PC with a USB stick

Once the program window appears on the screen, insert the USB stick you intend to use to lock the computer into the PC and click on the OK button  in response to the warning that appears. In the window that opens, select the drive related to the USB stick from the drop-down menu located next to the item Drive selected :, type the password you wish to use to lock / unlock your computer in the New Password field : and click OK first  to save the password on the USB device.

How to lock PC with a USB stick

At this point, remove the USB stick from the computer to lock it. The screen will then turn black within a few seconds and you will not be able to perform any operation until the pen is reinserted into the PC. Awesome, right?

You can also start Predator every time you log in to Windows, by right-clicking on its icon located in the notification area (next to the Windows clock) and selecting Preferences … from the menu that opens. In the window that appears, then put the check mark next to the item Start with Windows: and click on the OK button to save the changes.

How to lock PC with a USB stick

I also point out that from the same program preferences window you can set the times for the reading and writing interval by acting from the Main Options tab , while going to that Alarm options you can adjust the possible reproduction of an alarm sound on your computer in case someone tries to access it without the unlock pendrive.

If, on the other hand, you want to view the complete log of the computer’s lock and unlock activities that have been carried out using Predator, right-click on the program icon that you always find in the Windows notification area, select Show Registry … from the menu that appears and in the window that you will later see appear on the desktop you can therefore consult (and in case of need also export) the complete log of the activities carried out.

USB Raptor

As an alternative to the above resource, you can appeal to USB Raptor to be able to lock your PC with a USB stick. It is in fact another software belonging to the category, totally free and that does not require installation in order to function which is able to perfectly fulfill the purpose in question. There are also numerous advanced options to better configure and customize the operation of the program.

To use it, firstly download the program on your computer by connecting to the relevant download page  and then clicking on the Download button . When the download is complete, extract the compressed archive obtained in any position on your computer and start the executable file USB Raptor.exe present inside it.

If, when starting the program, you see a firewall warning appear asking you whether to allow access to all USB Raptor functions, you consent without problems. In the program window that you will later see appear, check the box next to the item I have read the above and then press the I agree button which is at the bottom to accept the conditions of use of the software.

Now, connect the key you want to use to lock and unlock the PC to one of the USB sockets on the computer, select the relevant drive from the drop-down menu under the Select USB drive item: in the Unlock file creation section, then enter the password you want to use in the field below the Password item in the Encryption section at the top and to conclude press the Create k3y file button  .

How to lock PC with a USB stick

Then check the box that you find next to the Enable USB Raptor item in the USB Raptor status section at the bottom and the program will immediately take effect. Once this is done, if you want, you can minimize the relative settings window in the Windows notification area (next to the system clock) by clicking on the Mnimize to tray button .

Starting from this moment, by disconnecting the USB stick the computer will be locked and the PC screen will be darkened. By reconnecting the USB stick, the computer will be unlocked and will therefore be ready to resume work exactly where it left off.

If you are interested in it, I would like to point out, as mentioned a few lines above, that USB Raptor offers a whole series of advanced options accessible by checking the box next to the wording Advanced configuration in the upper right part of the main program window. By doing so, you will see additional tabs appear in the USB Raptor window with various options that may come in handy depending on what your personal needs are.

How to lock PC with a USB stick

For example, there is the option to start USB Raptor with Windows, to also password-protect access to the graphical interface of the program, to set a delay of 5 seconds before the PC is locked after removing the stick USB, to enable unlocking of the computer only when connecting a specific USB stick etc.

Rohos Logon Key

The resources I told you about in the previous lines to block the PC with a USB stick have not convinced you in a particular way and are you looking for an alternative? Then try to take a look at  Rohos Logon Key and you will see that you will not regret it. It is a free program (but possibly available in a paid variant with extra functions) which, unlike the above solutions, allows you to set the Windows account password on a USB stick to automatically log in to the system when the pendrive is connected to the computer. In short, the operation is different from the software already mentioned, but can still return given its characteristics. Now I’ll explain how to configure it right away.

First of all, connected to the program website and click on the Download Now button at the top to immediately download Rohos Logon Key on your PC. When the download is complete, open the executable file obtained and click on Run, then press Yes and OK to set the use of the Italian language. Then click on Next and select the item I accept the terms of the license agreement then click again on Next three times in a row, on Install and to finish the setup presses on Finish .

How to lock PC with a USB stick

Now connect the USB stick you want to use to lock and unlock the PC to one of the USB ports on the computer and once the program window appears on the desktop, click on the Set the USB stick button .

How to lock PC with a USB stick

In the further window that appears, enter the password of your user account on Windows by filling in the appropriate field and then press the Set USB stick button . The next appearance of the notification The USB stick has been correctly configured! Now you can use it for Windows login and to unlock the desktop it will confirm the successful configuration of the memory device.

So, starting from this moment when you will have to log in to Windows, instead of manually typing the password, simply connect the pendrive to the computer and in a few seconds you will be logged into the account automatically.

Keep in mind, however, that having configured the key to log in to Windows does not exclude that it is always possible to log in with the traditional password entry. However, know that the Windows password stored on the USB stick is not visible, it cannot be copied nor duplicated since all the data concerning it are encrypted with the AES-256 bit algorithm.

Alternative solutions for Mac

And what about the Mac side? Are there solutions similar to those seen together in the previous lines to block a PC with a USB stick using the use of special programs? Unfortunately, similar software does not seem to exist, or in any case it is not actually functional, but this does not take away the fact that there are no solutions to protect the computer alternatives to the classic password and sufficiently valid.

For example, you can lock and unlock the Mac with your iPhone, thanks to special applications (such as Unlox ), or you can succeed in your intent with the Apple Watch , taking advantage of the “standard” functions of the company’s smart watch of Cupertino and his computers. In both cases, the locking and unlocking procedure takes place via Bluetooth connection , whose LMP version of the relative module must necessarily be equal to or greater than 4.0.

For further information on the matter and to find out how to configure the Mac and your devices for the purpose in question, read my tutorial dedicated to how to unlock Mac and in the specific case of unlocking using Apple Watch also the dedicated support page attached to the site. Apple’s official Internet.