How do you lock or unlock Dell monitors? The task is very simple to do and takes most computer users less than 60 seconds to complete. Please be aware that this can be activated or deactivated accidentally at any time when the monitor is powered on so always power off the monitor when not in use. Powering off the monitor also helps to reduce your consumption of electricity as well and screen burns if your screensaver is disabled.
What You May/Will Need
* 6″ Flat Screwdriver (Loosen VGA Cables)
* 6″ Phillips Screwdriver (Loosen DVI Cables)
* Dust Rag (Protect LCD and bezel from Scratches)
* Desktop or Laptop (Send a video signal to monitor)
* User Guide/Manual (Lookup button positions)
Not all monitors support OSD Unlocking.
OSD Locking Procedure
Tap the MENU button once and wait for a prompt. If a window shows up showing the “Main Menu” or something similar, then the settings are unlocked and all you need to do is navigate to the OSD Settings and press the Menu button then select the “Yes” option in the OSD Lock section. Once on the “Yes” option, press the MENU button to change and save and wait for 5 seconds for the menu to close.
OSD Unlocking Procedure
Tap the MENU button once and wait for a prompt. If a window shows up displaying On-Screen Display (OSD) or something similar, then the settings are locked and all you need to do is navigate to the “No” option in the OSD Lock. Once on the “no” option, press the MENU button to change and save.
Monitors with square buttons, may need to use the Exit/Settings buttons.
Basic Locking/Unlocking Procedure
1. Power on the monitor with the power button.
2. Press and hold the MENU button (EXIT on some models) for at least 15* seconds.
3a. If locking, look to see if a LOCK icon appears on the screen.
3b. If unlocking, look to see if an UNLOCK icon appears on the screen.
4. Release the MENU/EXIT button and wait 5 seconds.
5. Press any button on the monitor to test.
6. Turn off the monitor if it is no longer needed.
Intermediate Locking/Unlocking Procedure
If the Basic Procedures will not for you, it is possible that the MENU button might be damaged (due to heavy use) or the monitor simply does not support the 15 second locking/unlocking feature as it was reprogrammed in the OSD so you will need to redo the basic procedure but during step #2, press and hold MENU button (or EXIT button) for 60 seconds instead. When successful, please remember to turn off the monitor if it is no longer needed to conserve energy.
In some cases, both the Basic and Intermediate tips may not work for you. When this happens, you will need to do a cold reset by turning off the monitor then carefully disconnect all cabling (power cords, USB cables, VGA cables, DVI cables, HDMI cables, etc.) from the monitor. If the connectors on the cables are too tight, use the screwdrivers that I mentioned earlier to loosen them. Once all the cables are removed, you will need to hold in the monitor’s power button for five (5) seconds to turn on the monitor so that it can discharge any remaining current that is still left in the monitor.
Next, release the power button then hit the power button once (to turn it off) and begin the process of reconnecting all the data then power cables. Be sure to do this slowly to avoid damages to the connectors and pins on the cables (which will cause a NO SIGNAL ERROR) and redo the intermediate locking or unlocking steps above.
Dell Models Tested
* Dell 1100MP (Menu/Settings button)
* Dell 1701FP
* Dell 1908WFP
* Dell E153FP
* Dell E156FP
* Dell E171FPb
* Dell E172FP
* Dell E1910Hc
* Dell E207WFP (Menu/Settings button)
* Dell E2011Hc (Exit/Cancel button)
* Dell E2011Ht (Exit/Cancel button)
* Dell E2213 (Exit/Cancel button)
* Dell G2210
* Dell P2210
* Dell P2312H
* Dell P2314H (Exit button)
* Dell U2410F
* Dell UltraSharp U2412M
* Dell UltraSharp U2711
* Dell SP2009Wc (Exit/Cancel button)
Non-Dell Models Tested
* HP LP2475w (Menu button for 10 seconds)
* HP ProDisplay P201 (Menu button for 10 seconds)
* Samsung S23B300B (Menu button for 10 seconds)
Why Locking Is Important
If you have a vision problem, you can lock in your settings to prevent yourself from changing it accidentally or have those who share the monitor from editing them at will. Often, you will see features active in libraries and classrooms by the IT Department.
Why Unlocking Is Important
Are you buying a privacy filter? To do so, it is better to look up the monitor’s model number and this can be retrieved from the monitor itself by pressing the menu button. However, if the monitor’s settings are locked, this info will not be displayed until you unlock it. Your other option would be to read the fine text on the rear of the monitor which you might not be able to see if the monitor is in a dark area or inside the enclosure/podium.
Prevent Monitor from Automatically Locking or Unlocking
Do you want to prevent the monitor from automatically changing itself? Well, you should be aware that the feature can be changed at any time when the monitor is powered on and also lying on the screen with the menu/exit buttons pressing the surface so please be sure to keep the monitor upright at all times. Dell has switched to flat, square buttons which does a great job of preventing it from happening but is only helpful if the monitor is on a flat surface.
If you must tilt the monitor onto the bezel, please unplugged the power cable and rest it on a cloth or dust rag to prevent scratches to the LCD and damages to your bezel and buttons. Powering off and tilting is not recommended as the power button can be pressed by the surface thus giving the menu/exit button a chance to lock the settings.
Second, be very cautious about USB cables. I have seen USB cables used to power desk fans or webcams and due to the position of the device, the USB cable is pressing against the MENU button causing it “flash” (lock and unlock every 15 seconds) on the screen.
Lastly, external speakers, printers, books, binders and movable items on the desk are items to watch. If you find yourself running out of desk space, try standing the PC and use it in a tower format. Just be sure you can access the optical tray and USB ports.
Last Update: Nov 25, 2012.