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Transparent Windows 7 Lock That Shows Desktop

We all use the ever-helpful Win + L hotkey to lock our Windows 7 system, but what if you want to display the desktop while your system is locked? The question as to why any user would want to do that is daunting. After all, one of the basic purposes of locking the system is to protect the work from prying eyes. Having said that, transparent lock could have some benefits too, especially on a family computer in the living room. It can also come useful if you want to check the status of the download or transfer progress without unlocking the logon screen repeatedly.

ClearLock is a small Windows utility which makes transparent lock possible by replacing the entire screen with a transparent layer, allowing anyone to see which windows and programs are open but restricts them from accessing the desktop.

Once ClearLock zip archive has been extracted, you will find the executable inside ‘Files ‘folder. Start ClearLock and it will ask you to enter password and reconfirm it. Once done, hit ClearLock executable again to lock Windows. Sadly, it does not replace the default Win + L hotkey but you can pin it to taskbar for quick access.

Once the desktop is locked using ClearLock, you will see the transparent desktop with a dialog box on top of it asking for password (as shown in the screenshot below). This password dialog box will vanish after a minute of inactivity, showing nothing except the desktop. Moving the mouse will show the dialog box again.

Sorry for the crappy image quality, had to take with a Mobile phone.

ClearLock works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Download ClearLock


  1. Very nice! Although it doesn’t work for dual monitors, I simply moved all my folders and icons to the monitor it does work on, then lock my computer with it. This is sufficient for me.

  2. This is a very interesting app but also very basic. The fact that it does not work on systems with more than on monitor makes it not useful for me.

    For a full featured transparent lock that is not free (only a free trial) have a look at http://www.e-motional.com/TScreenLock.htm Transparent Screen Lock allows you to unlock using your Windows password. You can even allow other users, or groups of users, to unlock using their Windows password. They also have other versions that allow you to unlock using a Windows smart card, an RFID card or even your fingerprint.

  3. “Sorry for the crappy image quality, had to take with a Mobile phone.”

    How about Installing on WMware?

    • Great question. We do test freeware and hacks on VMware and Virtualbox but in most scenario we test it on the actual Win 7 system. In many cases when a system is messed up by a 3rd-party tool, we have to find the cause and also warn our readers. In VMware most reviewers will simply restore to previous state and get over it.

      In short, what makes us different is that we take risks to install 3rd party tools on the live system. Going an extra mile to help readers is what we love to do.

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