Introduction: Bluetooth Proximity PC Lock
Have you ever been called away from your laptop in such a rush that CTRL-ALT-DEL was just asking too much? And I wager, you never go anywhere without your phone, even the bathroom. Am I right? Phones have become such a part of society they are almost considered a fashion accessory.
If there was only way to make these two seemingly independent concepts work together.
Well, there is!!!!
This instructable documents how you can use the Bluetooth feature of your cell phone as an automatic proximity locking device for your Bluetooth enabled laptop.
Step 1: "What Do I Need?" You Ask
That is simple. You just need:
1-a Bluetooth enabled cell phone
2-a Bluetooth enabled laptop
"But wait, I don't have a Bluetooth enabled laptop!" You say.
Well, just pick up a USB Bluetooth dongle, follow the instructions for installing that, and now you have a Bluetooth enabled laptop. Sorry, I don't plan to cover that step here, as it is not the purpose of this instructable.
Step 2: BtProx? What and Where?
BtProx is a free downloadable program that installs the proximity program. It can be downloaded from http://btprox.sourceforge.net.
After downloading the executable, run the install program. It will place an icon on the desktop as well as in the system tray.
Step 3: Phone Meet Laptop - Laptop Meet Phone
Now you have to pair the two devices. Activate the Bluetooth setting on your phone and set to visible mode. This is how your laptop will find it.
On your laptop, down on the system tray, look for the Bluetooth icon. Right click and select Add a Bluetooth Device. This will open the Bluetooth pairing screen. At that point your laptop will see your phone.
On the laptop, click the pair button under your phone's name. This will launch the pairing process.
After this, your laptop will sync the appropriate signal with your phone.
When this is done, your phone will be listed as connected in the listed of Bluetooth devices and on the phone your laptop will be listed as connected in the list of Bluetooth devices.
Step 4: Launch BtProx
On the desktop of the laptop, open the BtProx program.
Click the ... box listed for "Used Device." This will display the list of paired Bluetooth devices. Select your phone.
Under that is the Timeout settings. This is in minutes. If you set it to 0, it will lock within 15 seconds of loosing Bluetooth connectivity with your phone.
Click on Start.
In the system tray, the BtProx icon will state that your device is in range.
Hide the BtProx program.
Step 5: Just Walk Away
That is all! Just walk away. Granted it will be hard to see if it works unless you leave your device in a whole different area for a minute while your laptop searches for the Bluetooth connection. When it cannot find the Bluetooth signal from your phone, it will display the locking count down. My laptop made a dinging countdown so I could tell when it was preparing to lock.
Keep in mind that different devices have different Bluetooth ranges, so I am not sure just how far away your phone has to be before your laptop can no longer see it, but some trial and error, you will find that signal threshold.
I hope you liked this and find it useful. And hey, vote for it in the contest, too, please.
Participated in the
Wearable Tech Contest
5 years ago
If anyone else is still looking for something like this that works a bit more smoothly and without having to use your personal phone, the GateKeeper does this. It locks/unlocks your computer automatically depending on the range that you set. It also has other options and features.
7 years ago
there is just one small draw back to this. it is slow. when i disconect bluethooth it takes 20 sec for the program to recocnice that it is not connected
Reply 7 years ago
I don't disagree, but I did notice on my Win 10 laptop it was almost instantly realized the signal was missing. I could hear the warning ding as I walked down the hall. But my Win 7 desktop had a much MUCH slower realization. Up to a minute. I may have to chock it up to the workstation hardware more than anything. But tweek the settings a little and improve it, then let me know what happens, please.
Thanks for the interest and comment.
7 years ago
This is cool! Does it log you back in when you return to your computer?
Reply 7 years ago
There is a part where a program or script can be run when it is back in range, and theoretically it can log you back in, but I haven't figured it out how yet. There are similar programs that will, but they are not free like BtProx.
If you try it and CAN get it to log back in automatically, please share it!