What Is Kensington Security Slot Aka That Weird Hole In Your Laptop?


You might have come across a strange lock slot in your laptop, tablet, portable storage drive, or other electronic devices. This obscure slot is officially known as Kensington Security Slot, which is a patented anti-theft security system component from Kensington Computer Products Group. It is also known as Kensington Lock or K-Slot.

Now, you might have installed an antivirus for protecting what’s stored on your laptop, but it can’t do much to prevent your laptop from getting physically stolen. This is where this lock comes into play and fulfills the crucial role of a physical lock. The availability of this security feature can give you some reassurance when you leave your system unattended in public cafes and the like.

In this article, we talk about the Kensington lock, its purpose, and more. So, if you’re someone who owns an expensive laptop or has a habit of forgetting it in public places, keep on reading.

kensington lock fastened to a table
Image: Kensington

Why Do Laptops Have A Kensington Lock?

Kensington Security Slot is present on various portable devices, and it allows you to fasten your valuable device to another object for preventing theft. Interestingly, the original design patent is from 1999 and belongs to a bicycle lock maker brand, Kryptonite. Over the years, this design has evolved to act as a security option for our laptops and other electronics.

There is another variant of this lock that uses space economically and, hence, is the perfect choice in slimmer laptops. This variant is the Kensington Nano Security Slot which, as per the official website, is 70% smaller than the traditional one.

However, certain manufacturers still prefer to not accommodate the lock slot in their laptops. For instance, Apple‘s Macbooks and Microsoft‘s Surface laptops do not come with any built-in mechanism that supports a Kensington lock. For such devices, you can use certain external Kensington locks as shown in the image below.

kensington lock on surface laptop
Image: Kensington

How To Use A Kensington Security Lock Slot?

The Kensington Security Lock mechanism involves the lock slot of a laptop (or any other device) and a cylindrical lock head attached to a metal cable with rubber coating. The lock head is connected to the slot and secured using a key or number combination. The other end of the cable can be looped around and fastened to any fixed or heavy object, such as a table.

There are two types of Kensington locks you’ll find, “keyed” and “combination.” Just as the name suggests, a keyed lock involves using a physical key to attach or detach the lock head from the slot. On the other hand, a combination lock requires you to input the correct combination of digits (your passkey) for the same.

Is Kensington Security Lock Good?

It can’t be regarded as a fool-proof solution as the cable, and even the lock head, can be cut using the right tool, but the chances of anyone in public doing that without attracting attention aren’t really high.

So, in most scenarios, this is a solid feature to secure your laptop to a spot. And, it emerges as a good way for store owners to secure their laptops, tablets, and other devices from shoplifters. If you have something to add, tell us in the comments below.


1. Do Macs have a Kensington Security Slot?

No. Macs do not come with a built-in Kensington Security Slot, but they can be secured using external Kensington security solutions.

2. Do laptop locks really work?

Yes. In most cases, laptop locks are a great way to make sure no one walks off with your laptop — and all your data on it — while you’re turned away.

3. Can you break a Kensington lock?

Yes, although quite cumbersome, breaking a Kensington lock is possible with the right tools. Certain technicians can detach the lock without causing any damage to the slot.

4. Is a laptop lock worth it?

It depends on your usage. If you plan to use your laptop only at home or the office, you probably don’t need it. But, if you often leave your laptop unattended in public libraries or cafes, having a laptop lock is a good way to neutralize the risk of theft.

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