How To Lock macOS: The QUICK Way



There are several ways to lock macOS to keep your data safe. Here’s what you need to know…


Wondering how to lock macOS? Look no further! We’ve put together this handy guide that tells you have to lock down your Mac to keep your data safe!

How To Lock macOS: The QUICK Way
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What Is Locking macOS?

When someone refers to locking macOS or says they want to lock macOS, they are referring to blocking access to their Mac without shutting it down completely.

When you shut down your Mac, no one can obviously use it. And when you power on your Mac, you should be provided with a user and password screen where you need to enter the password before you can actually use the Mac further.

This password screen is what appears when the Mac is powered on, but locked. That is, no one without the password can use it.

And while you are using your Mac, you can lock it down, which means you can return to the password screen and thus ensure no one can use it unless they have the password.

Locking down your Mac is quicker than turning it off completely and then needing to power it back up. Locking down your Mac is especially true if you are working in a public area and need to step away from your Mac for a moment.

You can get back into your locked down Mac in less than a second once you enter the password, as opposed to up to a minute if you have to restart your Mac from a completely powered off state.

Locking a Mac works no matter what type of Mac you have, such as an iMac or a new MacBook Air, or a Mac Studio.

There are three main ways you can lock your Mac. These instructions are for the latest macOS Ventura. Let’s go through them now…

How To Lock macOS: Using The Screen Saver

The first way to lock down your Mac is by engaging the screen saver. That’s because macOS has an option that allows your to set it so that the screen saver cannot be exited without entering the user password to the Mac.

Here’s how to set up the screen saver lockdown method:

Now whenever your screen saver engages automatically after the set amount of time has passed, your Mac will automatically be locked down and you’ll need to enter the password to unlock it.

How To Lock macOS: Using Display Sleep

Just like you can lock down your Mac using the screen saver as the engaging mechanism, you can also lock down the Mac whenever you display goes to sleep. People often set their display to go to sleep quickly when their Mac is on battery power and inactive.

Here’s how to set up the display sleep lockdown method:

Now whenever your display sleeps automatically after the set amount of time has passed, your Mac will automatically be locked down and you’ll need to enter the password to unlock it.

How To Lock macOS: Using A Hot Corner (The QUICK WAY)

While the two ways above are easy ways to automate your Mac t lock down after a set time period, what if you want to lock it down right away? Thankfully, there’s an easy way to manually lock your Mac at any time. Here’s how:

Now when you move your mouse to that corner of the screen, the display will automatically sleep or the screen saver will automatically engage. And if you’ve set both up to lock the Mac down when those options engage, your Mac will be quickly locked.

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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