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8 Ways to Lock Your Mac



Apple logo on blue background

Locking your Mac is the best way to keep your computer safe when you need to get away from it. This will not close or interrupt running applications and require you to type your password to get past the lock screen. Here are eight ways to lock your Mac.

First, require a password to unlock your Mac

There are many ways to lock your Mac. Some of these methods actually put your Mac to sleep. However, this does little to protect your Mac if no password is required to access it again. For maximum security, we recommend that you always ask for a password after putting your Mac to sleep.

To password protect your Mac after it hibernates, click the Apple icon in the top left, then select “System Preferences”

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Click on ‘Security and Privacy’ here.

In the ‘General’ tab, select the check box next to ‘Require password’.

Type your password, then click the arrows next to “Require password” to open the drop-down menu. You can then select the amount of time that must pass before a password is required again. Select “Immediately” to lock your Mac when you put it to sleep.

If not enabled, anyone can access your Mac.

How to lock your Mac

When it comes to cyber security, you are the first layer of defense. It doesn’t matter which of the following methods you choose to lock your Mac, as long as you choose one. As we’ll discuss later, you should also configure your Mac to automatically lock itself in case you forget.

Close the lid of your Mac

The easiest way to lock your Mac is to simply close the lid. When you open it again, you will have to type your password to access the computer and its data.

Use the keyboard shortcut

Number two for the easiest way to lock your Mac is through the keyboard shortcut. You can just press Command + Control + Q to lock your Mac.

RELATED: The Best macOS Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Be Using

You can also press Command + Shift + Q, but this will completely log you out, meaning any applications you were running will also close.

Lock your Mac from the Apple menu

You can also easily lock your Mac from the Apple menu. To do this, just click on the Apple icon at the top left and then select “Lock Screen”.

If you need a password to unlock your Mac immediately after it hibernates, as we discussed earlier, you can just click “Hibernate” in the same menu.

Lock your Mac with Hot Corners

Hot Corners is a feature that allows you to touch a corner of your computer screen with your mouse cursor to trigger a command. You can also use this feature to lock your Mac.

First, click on the Apple icon in the top left, then select ‘System Preferences’.

Click on ‘Mission Control’.

Click on ‘Hot Corners’ at the bottom left.

Here, choose the angle you want to use to activate the lock screen.

Click the corner in the box where you want to set the Hot Corner, then select “Lock Screen”.

Again, if you need a password to unlock your Mac immediately after it hibernates, you can simply click “Put Display to Sleep” in the same menu.

Click “OK” to set the new Hot Corner command. To activate it, place your mouse in the corner of the screen you selected.

Lock your Mac with Terminal

If you want to feel like a hacker, you can lock your Mac through the Terminal. To launch Terminal, hit Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight Search, search for “Terminal” and click it in the search results.

In Terminal, type the following command and press Enter:

pmset displaysleepnow

Your Mac will now go into sleep mode. Again, make sure a password is required after waking up from sleep.

RELATED: How to Shut Down Your Mac Using Terminal

Lock your Mac with the Touch Bar

You can also add a button to the Touch bar of your MacBook Pro to lock it. To do this, click the Apple icon in the top left, then select “System Preferences”.

Click on ‘Keyboard’.

Click on ‘Customize control strip’ at the bottom right.

A menu with several buttons will appear. Click and drag the “Screen Lock” or “Sleep” button to the Touch Bar.

Whenever you tap that button on the Touch bar, your Mac will be locked.

RELATED: Add custom buttons to the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Lock your screen from the menu bar

If you’re using a version of macOS older than Mojave, you can add an option to the menu bar to put your Mac to sleep. To do this, go to Applications> Utilities> Keychain Access.

Then click on ‘Keychain Access’ and then select ‘Preferences’.

Here, select the checkbox next to the option “Show keychain status in menu bar”.

A lock icon will now appear on the right side of the menu bar; click on it and then select “Lock Screen” from the menu that appears.

Set your Mac to lock automatically

You should never leave your Mac when it’s unlocked, but we all make mistakes. If you do get away from your Mac and forget to lock it, you can set it to automatically lock after it has been inactive for a specified period of time.

To do this, click the Apple icon in the top left, then select ‘System Preferences’.

If you’re using macOS Big Sur or later, click on ‘Battery’.

Click
Click on “Battery” in macOS Big Sur.

If you’re using macOS Catalina or earlier, click ‘Power Saver’.

Click
Click on “Energy Saver” in macOS Catalina.

Click the “Battery” tab in “Power Saver” and drag the slider next to “Turn off display after” to the desired amount of time. You can set it anywhere from ‘1 minute’ to ‘Never’.

The
The “Battery” tab in macOS Catalina.

Make sure to do the same under the “Power Adapter” tab.

The
The “Power Adapter” tab in macOS Catalina.

Note that if you’re using macOS Big Sur, the “Battery” and “Power Adapter” tabs are in the left pane.

The macOS Big Sur
The “Battery” and “Power Adapter” tabs in macOS Big Sur.

If you ever forget to lock your Mac before you leave, it will automatically lock after the time you select, whether it is plugged in or running on battery power.

RELATED: 10 ways to lock your Windows 10 PC




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