- Figuring out how to lock your Mac can be as easy as closing your laptop, or as difficult as memorizing new keyboard commands.
- You’ll need to set up a password for your Mac before you can properly lock it.
- Here’s what you should know about locking your Mac.
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For those who are new to Mac computers, the various settings and shortcuts can seem confusing. But once you get the hang of it, those will become second-nature.
A good first step is figuring out how to lock your Mac, keeping it more secure from intruders.
Here’s how to set up a password and several ways to lock your Mac once that’s in place:
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How to set up up a password on your Mac
In order to lock your Mac, you’ll need a password — this will be required for both logging into your Mac as well as approving changes to your computer later on. Here’s how to set one up:
1. Click the Apple icon, located in the top-left corner of your screen.
2. Select “System Preferences.”
3. Click “Security and Privacy” (located in the first row).
4. Check the box that says “Require password,” and input your desired password as well as any preference for the amount of time you want to elapse between your screensaver (or sleep mode) coming on and your Mac automatically locking.
5. Optional: Click “Advanced” (in the lower-right corner of the window) and specify how long your computer can be idle before automatically logging out of that user profile
How to lock your Mac
Here are five ways to lock your Mac.
- If it’s a MacBook or other laptop, shut it.
- Leave the computer idle for the amount of time you specified in the Security and Privacy window.
- Click the Apple icon and select, in order:
- “Log out [User Name]”
- Shut down
- Use keyboard shortcuts:
- Hold down Shift + Command + Q
- Hold down Control + Shift + Power button (located in the top-right corner of your keyboard)
- Hold down Command + Option + Power button (this will put your computer in sleep mode)
Another, slightly more involved option is:
- Hot Corners: Click the Apple icon, then “System Preferences” followed by “Desktop and Screen Saver.” Now click “Hot Corners” and set one of those to either “Put display to sleep” or “Start Screen Saver” when you move your cursor there.
The method you choose really doesn’t matter as long as you feel like it’s protecting your computer. Though it’s worth pointing out that leaving your computer idle is probably the least secure way to get it done, so it’s best left as a last line of defense. In other words, developing a different log-out or locking practice will serve you well going forward.
Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:
How to set your browser’s homepage on a Mac, with instructions for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox
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How to set an alarm or event reminder on a Mac using the Calendar app
How to turn on any Mac computer’s built-in camera, or troubleshoot it if it’s not working
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