How to set a password on your Mac computer and lock it, in 5 different ways

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderThere are many ways to lock a Mac computer.

  • Figuring out how to lock your Mac can be as easy as closing your laptop, or as difficult as memorising 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.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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:

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

MacBook (From $US1,299 at Apple)

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.

1 HOW T0 LOCK MACDevon Delfino/Business InsiderSet your password and decide how immediately it will need to be entered.

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]”
    • Sleep
    • Shut down
2 HOW TO LOCK MACDevon Delfino/Business InsiderLogging out of your current user account will lock your computer.
  • 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.
3 HOW TO LOCK MACDevon Delfino/Business InsiderHot Corners allow you to quick log out with just a mouse gesture.

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 defence. In other words, developing a different log-out or locking practice will serve you well going forward.

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