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All The Top Ways To Lock Your Mac Screen

7 min read

If you think your social media profiles give away too much about your life, imagine the wealth of personal information and important data your Mac contains. By now, every IT security expert in the world recommends to lock your Mac every time you step away from it in public (and why not in private too). So you can do yourself a massive favor — learn about MacBook lockscreen options, pick the one that works best for you, and kick off your new habit. Remember: Lock Mac. Every time.

How To Lock Mac With User Preferences

Truth be told, locking Macs is extremely easy and there are a few ways to do it. But, first of all, it’s important to make sure your Mac is configured to ask for a password every time you turn it on — so it wouldn’t just let anybody in after you lock it.

To disable automatic logins:

  1. Go to the Apple menu ➙ System Preferences

  2. Click on Users & Groups ➙ Login Options

  3. Find a dropdown menu by the Automatic login and make sure it is set to Off

automatic login lock Mac

How to lock Mac screen using shortcut keys

To use a simple combo of keys is the easiest way to instantly lock screen on Mac. What are they? 

Ctrl + ⌘ + Q. Just make sure to press the keys carefully when using this shortcut to lock Mac, so that you don’t hit just + Q by accident. Without the Ctrl key, it will result in shutting down the app you’re working with, which makes it more likely to lose any unsaved work.

Ctrl + Shift + Power. A simple Mac lock screen shortcut to send your display to sleep.

Ctrl + ⌘ + Power. Another good option to consider, which sends your entire Mac to sleep as well but also saves more energy by turning to low-power mode and stopping background tasks.

How to lock a Mac using the Apple menu

If shortcuts just aren’t your thing and you’re more comfortable using your mouse or trackpad instead, try another easy option. To lock Mac screen from the Apple menu:

  1. Go to the Apple menu at the top left of your screen

  2. In the dropdown menu, choose Lock Screen. Boom! 

lock screen Apple menu Mac

If you have a MacBook Pro with a touch bar, you can create a dedicated icon that will lock MacBook Pro when tapped. To set up this option:

  1. Go to the Apple menu once again ➙ select System Preferences

  2. Choose Keyboard

  3. Select Customize Touch Bar in the lower right corner of the window

  4. Drag the Screen Lock button to your touch bar using your mouse ➙ Done

How to lock screen on Mac using hot corners?

Hot Corners macOS feature takes little time to set up and, once configured, lets you lock Mac literally with a whiff of your hand. What happens is you designate a specific corner of your screen and every time you drag a cursor there it acts as a “Mac lock screen” command. Obviously, it’s important to choose the corner you don’t normally visit much, otherwise the trick intended to be a lifesaver might quickly become a major annoyance.

When the corner is picked, you’re ready to set the Hot Corners feature on your Mac. Simply follow these instructions to guarantee yourself an instant lock screen on Mac:

  1. Launch System Preferences

  2. Click on Desktop & Screen Saver ➙ Screen Saver

  3. Tap the Hot Corners button in the bottom-right corner of the window

  4. This will open a panel with a dropdown menu for each of the corners — click on one by the corner you have decided to designate ➙ choose Lock Screen

hot corners Mac feature system preferences

How to lock keyboard on Mac

Once you’ve figured out how to lock MacBook, there’s no need to additionally lock your keyboard — when you lock your Mac, both keyboard and display are locked. If, however, you need to have your keyboard locked while keeping the display active — you might consider using external display or look for specialized apps to perform the task.

How to lock Mac automatically

In addition to instances when you lock screen on Mac to step away, it’s also possible to configure the settings to lock Mac automatically when you close the lid or after the screensaver comes up. Simply follow these steps to activate the option:

  1. Go to System Preferences

  2. Press Security & Privacy ➙ choose the General tab

  3. Check the box next to “Require password”

  4. Choose Immediately from the dropdown menu next to “Require password”

require password Mac

It might also be a good idea to optimize your settings to have screensaver engage quicker or use specialized apps like One Switch to perform the task in a single click.

One Switch is a great time-saving app that gives you access to all the important Mac switches right in your menu bar. It can launch the screensaver in an instant as well as prevent your Mac from going into sleep for as long as you need it. Besides, with One Switch you also get to:

  • Auto-change your user interface from sunrise to sunset with light and dark modes

  • Instantly clear desktop clutter by hiding all your icons in one click

  • Connect AirPods in one click too instead of five when you go through System Preferences

  • Schedule do-not-disturb hours for productivity with all notifications disabled from showing up on your screen

One Switch Mac menu bar lock screen

Or forget about having to memorize the Mac shortcut to lock screen or any other ways to lock Mac described above altogether. If you use Lacona.

Lacona takes fast and efficient to a whole new level: think of this app as a desktop alternative to Siri that is integrated with all the built-in Mac services and is powerful enough to let you run your entire Mac from a minimalistic pop-up window. You type commands in your own words, without having to learn the specific formats, and this intelligent app will:

  •  Launch apps

  • Create reminders and schedule events

  • Find files

  • Make calls

  • Translate and find meaning of words

  • Do instant calculations

  • Search the web

  • Plus, do an impossible number of other things that involve working with apps on your Mac and using add-ons like IFTTT (if this then that) commands that allow you to link actions in one app with consequent actions in a different app

Lacona lock mac app assistant

As you can see, the whole idea of locking up religiously to protect all the personal stuff you keep on your Mac almost by definition calls for actions so simple they could be performed multiple times a day. And all the options for MacBook lock screen described above are just that. Try them all and see which one suits you the most.

Best of all, you can check out all the great features of One Switch and Lacona mentioned above for free on a seven-day trial with Setapp — a platform of more than 200 handpicked powerful Mac apps and tools capable to easily resolve any digital issue and boost your productivity on Mac tremendously. So, what are you waiting for? Time to do something amazing! Just don’t forget to lock your Mac when you step out for that coffee.

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