- There are many options when it comes to locking a Mac, from simply closing the lid to keyboard shortcuts.
- You'll need to set up a password for your Mac before you can properly lock it.
- Once you have a password, you'll need to set your computer's sleep and wake settings to control how often you need to log into your locked Mac with a password.
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Out of all the measures you should take to protect your digital privacy, locking a device might be the most basic, but it can surely be the most effective.
Whether you're at school, an office, or even at home, locking your Mac — even if you step away just for a moment — is a no-brainer. Just think of all the sensitive information that's just a few clicks away: Security codes, work documents, financial statements, all of your social accounts, and more.
There are several ways you can lock your Mac, which we outline below. But before you can do that, you'll want to set up a password for your computer. Here's everything you need to know.
Setting up a password on Mac
In order to lock your Mac, you'll need to first set up a password. This password will be required for both logging into your Mac as well as approving changes to your computer.
1. Click the Apple icon, located in the top-left corner of your screen and select "System Preferences."
2. Click "Security and Privacy"
3. In the General tab, check the box that says "Require password." You can also set the timing of the password, from "immediately" up to "8 hours." It's important to choose "immediately" if you want your computer to automatically lock when it goes to sleep or screensaver mode.
We should also note that clicking "Advanced" in the lower-right hand corner of the window allows you to specify how long your computer can be idle before it automatically logs out and requires a password to get back in. This is an ideal last line of defense against would-be intruders.
Once your password is set, you'll be able to lock your Mac in several different ways — the best method depends on your habits and preferences, and if you typically use your computer in a private or public setting.
Closing the lid
If you're working on a MacBook, you can simply close the lid. This by far the easiest method, but only works if you've set the computer to "immediately" lock when you set up your password.