How to lock a Mac OS X workstation
Reader Adam Smith writes in with the following question: “I am a new Mac user, and I love OSX! I have a MacBook Pro 15″. I would like to know though, is there a way that you can lock a MAC? Like in Windows, you can hit the shortcut “Windows Key + L”. Is there something similar in Mac or is there a script you can write? It’s just so I can leave my Mac while its doing stuff, lock it, so that no one else can play around with it. Thank you for your time.”
Yes there is! Mac OS X doesn’t have an active workstation lock quite in the same manner as Windows, but you can still lock your Mac’s workstation and require a password for all users to access the machine. Here’s how:
Lock an active Mac OS X workstation
The easiest way to lock down your Mac is by using a screen saver and password protecting it. Here’s how in three easy steps:
Select a Screen Saver – First, you’ll need to select a screen saver to activate. Open System Preferences and click the “Desktop & Screen Saver” icon. Pick any screen saver.
Enable a Hot Corner – In the same preference pane, click on the “Hot Corners…” button in the bottom corner of the pane. Select a “Hot Corner” – where you want the screen saver to be activated by dragging your cursor into that corner.
Enable Password Protection – Now you’ll need to password protect your screen saver. Navigate back to System Preferences and this time select the “Security” icon. Ignore all the FileVault settings, about halfway in the pane there is a check box for “Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver” – click the box next to it so a check appears.
Try it out – Now anytime you drag your mouse cursor into the activated Hot Corner, you will activate the screen saver, which requires a password to return to the desktop. Also, if your machine is put to sleep it will bring about the same password prompt.
To further secure your Mac workstation, you can also require a password on system boot. Doing so is easy, just check the Login Options under the Accounts preference pane. It’s pretty self explanatory but if anyone wants a full walkthrough let us know.