Quickly Sleep the Display in Mac OS X with a Hot Corner
You can quickly sleep the display of a Mac or immediately start a screen saver by setting up Hot Corners, which are activated just by sliding your cursor into the specified corners of the screen. This is a great way to quickly hide what’s on the display, but also as a way to initiate a screen saver or lock screen, which will then require a password to use the Mac again.
It only takes a moment to configure this, though the settings for Hot Corners has been moved in new versions of Mac OS X to become part of Mission Control. Here’s what you’ll want to do to get this working:
How to Set a Hot Corner to Sleep Display on Mac, or Start Screensaver
- Launch System Preferences and click on “Mission Control”
- Click on “Hot Corners…” in the lower left corner
- Set the screen corners you want to use to “Put Display to Sleep” (or “Start Screen Saver”)
- Close out of System Preferences and test the Hot Corner by sliding your cursor into that screens corner
In the screenshot example, the lower right corner is set to put the display to sleep, while the lower left corner starts the screen saver. Thus there are two hot corners enabled on this particular Mac setup.
Sleeping the display is more akin to turning it off, and the screen just ends up black, but it’s not the same as putting the Mac to sleep. Basically the display goes to sleep until the Mac is in use again, but the computer itself is ‘awake’ and on the entire time. This contrasts to when the entire Mac itself is put to sleep, which puts the entire computer into a paused sleep state.
This screen sleep feature can also double as a means of immediately locking down the Mac, because the password feature used to enable the Mac OS X lock screen protection functions the same regardless of how the screen is actually locked, whether it’s through a hot corner or a keyboard shortcut. In both cases, so long as you have a password enabled for the lock or screensaver screen, you will need to enter the login credentials again to regain access to the Mac OS X desktop.
Hot Corners work in all versions of MacOS and Mac OS X, including macOS Mojave, High Sierra, El Capitan, Sierra, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard. Aside from hot corners, the newest versions of MacOS also have the advantage of including a keystroke for Lock Screen to instantly lock a Mac, as well as a menu item.
Sleeping a Mac display by Hot Corner is a great feature, particularly if a Mac is in a public setting or office and you want to be able to quickly sleep the screen when you walk away from a computer or just have a bit more control over when exactly a display goes to sleep, even as a power saving mechanism.