Before we explore the methods, let’s clarify the distinction between locking and putting your screen to sleep in macOS.
When you lock your Mac, it goes to sleep, requiring your login password or TouchID/Apple Watch to unlock. On the other hand, putting it to sleep doesn’t necessarily lock it. To lock your screen, set up a password in System Settings following these steps:
How to Set Up a Screen Lock Password:
- Open System Settings from the Dock or Apple menu.
- Click on the Lock Screen pane.
- Find the option that starts with “Require password…”
- Choose an option from the menu.
Once configured, your Mac will lock when it sleeps or starts a screensaver, requiring authentication to access.
Comprehensive Guide: How to Lock Your Mac with Various Methods
The simplest way to lock your Mac is by shutting the lid. It puts the Mac to sleep, and when you open it again, it requires authentication.
Use the Apple Menu
- Go to the Apple menu and select Sleep. This displays the login screen without immediate password unlock (except for Apple Watch users).
- Tip: To keep your Mac locked even with an Apple Watch nearby, go to System Settings > Touch ID & Passwords and disable the unlock setting.
- Latest macOS: Use Command+Control+Q to Lock Screen or Control+Shift+Power (or Control+Shift+Eject) for older macOS versions.
- Command+Option+Power (or Eject) puts the Mac to sleep, saving energy.
Set Up a Hot Corner
- Use hot corners for quick actions. Set up one to put your Mac to sleep:
- Open System Settings > Desktop & Dock > Hot Corners. Choose a corner and the desired action.
Fast User Switching
- Use Fast User Switching to return to the login window, effectively locking your Mac.
- Set it up in System Settings > Control Center.
Add Keychain Access to Menu Bar (Not Available in macOS Mojave)
- Open Keychain Access from Applications > Utilities.
- In Preferences, check “Show keychain status in the menu bar.”
- Click the lock icon in the Finder menu bar and choose “Lock Screen” to lock your Mac.
Enhancing Privacy on Your Mac
When it comes to safeguarding your privacy on a Mac, locking the screen is just the beginning. CleanMyMac X offers an additional layer of protection through its Privacy tool. This feature allows you to easily clear browser history in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, manage app permissions, and erase Recent Items. Moreover, you can securely delete sensitive data using CleanMyMac X’s Shredder function.
CleanMyMac X can be downloaded for free, giving you the opportunity to experience enhanced privacy and security on your Mac. Remember, apart from locking your Mac, ensuring a strong and secure login password is essential to keep your data safe from prying eyes.