The Mac (short for Macintosh) computer is a personal machine that was created and designed by Apple Inc. in 1984. It was only in the late nineties that Apple started making its way into households thanks to their innovation collection of operating systems.
Today we have the Mac OS which is widely used in both personal and work-related Mac computers and laptops. And one feature which enables users to keep their work private as well as keeping people out of their projects is the lock screen function. It’s therefore paramount for every Mac user to be familiar with this feature in order to stay focused and productive.
It’s important to note the distinction between putting your Mac computer to sleep versus locking the screen. The former does not need a password but the latter does.
How to lock screen on Mac
Locking the screen
There are several ways through which you can lock your screen in the Mac OS. But to do this, you will first need to set up a password under the Systems and Preferences icon.
And although setting up the lock screen feature may not prevent theft of your laptop, it might at the very least, help keep your Mac computer or laptop safe and protected from nosey family members and work colleagues.
Setting up a password
Start by navigating to the System Preferences and clicking on Security and Privacy. Next, select the General icon before clicking on the one that reads ‘Require password…’ This prompt will give you options on the amount of time that you require before your Mac screen locks. The duration will range between ‘Immediately’ and 8 hours.
Depending on where you use your Mac and what you use it for, you will be able to choose the appropriate duration that best suits you before allowing your machine to fall asleep and lock the screen. What this simply means is that, if you work from home where you have less prying eyes, then you can select a duration of around fifteen minutes. But if you travel with your computer and work in public spaces, it’s best to opt for ‘immediately’ or at the very least, five seconds.
When finished, you will end up with an option like. ‘Require password 5 seconds immediately after sleep or screen saver begins’.
By setting up a password, you ensure that the machine can’t be awakened from sleep or unlocked by just anyone.
Post-password, you now need to choose the degree of functionality that you want for your machine once it goes to sleep. Do you want it completely dead or would you prefer if it went on with its programs in the background even with the screen asleep?
With the password set up, you can approach the lock screen function from other angles.
Locking with a keyboard shortcut
We’ve all had that moment where, while working on sensitive content on our computers, we had prying eyes appear from all around us. And these eyes usually appear on such short notice that we do not have the time to either minimize or change the screen and retain some privacy.
Well, depending on the Mac OS that you have, there is a shortcut on the keyboard that can solve this dilemma.
For the Mac OS Mojave released in 2018 as well as the High Sierra which are among the latest operating systems, simply lock the screen by pressing Command + Control + Q at the same time.
For older Macs, press Control + Shift + Power.
In the workplace, and especially for professionals like Video Editors and Graphic Designers who are ever rendering or exporting their projects in a time-consuming process, this can be a very useful function as it keeps people from disrupting those functions even if you step away from your desk.
And also, once you put your machine to sleep, as the only one with the password, you’re assured that your work will not be disrupted. Protect your machine and in turn, it will protect your work.