I'm on OSX 10.9 on a late 2013 Macbook Air. iCloud Keychain is disabled, FileVault is turned off, and my Energy Saver settings are all at their defaults. I want to require a password after 15 minutes of sleep or inactivity, which should be straightforward. However, I am getting some strange behavior.

A- With the Require Password <option> hours after sleep or screen saver begins option in the "Security and Privacy" preference pane unchecked, my machine does not ask for a password if I close and immediately open the lid.

B- With the "Require Password <option> hours after sleep or screen saver begins" option in the "Security and Privacy" preference pane checked and the timeout set to 15 minutes, my machine requires a password if I close and immediately open the lid.

I want to be able to wake from sleep without a password if it has been less than 15 minutes since I last used my mac. This should be simple, but for some reason the appropriate setting isn't having the desired effect. Any ideas on how to fix this so the setting works as it should?

  • That's weird. If you start the screensaver or sleep without closing the lid does it behave as expected?
    – dwightk
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 16:57
  • If I start my screensaver with a hot corner, it behaves as expected. If I put my display to sleep with a hot corner, a password is required immediately.
    – QRohlf
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 17:00
  • 3
    For reasons that are entirely unknown to me, some combination of toggling every setting on the "General" tab of the Security and Privacy preference pane seems to have restored the expected behavior to this setting. So - issue fixed for me, but I still have no idea what caused it and don't know how to fix it if it happens again.
    – QRohlf
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 17:17
  • Please publish the Console report at time stamp of closing and opening the lid.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 17:43
  • 1
    +1 I am also getting this behavior. It is erratic. I already went through the process of jiggling the settings a week ago. It's coming back again.
    – Steven Lu
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 12:26

2 Answers 2


I have tried to replicate and analyze your problem.

The key word here is close the lid and "immediately" open it again.

There is a file called com.apple.screensaver.plist located in your user library preferences folder that should change when you change the settings for password timer.

While observing it there is actually a slight delay in writing that file, since a temporary version is written first. If you do the immediate stuff it is possible the .plist file is not correctly completed so your 15 min delay is not working.

In your case I would take a wild ques that plist file does not change the settings to 15 minutes and it is stuck to the "Immediately" request password.

That can also be caused the corrupt ACL permissions, or the immediately action you are doing.

Make sure the plist file has the accurate date/Time stamp before attempting to close the lid.

To test log in as another user and try again. If it works with other user reset your ACL.

  • Not sure what happened, but after the second reboot the behavior stopped happening again. I'd like to figure out what to do to reproduce it, but unfortunately I don't have a ton of time to bug hunt right now.
    – QRohlf
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 15:18
  • That clearly indicates your user profile needing ACL fix.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 15:24

According to Apple documentation, "Upon waking, a user login password must be entered before the Mac can be used." If we take that at face value, being able to not enter a password after the system has slept, e.g., you've closed the lid, presents a security vulnerability.


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