See attached image below. I have a few macs and on one of them, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to lock the Sharing tab under System Preferences. The lock is present and working on other panes that support locking. I also went to Security & Privacy advanced and could not find anything there. How do I re-enable the ability to lock this pane and does anyone know why or how it got that way? My other Macs don't have this problem.

Edit: I am including another screenshot from my other Mac to show that there is indeed a lock on that pane.

I am running OS X El Capitan 10.11.2 on a Macbook Pro Retina (late 2013)Mac OS X System Preferences Pane

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


There is no lock on this screen. There is only a lock if the setting requires an Administrator (someone with the role of Administrator) to make the changes (i.e. Security). If anyone can make the changes then there's no need for a lock.

Make sure you're logged-in with the role of Administrator to see the preferences that you can lock/unlock.

EDIT: based on OP's new comments:
- Log in as a user with Administrator rights.
- Open System Preferences and select Security & Privacy.
- Click the lock icon and authenticate.
- Click the Advanced button at the bottom and enable the Require an Administrator... in the popup window.
- OK the change and then lock the S&P preference pane.

Now when you open the Sharing preference pane you will have your lock back.

  • There is a lock on that screen. See below from my other Mac. imgur.com/PZA0BrA
    – ejkitchen
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 19:53
  • There is only one account on that machine and it is the administrator account. I have no other accounts and guest is disabled.
    – ejkitchen
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 19:54
  • I don't have the lock on my Mac and I'm the only user and administrator.
    – fsb
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 20:50
  • I don't understand. I don't want anyone to be able to make the change. Not even me unless I unlock the setting with a password just like other panes in Preferences. You say "anyone can make the changes then there's no need for a lock" but I don't want this. I want it like my other Mac where not anyone can make the change as I have locked it. Both machines only have 1 user and that user is the administrator. So why does one machine not have it? How come you and and fbara don't see this? There must be a setting somewhere.
    – ejkitchen
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 22:37
  • See my edited answer.
    – fsb
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 23:06

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