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I have my security preferences set up to delay for 15 minutes after screen saver turns on and then ask for a password. (I use two computers and don't always notice right away when the screensaver turns on on my mac.)

However, when I walk away from my mac, I would like to be able to hit a keyboard shortcut or use hot corners to require a password right away.

I've tried using ctrl-shift-power, but that simply turns the screen off while not requiring the password. Hot corners would be ideal if that's possible.

Is there a way to do this?

  • You can use Cmd+Shift+Q to log out. After logging out it does require a password to log in. – John Jul 21 '16 at 19:32
  • I don't want to log out (which interrupts running applications). I just want to lock my screen. – Kramer Jul 21 '16 at 19:44
  • @Kramer, type "lock screen" (without the quotes) in the Search Q&A search box, in the top right corner, where you'll find several ways to lock the screen without having to log out. This topic has already been discussed before. Use a third-party utility or create an Automator Service you can assign a hot key to. Or a AppleScript app placed in the Dock, etc. – user3439894 Jul 21 '16 at 19:49
  • @user3439894 I keep seeing answers refer to a "Keychain" app. Is that the same as the Keychain access app? – Kramer Jul 21 '16 at 20:13
  • Yes it is referring to Keychain Access.app in /Applications/Utilities, and that is but one of many ways to accomplish the task of locking the screen with the security setting you have in place. – user3439894 Jul 21 '16 at 20:20
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If you set your screen saver to require a password when exiting and then set one of the screen corners to turn the screen saver on, there you go instant turn my screen saver on gesture.

Unfortunately MacOS does not have a universal keystroke to lock the computer like Windows does.


If you have Mojave you can, the shortcut is there in the Apple menu: ⌃ ⌘ Q

  • "Lock Screen" is also available in High Sierra with the same keyboard shortcut: ⌃⌘Q – TJ Luoma Oct 14 '18 at 22:29

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