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I'm not sure if this has been asked before:

I want to use the Touch ID button to sleep or to lock my 2017 Macbook Pro 13". I know there are other shortcuts for doing that, but I want to be able to use the power button as such... (I also want to explicitly use the power button, I know I can add buttons to the Touch Bar).

By now, apart from using it as Touch ID, I can only use it to do a hard-turning off by pressing during 6 seconds or to access accessibility options by pressing 3 times fast. I want to lock my mac by simply pressing the Touch ID button.

I can't believe that something like that is not possible, or at least configurable... If it isn't, is there a way to use it as another regular key in order to make a shortcut? (if I try to create a shortcut, pressing the Touch ID button does nothing)

I've seen that some years ago, pressing the power button during 3 seconds pops up a menu for choosing what to do, but that also doesn't work in my case. In this Apple's tutorial (recently updated) they also mention the possibility of doing that by pressing the power button, but again, it doesn't work for me.

Thanks!

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  • 1
    Yeah it's amazing it's not like this by default. Aug 24, 2018 at 9:17
  • 3
    Relevant: one of Apple’s documentation pages explicitly states that the button no longer acts as a power button. From Use Touch ID on MacBook Pro: “Unlike with older Mac notebooks, holding down Touch ID on your MacBook Pro doesn't display a dialog with options to Sleep, Restart, or Shut Down. You can find these options in the Apple menu.” Sep 24, 2018 at 21:52
  • 2
    Probably they would introduce this as a new feature in a future MacBook. Dec 5, 2018 at 7:25
  • It's astounding that they haven't made this configurable, given how many long time users would have upgraded and lost this functionality in doing so.
    – J22
    Jun 21, 2019 at 1:38

3 Answers 3

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You can use Touch ID button to lock your Mac after upgrading to Big Sur.

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  • Welcome to Ask Different. I run Big Sur and the Touch ID preferences pane doesn't offer an option for locking my Mac. Can you provide a reference to your answer?
    – jaume
    Nov 17, 2020 at 7:07
  • I just tested it and it works. Just a single click locks my Macbook Pro 2017 Nov 17, 2020 at 17:34
  • It used to. After the latest update, it no longer locks or does anything. Feb 9, 2021 at 15:09
  • 1
    I have new Macbook air (M1) and latest version Mac OS. Touch ID button can locked my Mac.
    – MSemochkin
    Feb 10, 2021 at 8:58
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+100

On my M1 MacBook Air, the following works: press Touch ID with any finger not registered with Touch ID to lock the Mac. Then press Esc to Sleep.

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  • 3
    This. Lock with Touch ID button was working when Big Sur came out and then seemed to stop working after a Feb. or March update. It was this answer (using non-registered finger/fingerprint) that's doing the trick for me now. One push to lock the Mac is a great feature.
    – Jason H.
    Apr 10, 2021 at 16:23
  • There is no other use I have for pressing the TouchID button than for locking/unlocking. Is there a way perhaps to configure my machine to just lock the screen if the button is pressed while the machine is unlocked?
    – rinogo
    Nov 2, 2022 at 21:09
  • Not the best option, but I always press the button in the corner (without touching the fingerprint reader), to lock the screen.
    – Tim
    Mar 13, 2023 at 10:25
  • I thought that this was a hit-and-miss, as it didn't always work for me. But it seems that this DOES work, you just need to hold the touch ID button for a second or so using a non-registered finger (to prevent it immediately unlocking again).
    – M4C4R
    Feb 5 at 12:54
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This is not possible.

From this Apple Support page:

Pressing Touch ID won't put your Mac to sleep. Instead, choose Apple menu > Sleep. You can also add a Sleep button to the Control Strip in the Touch Bar: Select View > Customize Touch Bar.

WARNING: this answer is not relevant since BigSur release.

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  • 4
    So it does nothing. Got it.
    – Z2VvZ3Vp
    Mar 30, 2020 at 15:11

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