It appears to me that BOTH Apple Menu>Lock Screen AND Fast User Switching Menu>Login Window halt user processes at some point. (AirServer eventually stops working for me)

I would like to know if/why/how user processes are affected in these scenarios. I've read elsewhere that the Login Window halts processes, and the Lock Screen method shouldn't, but I've personally seen the opposite or inconsistent behavior.

With a better understanding, perhaps a native solution can be found - if one exists, I'd like to know!

I have zero interest in a screensaver, but if it can somehow lock the screen while allowing all background user processes to run, I'm listening.

Yes I have Sleep set to NEVER

I'm familiar with headless windows services automatically starting and running with zero user interaction, not even a need for an initial login.

I wish to have similar behavior on my Mac mini serving as Plex and Airplay server.

Unfortunately Plex and AirServer are user processes - so that means I have to log in initially... fine.

  • Can you clarify if you're looking for a solution to keeping your processes running or if you want to know why it effects user processes? Mar 29, 2018 at 17:05
  • clarified, effectively I hope. (I'm looking for both)
    – goofology
    Mar 29, 2018 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


I just tested this in my Macbook Air, you can use Shift-Control-Power to lock your screen and it kept the processes running.

If you want to enter lockscreen after this command, you have to setup this option:enter image description here

and your Energy Saver Settings should look like this:enter image description here

  • This is only an option for MacBooks with integrated power buttons I believe, and does not work as of High Sierra - or at least not for 2017 MBPr w/ touch bar. I believe it has been replaced by Shift+Command+Q, but I don't have an older MacBook to test.
    – goofology
    Mar 29, 2018 at 18:21
  • Shift+Command+Q will logout, Control+Command+Q is lock screen. Mar 29, 2018 at 18:58
  • Apologies. I did indeed mean Control+Command+Q
    – goofology
    Apr 2, 2018 at 16:59
  • I just edited my answer, finally got time to test this in my computer. Apr 2, 2018 at 17:18
  • Thanks for your update. Unfortunately still doesn't work on Touch-Bar MacBooks. apple.stackexchange.com/questions/261496/…. I'm not sure about Mac mini (referenced in question) - I will test, but not convenient to press hardware button (Mac mini is in entertainment center and I'm usually on the couch or in another state/country). Additionally this does not answer the why/how part of the question
    – goofology
    Apr 12, 2018 at 23:23

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