Here is the scenario. Say I have a Mac that I have to leave in a semi publicly accessible location and which I need to be awake at all times (i.e. it has to be accessible and not asleep/locked). I want to have this Mac logged in to my iCloud account, but only for the point of Find my Mac. So if it walks away, I can at least wipe/lock it, if not actually track it down.

But alas, while I want this one iCloud feature, I don't want any others. I can leave them unchecked of course. But I want to prevent someone who might steal this computer, from being able to access my contacts, calendars and photo stream just by checkin a few checkboxes. But unfortunately there is no padlock on the bottom of the iCloud System Preferences pane.

Is there any solution to this?

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    Does creating and logging in with a separate account works for you? The primary/admin account could still be logged in with your Apple ID.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 11:01
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    I think we're missing a little bit of the scenario here. Wouldn't you just ensure no-one else has your password and therefore they can't login to your account. This way they can't change any of your system preferences. In this scenario you'd just lock your computer when you're away from it - and you'd also configure it to require a password immediately after sleep (or the screensaver) kicks in. And you'd set the screensaver/sleep settings to kick in pretty quickly as well.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 12:45
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    @Monomeeth you don't need an account password to check the iCloud preferences checkboxes to enable additional services. As far as screen lock, I need the machine to be awake all the time.
    – l008com
    Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 21:42
  • @NimeshNeema That could work, but in reverse. I could make a "throw away" account that was logged in to the Apple ID, not the real account. Will the tracking through iCloud still work fine if the local user account is not logged in?
    – l008com
    Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 21:43
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    Confirmed, @NimeshNeema's idea worked. Only backwards. The admin account still auto-logs in (to the computer) and is not logged in to iCloud. But I made an additional non-admin account that is logged in to iCloud solely for Wheres my Mac. With the auto-logins and removal of the Users menubar items, you wouldn't even know the account was there. It doesn't need to be logged in for the location tracking to work.
    – l008com
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 6:53

1 Answer 1


A simple solution for this problem is to have a separate user account on your Mac. You log into iCloud with your Apple ID in that user account which you'll also be using for setting up and accessing Find My iPhone/Find My Mac.

Note: You need not be logged into the user account for Find My Mac to track your Mac.

Once setup, you can simply enable only Find My Mac for that account (or enable/disable whatever iCloud features you want).

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