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At our office, there are tons of different users who use the same Macs running High Sierra over the course of a day. Unfortunately, sometimes people forget to log out after they've used those computers which leads to the last people in office in the evening not being able to shut those computers down without the admin password. I cannot give our Admin credentials to all of them because that would pose a huge security risk. Is there a way to modify Mac OS so that it doesn't ask for the Admin credentials when trying to shut the machine down while another user is logged in?

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    The power button always causes a shutdown and if that fails removing the power is a 100% guaranteed shutdown.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 20, 2020 at 12:26
  • @SolarMike That's true, but I don't want to lose any OS data and telling my colleagues to "just press the button until it's off" would seem kind of unprofessional the eyes of my boss :D
    – DLCom
    Jul 20, 2020 at 13:34
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    Unprofessional? then your boss needs to make the users become professional... and they would not be leaving data around would they?
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 20, 2020 at 13:36

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There’s rarely a good technical question to a purely human problem. I heard one company change every account to the cell phone of people that don’t clean up so that everyone would call that number any time someone forgot to log out. Until the person paying the salaries resolves if it’s always IT’s responsibility to clean up after other people or set a standard for people to clean up after themselves, you’ll be stuck. A bit brutal, but it’s better than them losing their data by an unclean shut down.

The technical solution would be to trial the feature to log out idle connections and see if that works.

Barring that, you would enable a non-admin account to force power off / shut down but again, without them taking over the accounts that are logged in, you are left with the damaged app data or unsaved work dilemma. For that, an admin resetting the password would let someone take over the accounts to exit them cleanly, and then presumably lock that person out the next day since they wouldn’t know their password.

If you want to go down the path of a command you could enable a non-admin helper account, here are several options:

I prefer you take the tack of explaining the issue, why it’s disruptive when people leave before they clean up and then let the manager manage.

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  • The thing is that there's next to nothing of any value concerning data on these Macs. My colleagues just use them to scan and print stuff, everything else is on our remote server anyways. Therefore, it's highly unlikely for data loss to ever occur due to shutdown. I've already talked about it with them and my boss, but someone will always forget it. Not the same people every day, which makes this even harder to deal with. Can't really blame someone for forgetting it once. Sigh. Thanks for your answer, anyways.
    – DLCom
    Jul 20, 2020 at 20:10
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    Oh, wait, I've just found a really easy solution to this. I'm just going to disable the automatic locking of accounts when the screen saver begins. Then the accounts will just stay open and anyone can easily shut them down in the evening. And if the ones who left their account open complain about their data being exposed to other people - well, that's their fault for not logging off.
    – DLCom
    Jul 20, 2020 at 20:15

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