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Is there a quick way to lock my Mac?

I want to be able to lock my screen on Mac, much the way Windows+l does on windows. I do not want to have to put in a password each time my computer sleeps/screen saver turns on. I want a keyboard shortcut to lock the screen while still allowing the computer to wake from sleep without a password. I don't want my session logged out or suspended in any way.

Note* I would like a keyboard shortcut for this.


You can do this with Keychain Access, if you enable its menu bar icon. Directions here.

I'm not aware of a keyboard shortcut, sorry.

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    I'm aware of this and this is the method I currently employ. Thanks still the same, since your solution largely fulfilled my requirements. You obviously read the question. – CarpeNoctem Feb 5 '11 at 5:09
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    @carpenoctem: in the question i linked as duplicate, chealion describes how to create a keyboard shortcut – Robert S Ciaccio Feb 5 '11 at 5:27
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    I don't think any of the answers in that duplicate are sufficient. The keyboard shortcut linked to is the most complicated "short cut" I've ever seen. One shortcut to activate (place in focus) the keychain in the menubar. On a laptop that would be FN+control+F8, then another to activate the lock screen option. Perhaps if you would have left this open someone could have provided a better shortcut solution. – CarpeNoctem Feb 6 '11 at 23:59

The WindowsKey + L combi works to lock the desktop (doesn't necessarily put it to sleep or start screen saver), in Macs its a little different in definition. To "lock" the desktop in Macs you would need to invoke a screen saver or turn off the display with a "Require password after sleep or screen saver"

To put the display to sleep the key combi is Cntrl+Shift+Eject. If your account has no "Require password", it wont ask for a password when it comes back on. (note: this isnt a "sleep" command - it just turns off the display, mac is still up and running).

Another method is to assign a hot corner to "put display to sleep"

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    sorry, i suspect the key combi is only for 10.6. – deeviate Feb 5 '11 at 4:56
  • haha, this is the exact response I was trying to avoid by adding the disclaimer that I do NOT want to sleep or turn on screen saver. The answer, if it exists, will most likely not be accessible through the system preferences GUI. IT's EVEN IN THE TITLE. :( – CarpeNoctem Feb 5 '11 at 5:07
  • aaah, so your objective is to create the same action windows does when it "locks" the desktop? Would clicking the "go to login window" in the user switch drop down be counted as similar? – deeviate Feb 5 '11 at 5:11
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    hahah, i just reread your comment post...my other left brain just asked the right "you are you dumb or blind?!" – deeviate Feb 5 '11 at 5:14

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