Is there any way to disable the "Click the lock to make changes" needing a password, or is there a way to permanently unlock all settings in Mountain Lion?

More specifically I'm turning the Network Link Conditioner ( to simulate slow connections ) on and off frequently from its system preferences pane and it needs a password each time and it's getting annoying.

I'm comfortable with the security issues this presents if I could revert to the default behavior at some point.


I'd just like to point out that in the time it takes to think up a sarcastic reply to an answer ( but ultimately not send because you're too polite ), the lock locks itself automatically.

2 Answers 2


The settings stay unlocked, just do not click the "lock". This will keep the stuff unlocked until you want to lock it again.

  • 1
    Thanks, is there any other way to keep it unlocked if the lock locks itself after a minute? Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 16:47
  • 4
    This is clearly how it is designed (and it is a good design), but for many users like me, it does not work. The padlock is re-locked each time that System Preferences is reopened.
    – Steven Lu
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 17:01

The inverse version of the answer on how to enable the lock:

Go to Security & Privacy, then Advanced.

uncheck the box for Require an administrator password to access system-wide preferences

That should ensure all the lockable prefs default to unlocked.

  • That is not the purpose of that check box which is exactly what you have said, not what the OP wants.
    – Gilby
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 3:26

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