6 Ways to lock screen on Mac

Written By Suraj Reviewed By How-to Mac 8 Min Read

If you’re prone to leaving your laptop unattended, then one of the simplest and easiest ways to secure your Mac is by enabling a lock screen. In this article, we’ll discuss various ways to lock the screen on Mac. So, your data is safe when you are away.

Before enabling the lock on your Mac screen, you must password-protect it.

  1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. From Apple Menu
  3. Lock your Mac screen automatically
  4. Using Fast User Switching
  5. Set up Hot Corners on Mac
  6. Via Terminal

1. Using Keyboard Shortcuts

If your Mac is equipped with the latest macOS version, use the CMD + Control + Q key combination to summon the lock screen instantly. Alternatively, press the Touch ID button to turn off the screen.

However, if you’re operating an older version of Mac, the Control + Shift + Power button is your go-to key combination for locking the screen. Finally, for those using a Mac with an optical drive, press the Control + Shift + Eject button to turn off the active screen.

These shortcut keys are the easiest way to lock the screen of your Mac and maintain solitude.

2. From Apple Menu

  1. Click the Apple logo () on the menu bar.
  2. Select Lock Screen.

    click apple logo and select lock screen on mac

Alternatively, press the Sleep option to shut off the eyes of your Mac when you are not using it. Things even get better as you can use your Apple Watch to turn on your Mac, giving you an advanced edge of accessibility.

3. Lock your Mac screen automatically

Setting up automatic screen locking is the best way to guarantee your Mac is secure. When you are not using it for a specific time limit, the display will be locked. So intruders can’t access your unattended device.

  1. Click the Apple logo () and open System Settings.

    Click apple logo and select system settings
  2. Click Lock Screen from the left side.
  3. Select the drop-down next to Start Screen Saver when inactive and choose a time limit.

    Select the drop-down next to Start Screen Saver when inactive and choose a time limit
  4. Hit the drop-down beside Require password after screen saver begins or display is turned off and select Immediately.

    Beside Require password after screen saver begins or display is turned off and select Immediately
  5. Enter your Mac password → Hit Modify Settings.

    Enter Mac password and Hit Modify Settings

4. Using Fast User Switching

I prefer this Fast User Switching method for locking a Mac screen because it offers decent animation. Follow the steps outlined below if you want something different and unique.

  1. Go to System Settings.
  2. Access Control Centre → Select Fast User Switching.

    Access control centre, fast user switching in system settings
  3. Now, click the drop-down menu next to Show in Menu Bar.
    I chose icon here.

    Select the position of user switching in settings
  4. Head over to the menu bar and click the user profile icon.
  5. Simply choose Login Window to lock your Mac screen.

    Access user control, and choose login window

5. Set up Hot Corners on Mac

Hot corners are another intriguing way of enabling screen lock on Mac effortlessly. This low-key yet excellent macOS feature is definitely something you should try at least once. 

  1. Go to System Settings.
  2. Select Desktop & Dock → Hot Corners.

    Select Desktop and Dock and then select Hot Corners
  3. Choose any corner → Select Lock Screen → Click Done.

    Select Lock Screen in any corner and Tap Done

6. Via Terminal

If you are a techie, you can use the Terminal to send your Mac to sleep and lock the screen. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Terminal via Spotlight Search.

    Open Terminal from Launchpad on Mac
  2. Type pmset displaysleepnow command and press Return.

    Type command and press return on Mac
  3. Now, your Mac will go to sleep, and the password is required to unlock it.

Use a third-party app

Last but not least, if you’re looking for a wide range of controls over the functions of your Mac, then third-party apps like CleanMyMac X are at your service. They will effectively allow you to lock your Mac screen, in addition to many customization options.

Importance of securing your Mac with a lock screen

With the advent of technology, Macs have become a highly prevalent device for professionals. Regardless of your usage, your Mac has all sensitive information stored in one place, which must be protected at every cost.

If you are concerned with such security factors, a password-protected lock screen answers all your problems. A lock screen adds an extra layer of security, preventing unknown users from accessing the content of your device without your permission.

By limiting the physical access to your device, you can assure any intruders accessing your Mac in your absence. Furthermore, without compromising with boring and dull backgrounds, you can accumulate custom lock screen messages on the lock screen of your Mac.


Is the Mac’s lock screen mode better than a complete shutdown?

If you’re in a hurry or need to step away from your computer momentarily, the lock screen provides a great deal of security. However, for more extended periods of inactivity, properly shut down your MacBook to ensure all programs and processes are closed correctly.

Can I set up a lock screen on my Mac without a password?

No, a password is required to enable a lock screen on your Mac. However, you can use alternative authentication methods such as Touch ID or Apple Watch to unlock your screen.

Will enabling a lock screen on my Mac slow down my computer?

No, enabling a lock screen on your Mac should not have any noticeable impact on your computer’s performance.

Can I use Siri to lock my Mac screen?

No, Siri cannot be used to lock your Mac screen. However, you can use voice commands to activate certain functions, such as launching apps or opening files.

Stop, drop, and secure! 

Mac offers a range of options to enable lock screen features. While the options may vary depending on the version of macOS in use, the measures are generally simple and secure. All the methods mentioned can help keep your Mac secure and provide protection from unauthorized access.

Thank you for reading. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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By Suraj
Suraj is an operations head on the iGB team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for iPhone, Apple Watch. Apart from blogging, he likes to work out as much as he can in his gym and love to listening to retro music.
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