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How to Lock MacBook: All Ways You Can Try

Updated on Monday, April 8, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


9 Ways to Lock Your Mac Screen

Summary: Locking the Mac is one of the easiest and most secure ways to protect your data security when you're away from your MacBook. Read to know how to lock Mac screen in all possible ways.

how to lock Mac screen

If you want to keep your data secure while you are away for one minute or two, it's highly necessary and important to lock the screen on Mac. By locking your MacBook, you put it to sleep without quitting or interrupting any active applications. Generally speaking, you have to enter the login password if you want to access it again.

This post includes all possible ways to lock the Mac screen. Before that, in case some of you haven't enabled password protection, you should first require a password to unlock your Mac.

Table of Contents:

Password protect your Mac

Before locking the Mac screen, you should make sure your Mac is password protected for maximum data security. To password-protect your Mac, follow the guides below.

Step 1. Navigate to the Apple icon and go for System Preference in the drop-down options.

Step 2. Enter Security and Privacy and click on the General tab.

Step 3. Check the box in front of Require password. In the drop-down menu, make sure immediately is selected.

In this case, anyone who wants to access your Mac has to enter the right login password whenever it's in sleep mode.

Lock the screen by closing Mac lid

This is the easiest and quickest way to lock Mac screen. Simply shut the lid and your Mac screen will be locked. When you open the lid again, you'll be asked to type in the password for access.

Lock the screen with keyboard shortcut

macOS offers a wide range of useful keyboard shortcuts to perform multiple tasks. How to lock Mac screen with a shortcut? Press Command + Control + Q and your Mac will be locked with active applications left still.

You can also press Command + Shift + Q to lock the screen of your Mac. However, this key combination will close all running applications on your Mac device.

Lock the screen with Apple icon

Featured in the classic Apple icon, the Apple menu located in the top-left corner contains information about your Mac specs, system settings, and quick access to restart or power off the Mac. You can lock the Mac screen by selecting Lock Screen in the drop-down menu list. Alternatively, you can also put your Mac to sleep by clicking the Sleep option.

lock Mac screen in Apple menu

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Lock the screen with Hot Corners

Hot Corners is an underestimated feature that streamlines your workflow. Basically, it allows you to assign a command to each corner of your screen with the mouse cursor. You can customize this feature and make it a way to lock the screen on Mac. Here's how.

Step 1. Navigate to Apple icon > System PreferenceMission Control.

Step 2. At the bottom of the window, click on Hot Corners.

Step 3. You can choose one corner of your Mac screen to activate Lock screen. Check the drop-down menu in front of the corner and choose Lock Screen. If you've enabled password protection, you can also choose Put Display to Sleep here.

Click OK to finish setting this Hot Corner command. This way, if you place your mouse cursor in the designated corner, your Mac will be locked.

use Hot Corners to lock Mac screen

Lock the screen using Terminal

Terminal fulfills tasks by running command prompts in macOS. To lock Mac screen using Terminal, follow the steps below.

Step 1. Press Command + Space keys to bring out Spotlight search and type in terminal. Open Terminal from the search results.

Step 2. Copy-paste the following commands in Terminal and hit enter.

pmset displaysleepnow

lock Mac screen in Terminal

The Mac should go to sleep mode then. You can unlock it with the login password.

Lock the screen using Touch Bar

If you are a MacBook Pro user, you can make use of the Touch Bar to lock Mac screen by adding a button to it. Here's how to add the feature.

Step 1. Navigate to the Apple icon > System Preference > Keyboard

Step 2. Go to the bottom-right corner and click on Customize Control Strip.

Step 3. You can see a menu with several buttons, including Night Shift, Screenshot, Screen Lock, and others. Click on Screen Lock or Sleep and drag it to the Touch bar.

Feel free to touch the button on your Touch bar to lock the Mac screen.

Lock the screen with Keychain Access

This method only applies to Macs running macOS Mojave and earlier. You can add an option to the Mac menu bar with the help of Keychain Access.

Step 1. In Spotlight, search and open Keychain Access.

Step 2. Click on Preference and select Show keyboard status in the menu bar.

Step 3. A lock icon will be added on the right side of the Mac menu bar. Click on it and a drop-down context menu list will appear. You can find the Lock Screen option there.

Lock the screen automatically

In case you forget to lock the screen before leaving one day, you can set an automatic screen lock. When your Mac has been inactive for a certain amount of time, it will be locked automatically.

Step 1. Navigate to the Apple icon > System Preference > Battery. If you are running macOS Catalina or earlier versions, select Energy Saver.

Step 2. Click on the Battery tab and you can see a slider bar with different time nodes on it. You can click and drag the slider to decide when to turn off the display, starting with one minute to never.

Step 3. Apply the same procedure to Power Adapter as well.

Now you know how to lock Mac screen with these fixes, why not share the tips with your friends?


Lock the screen using fast user switch

Fast user switch helps you to return to the login window with one click. Here's how you can set it up to lock Mac screen.

Step 1. Navigate to the Apple icon > System Preference > Users & Groups.

Step 2. Click on the padlock and enter your password to make changes.

Step 3. Check the box in front of Show fast user switching menu. You can also decide to show your account as an icon, full name, or account name on the Mac menu. Save the change.

Step 4. Click on the user icon at the top-right corner. Choose the Login window.

login window


Besides closing the Mac lid, this post elaborates on all kinds of useful tricks for users looking for a way to lock Mac screen. You can use keyboard shortcuts, Terminal command lines, Apple menu bar, and many other easy approaches.   

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