How to Password Protect Your Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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One of the most important things a Mac user should know is how to protect the data on its computer. Thus, when you set up your Mac for the first time, you should create an administrator account that automatically logs in when you turn on your computer. This account must be locked with a unique password that will protect your Mac when you use your computer in public, or while some other people use it. This is how to password protect your Mac:

  1. Disable automatic login first to make sure that only authorized users can use your Mac (check out our article How to Disable Automatic Login on Mac?).
  2. Select System Preferences from the Apple Menu.
  3. Choose Security & Privacy.
  4. Select the tab General.
  5. When the window opens, click the check box Require password after sleep or screen saver begins and set the immediately option for when the password is required. This requires the user to authenticate when waking the computer from sleep or exiting the screen saver.
  6. Press Show All.
  7. Choose Desktop & Screen Saver.
  8. Select the Screen Saver tab.
  9. When the window opens, move the Start screen saver slider to change when the screen saver starts automatically. This is how you set the time to protect your Mac in case you forget to start the screen saver manually.
  10. Select Hot Corners.
  11. When the window opens, choose a corner to activate the screen saver. You have to move the pointer to this corner to activate the screen saver and lock your Mac. Then, select Start Screen Saver from one of the menus.
  12. Press OK.
  13. Close the System Preferences.

Now you are ready and your Mac is password protected. Every time you turn it on, you will have to enter a password. Also, you should not forget to enter a password when exiting the screen saver and wake your Mac from sleep. Make sure to lock your computer manually when using it in a public place and keep your files and folders well-protected. In case anything goes wrong, you can contact the Apple support for further assistance as the issue might be different.

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