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You can lock your Mac computer with just a keyboard command — here’s how to set it up

You can lock your Mac computer with just a keyboard command — here’s how to set it up

Passcodes are a vital part of keeping your computer secure. And knowing how to lock your Mac with just a keyboard shortcut is a handy tool to add to your security arsenal.

That way, when you need to quickly lock your computer, you can do it with just a few keystrokes.

Here's what you'll need to know to enable your Mac's passcode feature, and then use keyboard shortcuts to lock your computer.

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How to lock your Mac with a passcode

Before you can lock your Mac from your keyboard, you'll have to set a passcode. This makes it so that you'll have to use your passcode to unlock your Mac in the future, which also enhances your computer's overall security.

Here's how to set it up:

1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and select "System Preferences."

Open your Mac's System Preferences menu.

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2. Choose "Security and Privacy."

In the System Preferences menu, click "Security & Privacy" in the top row.

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3. Under "General," tick the box next to "Require password after sleep or screen saver begins" (you can change how soon this feature kicks in by selecting an option from the dropdown).

Enable and set your passcode.

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4. You'll be asked to set a password and a security hint. Make sure to come up with a password that you'll remember, but is hard to crack.

How to lock a Mac from your keyboard

Once your Mac has a password enabled, here are two ways to lock it using only your keyboard:

  • Press and hold the Control, Shift and Power buttons, or Control + Shift + Eject if your Mac doesn't have a Power button.

When you use this keyboard shortcut, your background processes will continue to function. So, for example, if you have Spotify running, you'll still be able to hear the music or podcast, but your laptop will be locked and you'll have to log back in to use it.

Pressing the highlighted button will turn off your screen and lock your Mac.

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  • Press and hold Command, Option and Power, or Command + Option + Eject.

This keyboard shortcut will put your computer to sleep, which locks it and shuts down most background processes.

Pressing the highlighted keys will put your Mac to sleep.

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