Quick Shortcut to lock your computer on Mac OSX (El Capitan, Maverick, Snow Leopard…)

on November 22, 2017
(2 minute read)

Here’s a trick to lock your Mac computer quickly without the need to download or install any extra software. This trick works on Mac OSX El Capitan, Maverick, Snow Leopard and Sierra; for High Sierra check the solution at the bottom.

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Lets face it, having your computer to lock immediately when the screensaver starts is an annoying burden in most situations, in my case, I have set a 5 minute window from the time the screensaver is activated until the computer locks. This is very helpful to avoid having to unlock your screen multiple times every day, which takes a long time if you have a secure and long password. While this may not be the best way to secure your computer, it is better than setting a weak password and having your computer lock every minute of inactivity.

So while looking for an easy way to lock my computer manually on demand (apart from the 5 minute auto-lock), specially when working with sensitive data and having to get away from the keyboard for a second, you may want to lock your screen on demand. I found many apps and complicated instructions to be able to lock your screen but I wanted something I could do in less than 5 seconds.

Here you go, pretty little neat trick!


Press Cmd+Space to load Spotlight Search and type in keychain access, then press Enter:

Keychain Access will open, in the top menu, click Keychain Access and then Preferences:

A new window will pop up, make sure you are in the General tab and check Show keychain status in menu bar:

A new Lock icon will show up next to the clock:

Locking the screen

To lock the screen you just need to click the Lock and select Lock Screen. That’s two clicks, which is more than acceptable considering you don’t need to install anything extra and it works like a charm.

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Bonus tip: You can click the Lock icon and without releasing, move the mouse to Lock Screen and then release the click, there, I saved you a click 😂

Lock screen shortcut (works on High Sierra too)

If you are a shortcut guy or are using High Sierra, press CMD + CTRL + Q to lock the screen.

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