Lock Mac After Inactivity

Mac comes with a shortcut for locking the desktop session – ⌘ + Ctrl + Q. It is also possible to define another keyboard shortcut for that.

In my case, I wanted the screen to lock automatically after I’m idle for a certain period of time. That’s also easily configured by following these steps:

  1. Launch System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver -> Screen Saver
  2. Change the “Start after:” value in the left bottom corner to the requested idle time (in my case – 1 minute).
  3. On System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General – mark “Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins”

This was a good solution, but my workplace setup a group policy (by enforcing a configuration profile) that sets the “Start after” time in the screen saver pane to 20 minutes, which is way too long for me.

To solve that, I wrote this small cron task that checks your inactivity time, and launches the screen saver manually if enough time has passed. You can find the code + installation instructions here.

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