Saturday, July 7, 2007

Quickly locking your computer using keyboard shortcut

In the previous post, I mentioned how you can use the mouse to lock your Mac.

On Windows I can type Windows + L and lock my computer quickly. It would be nice to do the same on the Mac, right.

You can do that by setting up a trigger in Quicksilver. Neal has talked about Quicksilver and triggers.

If you are still not using Quicksilver, stop reading this blog and go download it right now.

Bring up Quicksilver (I have ctrl + Q setup to activate it, so I type ctrl + Q). Press Apple-' (Apple + single quote) to bring up the Triggers window.

Click on the + in the bottom to create a new trigger. Select Hotkey. Type a dot (period) and enter the following for "Select an Item":
Hit tab and leave the Action as "Open." Hit return to save.

Now we're ready to assign a keyboard shortcut/trigger. Double click on "None" for the trigger item you just added and type in your trigger key (for instance Alt and L).

Go ahead the try it out. Press Alt-L (or Option-L) and see if this bring up the screen saver. Of course, I generally like to password protect my computer when I walk away from it. Yes, it is a pain to enter the password several times a day, but that is less painful than compromising the computer.

You can ask your computer require password when you return. Under Security System Preferences (Alt + F4 and type Security and hit return) turn on the check box "Required password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver."


Chris said...

Excellent tip. One reason I don't use my Mac at work is because I have not really had a way to lock it, until now. Thanks.

Thom said...

It is a bit of an effort locking and unlocking your computer all day, especially when your IT department makes you have a _proper_ password that takes three attempts to even get right. Our company makes sure people stick to it with a tradition called 'donutting'. If anyway goes away from their computer and leaves it unlocked, everyone's within their rights to send an email from that person promising to buy donuts for the recipients. Keeps people cautious about their computers, and guarantees a regular supply to treats for the office. :)

spicycode said...

You can also open Keychain Access and go to 'Preferences' and select show status in menu bar. This provides a simple lock you can click on and select 'Lock Computer' regardless of your other settings.

tim_bissell said...

If you have 'password on wake' set, you can use Command-Alt-Eject to put the Mac to sleep.

Jorge said...

One thing I did to get this same behavior is to install the Extra Scripts plugin which has support for actions like Restart, Force Quit, and Fast Logout. If you have Fast User Switching enabled under Accounts, then you can just begin typing 'fast' which will bring up fast logout. I actually didn't start using fast logout until i saw Stu use it and I was wowed by the spinning cube behavior of it. Its pretty :P

rajesh said...

I have an imac G4, and would like to restore it to its original settings like when you first got it.
Does any know how to do this?
F.Y.I. - I don't have the OSX discs so is there a way to do this without the discs?