How to lock the Apple computer screen

Lock or unlock a screen using Remote Desktop

You can lock the screen of a client computer and then unlock it again. You can use Remote Desktop to perform certain administrative tasks on computers even if you have locked their screens.

A locked computer does not respond to keyboard or mouse input. By default, Remote Desktop displays a padlock icon on locked screens. However, you can also display an image of your choice.

Lock a screen

When you lock a computer screen, local keyboard or mouse input is not accepted, but you can still manage the computer using Remote Desktop.

  1. In Remote Desktop, select Select a computer list in the main window's sidebar, select one or more computers, and choose Communications> Lock Screen.

  2. Enter a message to be displayed on the locked screen and click Lock Screen.

    The client computer's screen goes black and shows only the administrator's name, the lock screen, and any text messages.

Unlock a screen

You must use Remote Desktop to unlock a computer screen that was locked using Remote Desktop.

When you unlock a computer screen, the desktop will reappear and the computer will again accept keyboard and mouse input.

  1. In Remote Desktop, select Select a computer list in the sidebar of the main window, select one or more computers with a screen locked status, and choose Communication> Unlock Screen.

  2. Click on “Unlock Screen”.

Display your own picture on the lock screen

You can view an image on the locked client screen. Make sure the image size is appropriate for the screen on the client computer. If the client computers use screens with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, an image with a resolution of 1440 x 900 is automatically scaled to fit on the screen.

  1. Create and save the picture in PICT, TIFF, GIF, or JPEG format, or any other static picture format compatible with QuickTime.

    QuickTime-compatible movies or QuickTime VR objects cannot be used.

  2. Name the image “Lock Screen Image” and copy the file to the / Library / Preferences / directory on the client computer.