Mac OS 10.5 Leopard: Instant Screensaver Activation

It’s a shame that the Mac OSĀ  doesn’t have a “lock screen” function similar to Microsoft Window’s “Winkey + L”. One way around it is to set a password for when the screensaver is activated and then use the Hot Corners function and designate a corner of the screen to activate the screensaver.

Turns out that in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard there is a shortcut to activate the screensaver. Here is a tip from MacOSXhints.com, from the finder navigate System > Library > Frameworks > Screensaver.framework/Versions/A/Resources. Inside you should be able to find a file, ScreenSaverEngine.app. Running that will activate the screensaver immediately.

Unfortunately there is a slight snag with this tip. Apparently if you have it set to auto activate the screensaver at a preset time and you also manually activate the screensaver, the preset time screensaver will also activate at the same time as the already running screensaver causing some wierd video issues and also using up a lot of GPU. The recommendation is to create an Automator action. Steps how to set it up can be found on the second link above.

2 thoughts on “Mac OS 10.5 Leopard: Instant Screensaver Activation”

  1. I’m right there with you about this, it would be super easy to hit a few keys to lock out the screen. I was asked at my job to provide a way for our users to lock out their screen if they needed to leave their machine. The best thing I found short of activating the screensaverengine.app is to go into Keychain and select the preference so you can see the keychain icon on your toolbar. From there you can lock your machine on demand..not by keystrokes but by two mouse clicks. Just about the same IMO.

  2. Originally Posted By Michael ShepherdI’m right there with you about this, it would be super easy to hit a few keys to lock out the screen. I was asked at my job to provide a way for our users to lock out their screen if they needed to leave their machine. The best thing I found short of activating the screensaverengine.app is to go into Keychain and select the preference so you can see the keychain icon on your toolbar. From there you can lock your machine on demand..not by keystrokes but by two mouse clicks. Just about the same IMO.

    That’s a good idea! Thanks for the tip! I still use hot corners, but I find every so often the hot corners don’t respond for some reason so I have the “Enable fast user switching” selected in Accounts in System Preferences, so in the toolbar, I can select Login Window and it will lock the computer via the Login Window. 1 click :).

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