Macs Are So Easy To Use

I’m still struggling with my mac, but I am getting better.  Nonetheless, this week’s UI episode was so comical I decided to post it.

The Task:  By default, the screen saver locks me out of my Mac every 5 minutes!  Make it not timeout for 15-30 minutes and not force the immediate password.  This shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Step #1:  Go to the System Preferences, click on “Desktop and Screen Saver”, and move the slider from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.  Great!  Hey, they even let me choose from a bunch of cute screen saver options!  Nice.

Disappointment #1:  It didn’t work!  My machine still locks me out after 5 minutes.

At this point, it took me days before realizing that it was probably the Mac equivalent of power-saving mode causing the problem.  If I weren’t a techie, I never would have thought of this.  But hey, no problem, I can fix that…

Step #2: Go to the System Preferences again, and find the “Energy Saver”!  Great!  Sure enough, the defaults are too low.  Extend them out.  Nice.  Now I must be all done.

Disappointment #2:  OK – it partially worked, but shoot, it’s still prompting me for my password all the time.  How do I fix that?

I spent a lot of time combing through both the screen saver and also the energy saver panels.  But I couldn’t find where they have an option to not force password prompting.  Searching through other panels didn’t discover anything either.

Finally, Google solved the problem.

Step #3: Go to the System Preferences “Security” tab, with “Require password [immediately] after sleep or screen saver begins.”  Change that value.

Alas, 3 days, 3 control panels, and 1 Google search later, I no longer have my Mac locking me out all the time.  Score one up for Apple’s mastery of User Interface design!  Hope this helps someone else someday too.


One thought on “Macs Are So Easy To Use

  • March 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Oh my goodness, this was SO HELPFUL!! I just started using a mac, and as I use photo references when I’m painting it was killing me that the screen would time out every five minutes. I tried changing the energy saver preferences to no avail, and no other google search result but yours helped me solve the problem. Duh, screen saver settings… Thanks so much for posting =D


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