Snow Leopard: Set Screen Saver Password Delay

| TMO Quick Tip

Mac OS X includes an option to require a password to return to your Desktop after the screen saver activates. In Snow Leopard, or Mac OS X 10.6, you can set how long your Mac waits before requiring that password, and it only takes a couple of steps.

To set how long your Mac waits before requiring a password to wake from sleep or screen saver mode, do this:

  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.
  • Click Security, and select the General tab.
  • Make sure Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins is checked.
  • Now choose how long you want your Mac to wait before requiring a password from the immediately pop-up menu. You can choose from several delays ranging from five seconds up to four hours.

Set the screen saver password interval in the Security Preference Pane

Requiring a password to recover from screen saver or sleep mode adds an extra layer of security to your Mac and helps keep unwanted eyes from poking through your documents when you aren't around.

Popular TMO Stories



What is the practicality of delaying password protection upon returning to your computer?


No, it’s not delaying after you return.

What it will let you do, for example, is start screensaver after 5 minutes but not require re-entering the password unless you’ve been away more than 15 minutes.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account