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How to Disable Automatic Login

When you set up your Mac for the first time, you create an administrator account that automatically logs in when you turn on your computer - a convenient feature that poses a major security risk if you regularly use your Mac in public, or if other people use your computer. For maximum security, you’ll want to disable automatic login, even if you’re the only person who uses your Mac.

  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.

  2. Select Security & Privacy.

  3. Click the General tab.

  4. Click the lock and authenticate with an administrator account. The window shown below appears.

  5. Select the Disable automatic login checkbox.

  6. Note: Automatic login is automatically disabled if FileVault is enabled. The only difference is that computers protected by FileVault require users to log in immediately after the computer is turned on.

  7. Click Show All.

  8. Select Users & Groups.

  9. From the sidebar, select Login Options. The window shown below appears.

  10. Select Off from the Automatic login pop-up menu. This forces users to log in before using your Mac.

  11. Optional: Select Name and password to require users to enter both their username and password. This deters criminals by making them guess both the username and the password, but means that users have to do a little more work.

The next time you turn on your Mac, you’ll be prompted to log in with your username and password. It’s not as convenient as leaving automatic login enabled, but it’s a heck of a lot more secure.

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