Is there a way to disable the default behavior for macOS (10.13/10.14) of locking the screen x-amount of time after the screensaver or sleep begins?

I have some Mac Minis in a computer lab. People log in, use the computer and then walk away. MacOS locks the screen an hour later when the power settings turn off the monitor. The next user is unable to log in because the screen is locked and there is no option to enter a username for switching or any other purpose. All that's there is a password dialog. The only recourse is to forcibly reboot the Mac.

The ultimate solution would be to have an application that forcibly logs-out idle users, but there are none that I can find.

MacOS appears to have a provision for doing so, but it doesn't appear to actually do anything: If the user has any application open which prompts for a save command upon termination, the logoff will not occur, and users always have programs open that prompt for saving. If I had the skills, I would write such an application but I do not.

I've tried running: sudo defaults write com.apple.loginwindow DisableScreenLockImmediate -bool TRUE

Does nothing. There is no change. The default screenlock is still active and enabled and the Lock Screen menu choice is still available on the Apple menu.


The timeout is controlled in the Security and Privacy panel in System Preferences. What you are looking for is on the General tab and sets the time before requiring a password after the screen saver kicks in.

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