OS X El Capitan: General pane of Security & Privacy preferences

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General pane of Security & Privacy preferences

You can use the settings in this pane to make your Mac more secure from malware and tampering.

To open the pane, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click General.

Change Password

Click to change the login password for the current user.

Require password... after sleep or screen saver begins

Use this setting to lock your Mac when it’s left in an idle state. When the Mac wakes, a user login password must be entered before the Mac can be used. You can select the amount of time after the screen saver or sleep begins before a password is required.

Show a message when the screen is locked

Select to display a short message in the login window when your Mac is locked. The message will be shown to any users who attempt to log in. It can also be used to provide contact information for a lost Mac.

Disable automatic login

Select to require users to authenticate with a password when they log in.

Allow apps downloaded from

You can protect your Mac from malware by only allowing apps that come from the Mac App Store or from identified developers.

Mac App Store

Select to allow only apps that have been downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Mac App Store and identified developers

Select to allow apps only from the Mac App Store, and from developers identified by Apple.


Select to allow any app to open, regardless of where it came from.


Locks or unlocks Security & Privacy preferences. Click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.


Click to increase the security on your Mac by adjusting specific settings in the Advanced pane of Security & Privacy preferences.

Published Date: Sep 16, 2017