Proceed to login screen after certain amount of time

I have multiple family members (including younger family members) that have their own login to the family mac. I would like to have any given open account automatically go to the login screen (remaining logged in) after a certain amount of time. The only three built-in options that I am seeing are:

  1. Manually do this (either through fast user switching or via command-control-Q).
  2. Utilize System Settings->Security & Privacy to auto log-out after a given time period.
  3. Lock via screensaver.

My issues with the above is:

  1. I desire something automated - taking younger family members into account.
  2. I want to keep the user logged in (ie: apps running) - just locked.
  3. Screensaver keeps all other users out - versus the ready option of clicking on your profile and logging in.

Does anyone have a settings recommendation? Or an insight to pass along?
FWIW, I am running macOS Monterey.

In Security & Privacy, “require password x minutes after sleep or screen saver begins”, in conjunction with setting screen saver to something like 5 minutes, should work. Set the computer to never sleep to guarantee programs will continue to run while the computer is locked.

I don’t know if there’s a way to guarantee seeing all available accounts, instead of the currently locked account, though, short of logging out. Someone else might.

Right. I know about the screensaver/lock option. But that just locks one user. I want XYZ number of minutes to pass and then have the system exist to the login window screen where it shows all users, including those still logged in.

I don’t believe there’s a global setting innate to macOS. If you don’t want to go through and update the Security & Privacy settings for every user on your Mac (wouldn’t take long, IMO), your best bet is probably going to be something like Jamf, which will let you set screen lock and screensaver policies systemwide and make sure none of your children change them back.

At the bottom of the screensaver screen is an option to “Switch User” which will bring you to the login screen.

There is no other way to do this, as far as I know. You used to be able to get to the login screen by triggering “Fast User Switching” but Apple removed that somewhere around Mojave or Catalina.

If someone comes up to the computer and it is locked, all they have to do is click “Switch User” to get to the login screen.

Seems like the best/only option if you want them to remain logged in.

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Fast User Switching is still in macOS Monterey and its related settings show in both the “Login Options” under “Users and Groups” and in the “Dock & Menu Bar” settings. FYI.

While, I get you: there is a “switch user” option from the screen saver lock, I was hoping that others might have found a way to script this, automate this, or program a terminal command. We’ll see who else might have a thought on this.

To be clear, what I was saying is that the ability to trigger Fast User Switching via Scripting was removed. The feature is still there, but the tool to trigger it from scripts was removed.

I’d recommend trying trigger:Idle [Keyboard Maestro Wiki] and selecting the Lock Screen menu command (same as your manually pressing Command Control Q).

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Lock Screen is going to do the same thing as Screen Saver + Password requirement does — it does not bring back to the login screen with all users listed, it brings to the login page for a single user with “Switch User” at the bottom.

That’s what OP has said he does not want.

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Ah! Thank you! That clarifies.

I may give this a try. I have heard nothing but praise for KM by @MacSparky … this might be my entry point.

As @tjluoma points out, this doesn’t do anything more than CommandControlQ automatically. That seems to be an improvement upon your suggestion (in the OP) of doing it manually, but apparently it won’t go far enough? I haven’t checked to see if it meets all of your requirements, it just looked like an improvement on your option number 1.

As an aside, you’ll possibly love KM for a hundred other things anyway.

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