Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Temporarily disable automatic login System
This hint is for programs like Undercover and others.

If your Mac is stolen, you need to provide a way for the thief to login in your computer, so those programs can track your Mac, otherwise you are in trouble.

Perhaps you didn't put a password in your account to allow autologin. But this isn't secure enough. Or you need to create a guest account to allow the login, so you can put a password in your main account.

The problem is that every time your machine boots, you need to choose your user. It would be handy if your guest account would login by itself. But then you would need to logout first and after that login in your main account.

You just need to press and hold the Shift key during the boot ONLY when the Blue screen appears. It will disable autologin and you can choose between your accounts.

So you can put a password in your account, and enable the automatic login for the guest account.

To recap:
  • Create a guest account and ENABLE automatic login for this account.
  • Put a password in your main account
  • At every boot ONLY after the blue screen appears press and hold SHIFT, it will disable autologin, otherwise you Mac will login with guest account for the thief and your tracking programs can do their job.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I think the need to login to the machine is the great weakness of some of these anti-theft programs. I hope when Apple implements the 'Find My Mac' option in Mobile Me this is not a requirement, but just that the machine can find a nearby open WiFi network to grab and send a location.]
    •    
  • Currently 3.57 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (7 votes cast)
 
[11,159 views]  

Temporarily disable automatic login | 5 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Temporarily disable automatic login' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Temporarily disable automatic login
Authored by: M-3 on Apr 25, '11 10:34:26AM

Holding shift boots OSX in safe mode so it disables quite a few things (as detailed at the link below) including:

"...you can't use DVD Player, capture video in iMovie, use audio input or output devices, or use an internal or external USB modem. The behavior of some devices such as an AirPort card may vary depending on computer and Mac OS X version.

Safe Mode in Mac OS X v10.5 or later also disables Quartz Extreme (hardware accelerated graphics). Applications that depend on Quartz Extreme will not open, and the Mac OS X menu bar will appear solid even if "Translucent Menu Bar" is enabled in Desktop & Screen Saver preferences.

Safe Mode in Mac OS X v10.6 or later also disables File Sharing access. This means you will not be able to mount Time Capsule disks or volumes being served by other computers running Mac OS X."


Full article:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1564



[ Reply to This | # ]
Temporarily disable automatic login
Authored by: stepwallace on Apr 25, '11 06:25:25PM
Actually the hint is correct when it says ““You just need to press and hold the Shift key during the boot ONLY when the Blue screen appears. It will disable autologin and you can choose between your accounts.”. The timing of when you push shift does different things in the startup process.
  • Holding shift from approximately the "Chime" will boot you into safe mode.
  • Holding shift from the blue screen will temporarily disable autologin.
  • Holding shift from immediately after login will disable login items.
I can't see this feature documented in any of apple's externally available support documentation.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Temporarily disable automatic login
Authored by: M-3 on Apr 26, '11 08:56:53AM

That is good to know. I have mine set to boot verbosely so I'm not sure if I get that blue screen before the login window. I'm sure going to test it out though! Thanks!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Temporarily disable automatic login
Authored by: jcurwen on Apr 26, '11 09:05:09AM

On a side note related to the idea of, "To Catch a Thief," I have an automatic login to a guest account (only), at boot, which also launches a browser as a login item. Browser is set at full screen display to, say, Google News, in order to distract viewer and to capture a nice picture, via the built in camera, as s/he uses the Mac to read the news AFTER I've notified (in my case) GadgetTrak which activates the Mac cam & tracking SW. I do like the idea of bypassing my "trap" with the hint provided here and will watch for more defining information to develop.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Temporarily disable automatic login
Authored by: mtaylorGT on Apr 29, '11 03:17:34AM
This is a useful hint. However, I want to point out that prey, an open source laptop recovery software doesn't need anyone to be logged in in order to function as it runs as a root process in the background on OS X and Linux. This includes the ability to connect to open wifi, etc. What is most useful is not that it allows prey or similar software to run, but that it creates an automatic honeypot for anyone booting your computer. It would probably be a good idea to include a payload as a startup item for the limited account (for instance, a script that "Activates" your laptop as stolen. Finally, I suggest setting the efi password on your laptop. This will prevent someone who "knows what they are doing" from simply bypassing your bootup, honeypot, and anti-theft software and wiping the drive.

[ Reply to This | # ]