Password Protect Apps on Mac: Lock iMessage and Others

Peter William
time August 28, 2020 Preview 51.0K
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How to lock iMessage on Mac with password? This article will use Mac Messages app as an example and walk you through how to easily password protect apps on Mac.

Whether you use your iMac, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro etc. for personal, work or business use, there are apps that you don’t want others to have access to. Messages, which is Mac’s iMessage app, is one of them. By putting a password on certain apps, you can effectively keep prying eyes out of them and protect your privacy.

How to password protect iMessage and other apps on Mac

How to lock apps on MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and other Mac computers easily with password? This part will show you how by walking you through the entire process of putting a password on iMessage on Mac.

1. Download and install the Mac app locker. Open it

Free Download

2. Set a password when asked. Submit the password.

set a password

3. Click the icon in the menu bar. Choose Open Main Window.

open main window

4. To lock iMessage on Mac, click Add App, select Messages and click Add.

password protect iMessage on Mac

Now the iMessage app is locked by password. It’s that easy! You can follow the same steps to effortlessly lock any other built-in apps or third-party apps on your Mac, individually or in bulk. In the fourth step, you can mass select multiple apps to lock.

When you or anyone else tries to open the locked iMessage app, a window will show up asking for password. No password? No access.

requiring password to open locked iMessage app

If someone tries to launch an app protected by AppCrypt and enters the wrong password, the app won’t open. And this tool will record the failed attempt with time and date and take a photo of the person who tries to break in. To delete a record, right-click it and click the Delete button that appears. (The photo in the screenshot below is blurred for privacy's sake.)

record failed attempts to open password protected apps

To unlock a locked app, select it and click Remove App.


Lock apps at certain times To access the general settings and features such as Schedule, go to the top right corner of the main window and click Menu > Preferences. Choose the Schedule tab. To lock an app during certain hours, select it in the left bar and click Settings in the corner. Create one or more schedules. Click OK. You can also choose to apply the schedule(s) to all locked apps

select an app to set schedule

set schedule

Configure general settings Choose the General tab. Customize settings based on your preferences. It’s recommended to enable Launch at system startup.

general settings

Quit the app locker You can easily quit a regular Mac app by right-clicking it in the Dock and choosing Quit. To quit AppCrypt, you need to access the main window (which requires password) and choose Menu > Exit. This can prevent others from bypassing the locking by quitting (or uninstalling) this tool. This way, your iMessage and other private apps can be effectively protected.

how to quit

Block websites On a side note, this tool can also be used to block unwanted websites or limit time spent on specific websites. Click WebBlock in the main window. Click the plus icon to add a website and hit Enter/Return.

block websites

Here's a video tutorial on how to use this tool.

How to stop iMessage on Mac from popping up

You choose to password protect iMessage on Mac for the sake of privacy. Once apps are password protected on Mac, other people won’t be able to open them or access the content within. It’s a good decision to take.

Another way to stop the exposure of privacy is to stop notifications. Notifications are a great way to always keep you informed. However, imagine that an embarrassing iMessage notification pops up when you are giving an important presentation or sharing screen during an online meeting. How to prevent iMessage from popping up on Mac? Follow the steps below.

1. On your Mac, open System Preferences through the Apple Menu, Launchpad or Spotlight, etc.

2. Click Notifications.

click notifications in system preferences

3. Scroll down until you find Messages. Select it.

4. Under the Messages alert style section, choose None.

choose none

From now on, nothing will pop up when you receive messages. There are also other options for you to customize. You can easily get notifications back at any time if you want to.

Bonus tips

How to create strong passwords

When you choose to lock iMessage and other Mac apps with password, it’s crucial to select a strong one. If the password is weak or easy to guess, other people may easily figure out the password and successfully open a locked app. If so, your efforts protect privacy will go in vain. The tips below may be of some help.

  • It is better to set the password more than 8 characters.
  • Try to add some special symbols like *&^%$#.
  • Never put your birth date, phone number, vehicle Number, etc. as your password when the protected object is very significant.
  • Use passwords that include combinations of uppercase, lowercase, letters and numbers.
  • Avoid using passwords like 12345678, password, admin, 111111, 123123, iloveyou, aaaaaa, qwerty, photoshop, etc.

It’s not enough to just set a complex password. It’s equally important to always remember it correctly. If you forget the password when using tools like AppCrypt, it will be impossible or difficult to retrieve it.

How to lock apps on iOS devices

Devices with iOS 12 or later come with a solution to lock apps. The Screen Time feature can be used to restrict access to individual apps (such as iMessage and Snapchat) or a whole category (such as Entertainment) of apps with passcode.

It’s also possible to lock apps with built-in features like Guided Access or third-party apps. If an app supports Touch ID or Face ID, it can also be protected with fingerprint or facial recognition. To find out more, check out this guide.

Detailed guides to password locking specific Mac apps

Click the hyperlinked app names to check out the guides.


Can you put a password on iMessage on Mac? The answer is definitely yes. It’s also possible and easy to password protect any other apps on a Mac computer. Tools like AppCrypt can help you effectively prevent other people from opening your apps when you are away from your Mac or lend it to others. Of course, you can set login password to completely block access to your computer, but it’s not applicable to some situations.

Peter William
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Peter has always had great enthusiasm for writing, programming and web development. He likes writing about software and technology, his works are featured on some tech blogs or forums like Tom's Hardware, CNET, etc.

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Comments (5) Leave a Reply

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  • Random Michael

    From what you write, AppCrypt seems a great app to lock apps. I'm also interested in the site blocking feature. I'll definitely try it out.

    0 months ago Reply

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  • Timothy

    I like this app very much. Now I can feel free to lend my Mac to friends. It is a trustworthy app , using it from a quite long time.

    4 years ago Reply

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  • Bers Khamitov

    Hi Rosa, I am quite interested in this program. But I have a question: How does it keep records of the failed attempts?

    4 years ago Reply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      When someone tries to access your password protected application, AppCrypt will ask he or she to enter a password. If the password is wrong, system will keep a record automatically with photo, time and reason.

      4 years ago
  • Kelsey

    I know there are some paid apps can add password protection to individual applications, but are there any free ways to do that?

    5 years ago Reply

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    • Rosa Reyes

      As far as I know, there are no free ways to password protection individual applications. But you can use Mac's built-in Parental Control to set restriction on some apps.

      5 years ago
  • Wayne

    Password protecting individual applications is very helpful to protect my sensitive information from prying eyes. I love this app. Thanks for suggesting.

    5 years ago Reply

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