Can you password protect Apple's Mail application?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by andboom, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. andboom macrumors member

    andboom

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I want to use Mail on my Mac for my Gmail account, but I don't want everyone who uses the Mac to have access to my inbox, and I don't want to set up multiple user accounts for the computer because the Mac is constantly running iTunes so my AppleTV can access its library and it would be annoying to have to log in and out each time I leave the computer idle. Is there a way to prompt for a password when Mail is launched? I would also like to do the same on our shared iPad (but the Mac version is more important).

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Set up a guest account for other users. That way they won't have access to any of your mail, documents, etc. Your iTunes can still be running, if you simply switch users. You will still be logged in. And no, you can't password protect apps.
     
  3. andboom, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    andboom thread starter macrumors member

    andboom

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Thanks, GGJ, that's good to know. However, surely in order for a guest to be given the option to log in, I would have to have selected something (if not 'log out' then something similar) before I leave the computer idle? As far as I can tell this isn't really an option for me anyway, as the other users will need access to everything else on that computer (aside from my Mail), and I'd even like to have multiple user's mail accounts accessible from Mail, but just not wide open - a password for each person's email. I understand that you can't password protect Apps, but surely this would be a good feature to include in the Mail app itself - it's a pretty common thing to want to have a password protecting your inbox. I think Apple should implement this as an option as I think a lot of people would use Mail more if it was there - I'm tired of having to use Gmail's interface within Safari and would like to use Mail's other features!
     
  4. GGJstudios, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Yes, in System Preferences > Accounts > Login Options you can check "Show fast user switching menu as:" and select your preference. That puts an entry on your Menu Bar near the right corner. Click that menu and select a user to switch to, or select Login Window to "lock" the computer so a user has to log in.
    Other users will have access to all apps, but not your documents. They can set up their own email accounts with the Mail app, which will only appear when they log in. The same is true for bookmarks, etc.
    I have multiple Gmail accounts that I manage with the Mail app. I use fast user switching and no one can see my email accounts but me.

    The whole idea of having multiple user accounts is so each person has the equivalent of their own computer, with no one else having access to it. You share the OS and the function of apps, but not the same app preferences, user data, etc.

    OS X Lion: About user and group accounts
    OS X Lion: Set up login options
    OS X Lion: Quickly switch between accounts
    OS X Lion: The Login Options pane of Users & Groups preferences
     
  5. andboom thread starter macrumors member

    andboom

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #5
    OK, that sounds like the way forward - however, it is crucial that all documents are shared amongst all users - e.g. any documents, downloads etc. need to be accessible regardless of which user account is being used. Is there a way of doing this? Thanks for all the very useful advice!
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    That's why there's a Shared folder, that is accessible to all accounts. In Finder, go to Macintosh HD > Users. You will see a folder for each user account set up on the system, and another one called Shared. As the administrator, you have access to all folders. Standard users that you set up will only be able to access their own folder and the Shared folder.
     
  7. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    In answer to the title question "Can you password protect Apple's Mail application?"

    I think you can, in effect, password protect mail and other apps using a 3rd party tool such as Espionage as a wrapper around the app data:
    http://www.taoeffect.com/espionage/
    (its a while since I tried it so can't remember quite how it behaves, but I think I felt it was at least a little bit clunky)

    Anyway, since you want separate mail accounts for multiple users, the solution described by GGJstudios, which also has additional multi-user benefits, is the better way to go, as espionage won't help in that regard.
     

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