View Full Version : System automatically reverts to login screen

04-17-2008, 04:02 PM
I am running 10.4.11 and latest everything from Apple on an iMac 17" G5.

As this is a private system in a private home, with only my wife and I having accounts, I simply leave it logged into my account when I leave it. Not usually a problem. Now, however, if I leave it for any length of time (I am guessing over a half-hour or so, but it probably varies), when I return it is displaying the login screen.

I do not believe that I have any fancy software installed that may periodically go out to the 'net, check Web sites, etc. It is a pretty vanilla system in that regard.

Any ideas where to start? Anything in particular I should look for in the logs? What can I look for in the logs to tell exactly when it logs me out, which may lead me to a clue as to why?

I know this is pretty nebulous, but my old age seems to be making me less effective as a detective.


David Bourke
04-17-2008, 04:13 PM
You've probably already solved this, but in case you haven't, launch System Preferences and click on the Security pane. You'll see a checkbox labelled "Log out after [x] minutes of inactivity." If there's a tick in the checkbox, remove it by clicking on it.

Kind regards.

04-17-2008, 04:15 PM
Can you check your system.log using the Console app (it's found in /Applications/Utilities) and give us a snippet from a time period when you were unexpectedly logged out? Because log entries are usually time and date stamped, you should be able to find the time period in the past when this has occurred, but if not, just allow it to happen again, note the time, and then show us the log entries from that time.

Also, what do you have set in System Preferences > Security > Log out after ___ minutes of inactivity? What about System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver tab?


04-17-2008, 05:06 PM
I am both puzzled and embarrassed.

It was, indeed, the "timeout after" tick box. That was the cause of the embarrassment (given that I was in the IT business for 41 years) :(

The puzzlement comes from the fact that I have had this system for almost two years, and this has never been an issue. I have not updated anything "system" for quite a while, except for Safari (this morning, as a new version became available). And I have never set that parameter.

In fact, even as much as I look around to become familiar with my system, I don't remember ever seeing that option! Furthermore, when I did look as David Bourke suggested, it came to me that I always wondered why the only thing I ever saw in that pane was the ability to set the FileVault stuff.

Thanks for coming through!