Securing and locking the new MacBook Pro, cheaply

New Apple MacBook Pro laptops are too thin to have a traditional Kensington lock slot (while the slot would fit, there’s not enough height for the lock to turn inside the case).

This seems not to be a problem for ordinary users, who appear to be happy with their new freedom from the tyranny of laptop locks. However, it’s a big problem if you want to put these laptops in a public space, for instance to demonstrate a project or for a workshop. Insurance likely won’t cover a stolen laptop, even in a supervised room, unless it’s been firmly locked down.

The only generally available solution is from Maclocks, which once you’ve factored in P&P is around £60 to buy in the UK, and you still need a Kensington lock on top of that. No thanks.

So I came up with a really simple and cheap way to secure our laptops. If you want, I’ll even make it for you.


Please note: this lock is only for either personal use or a supervised workshop/display situation, for the very simple reason that you must not try to close the screen while using it. If someone attempts to do so with force then it will badly damage your laptop, probably irreparably. So please use with caution and either supervise the users or mount the laptop in such a way as to make closing the lid impossible.

That said, we have used this for family events in our café/bar without a problem, so don’t be too scared: just be careful!

Finally: this technique only works for MacBook Pro machines. MacBook Airs have a different hinge which leaves no gap for this kind of device.

First we cut an approx 8cm length of builder’s band (metal ribbon with holes in):


Then we fold over one end a couple of times and leave it at right angles:

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To protect our Mac, we cover this folded end with a very thin coating of Sugru (fit your creation onto your latop while the Sugru’s still malleable, to make sure it fits):


I made 4 locks from one pack of sugru, so a standard 3-pack would make 12. You should probably also file the other end of the metal so there aren’t any really sharp edges.

As you can see in the photo, I’ve bent the metal slightly in the middle, so the bare end will be just off the table ready for a padlock to go through it.

Finally, you can slip this through the gap between screen and body. With a little wiggling it’ll fit snugly and almost invisibly:


Putting it to one side (far left or far right), not in the middle, will vastly increase the hinge’s resilience to someone trying to close the lid, but be warned: the leverage involved means a determined or stupid person will be able to break your hinge or case by forcing the screen down, so make sure that doesn’t happen!

Finally, you just need a basic security cable for well under £10, and a padlock. You just loop the cable around something solid, through itself, then padlock one end to the metal strip. Job done.

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If you don’t like bending metal with pliers, I’m very happy to make the metal+sugru part of this for £6 + VAT each (plus around £2 P&P per order, UK only). You’ll need to get your own security cable and padlock. Contact me – Oliver – on for details.