How to customize your mac’s login screen

Justin Pot
How to customize your mac’s login screenJustin Pot
Writer

Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded. Read more.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

Wish your Mac’s login screen worked differently? Maybe you don’t want to see a list of users, or maybe you wish you could change your keyboard format before typing your password. There’s no “Login Screen” panel in System Preferences, but these settings to exist—they’re just a little hidden.

We’ve already shown you how to change your Mac login screen’s wallpaper, and that’s a great (albeit convoluted) way to give your login screen a custom look. But if you also want to tweak the functionality of the login screen, you need to dig a little. Here’s where to look, and what you can do.

Add or Remove Things From the macOS Login Screen

Most of the settings related to the login screen are hidden in Users and Groups in System Preferences.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

At the bottom of the list of users, in the left panel, you’ll see a house next to the words “Login Options.” Click that.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

This will open up the options related to your login screen.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

The first option you’ll notice is “Display login window as.” The default selection, “List of users” will show every user’s icon (which you can change) and their username. Like this:

How to customize your mac’s login screen

If you opt for the “Name and password” option, however, you’ll see two blank fields:

How to customize your mac’s login screen

This is a slightly more secure option, as anyone with access to your computer will need both the username and password in order to log in. That makes brute force attacks a bit harder, though it’s by no means bulletproof.

Working our way down, you’ll find the option to enable the Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down buttons. These look like this, and will be at the bottom of the login screen:

How to customize your mac’s login screen

You’ll see an option to “Show Input menu in login window.” If you regularly switch between languages and keyboard formats, enabling this is probably a good idea. It will add an icon for switching your format to the top-right of your login screen.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

Finally, you’ll find an option for enabling password hints, if you’ve set one up, and whether VoiceOver, which reads your screen to you, should be enabled in the login screen.

Those are the main options you have for configuring your login screen, but there’s one other thing you may want to add.

Add a Custom Message to Your Login Screen

We’ve shown you how to add a custom message to your login screen, but it’s a quick enough tweak that we’ll show you again here. Head to System Preferences, then to Security and Privacy Settings. You’ll see a “Set Lock Message” button.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

Click it and you can add whatever message you want!

How to customize your mac’s login screen

I recommend leaving some contact information, so anyone who finds your Mac can get in touch with you. Sure, some people would just keep your laptop, but there’s always a chance someone will be kind.

That’s about it in terms of customizing the login screen, other than changing the wallpaper to any image you want. Enjoy the new look!

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How to customize your mac’s login screen Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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How to customize your mac’s login screen

If you’re still looking for ways to personalize your new Mac, then this tutorial is for you. You can customize your Mac login screen with some simple adjustments.

Whether you want to show the sleep and restart buttons, add an inspiring quote to start your day, or change your user photo to something different, it’s all quite easy. So if you’re ready, here’s how to customize your Mac login screen.

Mac login window settings

Change your Mac login screen options

To get started, you’ll head to your System Preferences using the icon in your Dock or Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar. Then, follow these steps for your options.

1) Select Users & Groups.

2) On the bottom left, click the padlock and enter your password.

3) Choose Login Options.

Now you can pick the options you’d like to show on your login screen. Near the top, you can choose to display the login window with a list of users or usernames and passwords. You can then check the boxes to show the sleep, restart, and shut down buttons, the input menu, and password hints.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

The last option for Show fast user switching menu as will actually put that option into your menu bar. So if you share your Mac with others, you can switch accounts easily.

If you want accessibility options on your login screen, you can hit that button to set those up and view our tutorial for a little help.

Change your user picture

You can also change your picture or that of another user in this area of System Preferences.

1) You can change your own picture without unlocking and entering your password. But to change another user’s photo, you’ll need to hit that padlock and enter your password (assuming you’re the admin on your Mac).

2) Hover over the user’s picture and you’ll see Edit display, so go ahead and click it.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

3) You can then pick from system images, select one from your Photos, or use the Camera or Photo Booth to capture one with your Mac’s camera.

4) Click Save after you choose an image.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

Add a message to your login screen

There is another option you can add to your Mac login screen and that’s text. We have a tutorial showing you how to add a message using Terminal if you’re interested, but you can also do this in your System Preferences.

1) In System Preferences, select Security & Privacy.

2) Click the padlock on the bottom and enter your password.

3) On the General tab, check the box for Show a message when the screen is locked.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

4) Click the Set Lock Message button, enter your text, and click OK.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

You can then close the System Preferences if you like and check out your new login screen.

Wrapping it up

You may only see your Mac login window for a few seconds, but making it more personal, inspiring, or useful, are all options you have. And if you’re willing to use Terminal, you can also add basic system information to your login screen.

Are you going to customize your Mac login screen? If so, which options will you select?

In this tutorial, we are going to look into another very commonly searched procedure; changing the background of the login screen of your MacBook Pro. While some users might not take the trouble or just that they are not very design conscious, there are many who would want to customize it to their liking and couldn’t figure it out themselves.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

Here is an easy to remember step by step guide for those who love a more personalized MacBook Pro in their hands.

1. On the MacOS desktop, click on the "Finder" icon which is located on the dock.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

2. In the resulting window, click on the hard drive tab which is usually named "Macintosh HD". It will show a list of folders on the drive.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

3. Click on the "Library" folder and select the "Caches" folder from the list of sub-folders.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

4. Now, the window will list the files in the "Caches" sub-folder. Locate the "com.apple.desktop.admin.png" file which is the current image on the login screen. This is the file which needs to be replaced with the image file of your choice.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

5. Next, open a new tab on the Finder window and locate the image file that you intend to get on to the login screen.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

6. Once you’ve located the image, right click on it and select Copy. Then, click on the "Caches" tab and Paste the copied image into the "Caches" sub-folder.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

7. Simply copying and pasting won’t do the trick. The next task on our hands is to scale the image proportions to fit the login screen image so that there is no blurring or distortion of the image. To do this first double-click the current login screen image file and click on the toolbar icon that shows image dimensions.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

8. Without closing that window, double-click on the image file you’ve copied to the "Caches" folder and view the image dimensions.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

9. Now, compare the two image dimensions and change the dimensions of the image you chose to that of the current background image (only if the dimensions of your image are larger than the current image. If your image is smaller you will have to go for another image with larger dimensions). Then, click Ok.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

10. The next step is to save the image with new dimensions as a PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file which is the best format for a MacBook screen. To do this, click on the "File" menu on the MacOS menu bar and select "Save". From the resulting dialog box, navigate to the "Caches" folder and select PNG from the format drop-down menu. Now, click the Save button.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

11. After closing the image editing windows, you will now see two files of your image are there in the "Caches" folder. Keep the file which is the ‘copy’ of the image file and delete the file you originally had.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

12. We’re almost done! All we have to do is rename your image to the default name and delete the current image file. To do this, click once on the current image file and when the blinking cursor appears, select the file name and copy it. Once you have copied the file name, delete the file and rename your image file by pasting the copied file name on to it.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to customize your mac’s login screen

That’s it! You’ve successfully changed your login screen background to an image of your choice. Log out of MacOS and check it out!

Можно изменить картинку, которая будет отображаться рядом с Вашим именем или именем другого пользователя в окне входа на Mac. Вы можете выбрать фото из своей медиатеки, сделать снимок на камеру своего Mac, выбрать Memoji или эмодзи, использовать инициалы как монограмму и использовать другие варианты изображения. Ваше изображение для экрана входа также используется в качестве Вашей картинки Apple ID и картинки в личной карточке в Контактах.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

На Mac выберите пункт меню Apple

> «Системные настройки», затем нажмите «Пользователи и группы» .

Если слева внизу отображается запертый замок , нажмите его, чтобы разблокировать панель настроек.

Выберите учетную запись пользователя слева.

Невозможно выбрать учетную запись пользователя, который сейчас в системе (помечен галочкой на картинке пользователя). Пользователь должен сам войти в систему и изменить свою картинку или выйти из системы, чтобы Вы могли ее изменить.

Нажмите на картинку пользователя справа, затем выполните любое из следующих действий.

Выбор Memoji. Нажмите «Memoji», затем нажмите кнопку добавления , чтобы выбрать лицо и настроить его. Выберите Memoji из предлагаемых вариантов, затем выберите положение и стиль, которые Вам больше нравятся.

Выбор эмодзи. Нажмите «Эмодзи», затем нажмите кнопку добавления , чтобы выбрать изображение из коллекции эмодзи. Или выберите эмодзи из предлагаемых вариантов, а затем выберите стиль.

Выбор монограммы. Нажмите «Монограмма», выберите цвет фона, затем введите инициалы.

Съемка фото на камеру компьютера Mac. Нажмите «Камера». Скомпонуйте кадр, затем нажмите кнопку камеры. Фото можно переснимать столько раз, сколько нужно.

Выбор фото из медиатеки Фото. Нажмите «Фото». Чтобы просмотреть фото из определенного альбома, нажмите стрелку рядом с Фото в боковом меню, нажмите на альбом, затем выберите фото.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

Совет. Чтобы быстро заменить текущую картинку Apple ID изображением с рабочего стола, просто перетяните изображение из окна Finder на текущую картинку.

Выбор предложенного изображения. Нажмите «Предложения», затем выберите картинку.

После того как изображение выбрано, можно настроить его отображение. Выполните одно из следующих действий.

Выбор фрагмента изображения. Перетяните изображение в пределах круга.

Reader Ace writes in with a nifty customization that will set your Mac apart from the rest.

Update: Added instructions to back up the default background image first (tx InspectorXGadget ) and undo the operation, plus see a safer, preference-based method below.

Customize Your Mac's Logon Screen

Reader Ace writes in with a nifty customization that will set your Mac apart from the rest.

Find a desktop wallpaper image ( Social Wallpapering 's a good bet), save it to your desktop as background.jpg , and in the Terminal enter:

Dress Up Your Desktop at Social Wallpapering

There are a few great desktop wallpaper sites out there, and many crappy ones—but a new one (to…

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You'll have to enter your password to complete the operation. Then, in your Desktop directory in the Terminal, type:

Now, next time you log off, your logon screen will have your new custom background. Slick. Thanks, Ace!

To undo the operation, in the Terminal, type:

Update: Mac sysadmin Delfuego says that you shouldn't ever manually mess around in the /System/ directory at all; a safer, non-command line alternative might be this application , which can set your logon screen to match your desktop wallpaper. (Thanks, Marc .) Alternately, you can modify your logon background by changing a preference versus overwriting the file. Here's the command:

Customize Your Mac's Logon Screen

Reader Ace writes in with a nifty customization that will set your Mac apart from the rest.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

While you won’t find a ‘Login screen’ option in your Mac’s ‘System preferences…’ there’s actually a number of ways that you can customise the look and feel, and even the functionality, of your Mac’s login screen.

By default, macOS uses a blurred version of your Desktop wallpaper as the login screen background, and displays a row of Sleep, Restart and Shut Down icons, plus a username and profile image for every person registered on your Mac.

If you’re bored with this default look, then in this article I’m going to share 5 ways that you can customise your login screen, while making it more secure in the process.

We’ll be looking at how to add your own wallpaper, text and user icons to the login screen, as well as how to create a more minimalistic login screen by removing all the icons and information that’s displayed on this screen by default.

Change your Login Background

By default, the image you’re using as your Desktop wallpaper is also used as the background for your login screen, so the easiest way to change your login background, is to change your Desktop wallpaper.

However, maybe you don’t want to change Desktop background, or you want to use different images for your login and Desktop backgrounds. In these scenarios, you can use the following workaround:

  • Open a ‘Finder’ window.
  • Select ‘Go > Go to Folder’ from the toolbar.
  • Enter the following text /Library/Caches, and then click ‘Go.’
  • The ‘Caches’ folder should contain a com.apple.desktop.admin file. To make sure you can switch back to this default at any point, make a copy of this file and then store it somewhere safe.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

  • Open the com.apple.desktop.admin file in any image-editing program.
  • Open the image you want to use as your login background, in any image-editing program. Copy this image.
  • Paste your image over the com.apple.desktop.admin file’s contents. Make any necessary adjustments.
  • Once you’re happy with your modified com.apple.desktop.admin file, save it.

Your Mac will now use this image as the background for your login screen, however note that this image will be displayed on the login screen only. If you lock your Mac rather than logging out completely, then you may still see your original background – although this behaviour seems to vary depending on the version of macOS you have installed.

If you want to switch back to your original wallpaper at any point, then simply drag the original com.apple.desktop.admin image file back into the /Library/Caches folder, and select ‘Replace’ when prompted.

Add text to your login screen

To create a message that’ll be displayed on your login screen:

  • Open your Mac’s ‘System preferences…’
  • Click ‘Security & Privacy.’
  • Click the little padlock icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen, and enter your username and password.
  • Select the ‘General’ tab, and then select the ‘Show a message when the screen is locked’ checkbox.
  • Click the ‘Set Lock Message…’ button.
  • Type out the message you want to display on your lockscreen, and then click ‘OK.’

Changing your Login Icons

By default, the login screen displays the username of everyone who’s registered to use your Mac, along with an icon representing each user.

macOS assigns each user an icon at random, but if you’re not happy with your assigned icon, then you can change it:

  • Open your Mac’s ‘System preferences…’
  • Select ‘Users & Groups.’
  • Click the padlock icon, and enter your username and password when prompted.
  • In the left-hand menu, select the account you want to edit.
  • Hover over the current icon until an ‘Edit’ label appears – give it a click.

At this point, you have three options:

  • Browse your Mac’s built-in catalogue of icons, by selecting ‘Defaults’ from the left-hand menu. If you see an icon that you want to use, select it and then click ‘Save.’
  • Use your own image, by selecting ‘Photos.’
  • Take a photo with your Mac’s webcam, by clicking ‘Camera,’ followed by ‘Take photo.’

Remove User Icons and Usernames

Alternatively, you may want to remove the user icons and usernames from the login screen completely. If you opt to remove these items, then the login screen will replace them with two text boxes: one where you can enter your username, and another where you can enter your password.

While this customisation may appeal if you’re after a more minimalistic look, removing the usernames also adds an extra layer of security to your Mac, as anyone who’s trying to break into your computer will have to know your username, rather than having this information handed to them on the login screen.

To remove the usernames and user icons:

  • Open your Mac’s ‘System preferences > Users & Groups.’
  • Click the padlock icon and enter your username and password.
  • Select ‘Login options.’
  • Set the ‘Display login window as…’ checkbox to ‘Name and password.’

Remove the Sleep, Restart and Shut Down Icons

If you’re really going for a less-is-more look, then you can also remove the row of Sleep, Restart and Shut Down icons from the login screen:

  • Navigate to ‘System preferences > Users & Groups.
  • Select ‘Login options.’
  • Deselect the ‘Show the Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down buttons’ checkbox.

Before you go

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Changing the background of your Mac’s login screen will not do anything to improve the performance of the machine. It is a purely cosmetic change that will not affect anything except the visual impact when you login to your Mac. Some people might argue that there is no valid reason to even spend a second of your time in such a worthless modification to your computer.

How to customize your mac’s login screenWe disagree with this assessment and believe that there are a number of reasons that it is a good idea to change the background screen. These will be discussed at the end of this article. First, let’s take a look at how you go about changing the background of your login screen on a Mac.

How to Change Your Background Login Screen

There are two background images that you will see when using a computer running macOS. One is the default background that appears before you login to your account, and the other is the background image that is displayed while you are logged in.

Changing Your Login Background

Changing the image you see when you are logged in is a simple task. Since this screen will be viewed more often than the pre-login screen, more users take the time to make this change. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Open System Preferences
  • Select Desktop and Screensaver
  • Click on the Desktop tab

How to customize your mac’s login screen

  • Use the left window panel to navigate to the picture that you would like to use as your background

That’s all there is to it. Now when you login to your Mac you will have a custom background image. It’s a small touch that can make your computer usage a bit more pleasant.

Changing the Login Screen Background Prior to macOS Mojave

Use this procedure on Macs running operating systems prior to Mojave.

  1. Select the image that you want to use as your background and save it to your machine with this east filename — “com.apple.desktop.admin.png”.
  2. Navigate to the /LibraryCaches folder.
  3. If you want to retain the current background image, rename the current “com.apple.desktop.admin.png” file to another name. You can just overwrite it with your new image if you so choose.
  4. Copy and paste your new “com.apple.desktop.admin.png” file into the /Library/Caches folder.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

  1. Log off from your machine and you will see the new background image.

Users will now be presented with the new background before they log into their account.

Changing the Login Screen Background on macOS Mojave

This procedure needs to be followed on Macs running the new Mojave upgrade. The filename and its location have changed in the new operating system. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Navigate to /Library/Desktop Pictures folder on your Mac.
  2. Find the file named “Mojave.heic”. This is the login screen background image.
  3. Rename “Mojave.heic” to something like “Mojave.heic.old”.
  4. Copy and paste the image that you want to use as the background to the /Library/Desktop Pictures folder.
  5. Edit the picture if needed to conform to the original background’s size, DPI, and other parameters.
  6. Rename this file as “Mojave.heic”.

Restart your computer and the new image will be the first image you see before logging in to your machine.

Why Would You Want to Change Your Login Screen’s Background

Several reasons come to mind when considering why you would bother to change your login screen’s background.

#1 Creating a pleasant work environment — If you spend any significant amount of time using your machine, you end up seeing that background quite a bit. Granted, you will often have apps and other programs filling your screen and may not even catch a glimpse of the background for long periods of time. But you will eventually. Why not use an image that pleases you or has some meaning? It might just make your Mac even more user-friendly than it is already.

#2 Presenting a unified company image — You might want all of your employees to present the same image to your clients. Using a company logo or standardized background on their company-issued MacBooks is one way of accomplishing this. It eliminates the possibility of an employee using an inappropriate background and gives your support team’s machines a distinctive look at startup.

#3 Displaying information — Public computers such as those found in a library can use the background of the login screen to display information to users who may not be familiar with its operation. This can make it easier for novices to use the machine and reduce the number of help requests that need to be addressed.

You may run into the problem of discovering your pictures or wallpapers have been inadvertently deleted from your machine. You can try to get them back by downloading Disk Drill data recovery software. This application can be used for free to scan for files that can be recovered. If you find files you want to restore, you can easily upgrade to a fully licensed version of the software and recover your images.

So there you have it. You can now customize all of the background images your Mac will display both before and after you login. Have fun!

Change up the look of your lock screen by adding a custom wallpaper, a message and new user icons.

Apple’s standard lock-screen image with OS X El Capitan (and Yosemite before it) is a blurred version of your desktop wallpaper. If you have grown tired of this look, then you can add your own wallpaper. You can also add a message to your lock screen, which can add a bit of fun, motivation or information to your Mac after you log out. Lastly, you can change the user icon for your account and any other accounts you have set up on your Mac. Let’s dive in.

1. Add your own lock-screen wallpaper

For best results, you’ll want to find an image that is the same resolution as your Mac’s display or resize a larger image to your Mac’s resolution. To check the resolution of your display, click the Apple button in the top-left corner and choose About This Mac. Your Mac’s resolution is listed on the Displays tab.

After you find and download an image you want to use, you’ll need to convert it to a PNG file format. To do so, open Preview and go to File > Save As. First, choose PNG from the Format menu at the bottom of the window. Then at the top, give the file this name: com.apple.desktop.admin. The resulting file name must be exactly as follows:

com.apple.desktop.admin.png

With your file ready, open Finder and go to Go > Go to Folder. In the pop-up window, enter /Library/Caches and click Go. This opens the Caches folder. You will already have a file with the above name that OS X uses for your lock-screen wallpaper. Drag your image into the Caches folder and click Replace.

alt=”mac-lock-screen.jpg” /> Enlarge Image

More Mac tips

Now, the next time you log out, you will see your custom wallpaper. If you change your desktop wallpaper, however, OS X will replace your custom image with the standard, blurred version of whatever you chose for your new desktop wallpaper.

Although you will erase your sweet custom lock-screen wallpaper when you choose a new desktop wallpaper, it does mean that you don’t need to bother with backing up the default file in the Cache folder when you replace it with your own image because OS X adds a new file to the Cache folder each time you choose a new desktop wallpaper.

2. Add a message

How to customize your mac’s login screen Enlarge Image

Add a bit of wit, whimsy or information to your lock screen by penning a message.

  • Open System Preferences and click Security & Privacy
  • Click the lock in lower-left corner and enter your password to make changes
  • Check the box for Show a message when the screen is locked
  • Click the Set Lock Message button
  • Write your witty, sarcastic or informative message and click OK

Your message will appear toward the bottom of the lock screen, just above the Sleep, Restart and Shut Down buttons.

3. Change the user icons

How to customize your mac’s login screen Enlarge Image

You can change the stock icon that Apple chose for your user account.

  • Open System Preferences and click Users & Groups
  • Mouse over the current icon and click edit.
  • Choose a new image or snap a shot using your Mac’s webcam.
  • Click Done to save the new image

To change the icon of any of the other user accounts you have set up, you need to click the lock and enter your password before following the same procedure.

Are you bored with your Mac’s default lock screen? Are you looking for a quick way to customize it? I love my Mac and prefer it to my Windows PC, but the lock screen is one of my least favorite things; I prefer the lock screen on Windows 8.

Why? Mainly because it’s customizable; you can change the background and choose which quick notifications to display. For instance, you can see the strength of your WiFi signal and see how many new email messages you have. You can even get a glimpse of an upcoming event.

I often wish that the Mac lock screen was just as customizable a Windows 8, and thanks to Lock Screen Plus, it comes pretty close! Lock Screen Plus is a “secure and beautiful lock screen application combined with a weather forecast.” Here’s how it works.

1. Lock Screen Plus is available in the Mac App Store for just $0.99. After installation and running the app for the first time, click on the menu bar icon and select “Preferences.”

How to customize your mac’s login screen

2. There are three tabs in the Preferences window, all of which are pretty self-explanatory.

  • General – Choose to open the application at login, lock your Mac before going to sleep, set the lock hotkey, show/hide the menu bar icon, use black or gold icon, choose a lock animation, and choose when to auto lock your screen (in minutes or hours).
  • Appearance – Choose a theme (there are 18 to choose from), see a live preview of your theme, set the time format, choose a lock/unlock sound, customize the unlock text, and customize the weather section (location, source, scale of temperature).
  • Security – Choose an unlock method (keyboard, trackpad and/or mouse), choose to require a password to unlock the screen and/or a password to open Preferences, and set the password if you choose to require a password for either of these.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

3. Each unlock method has its own functionality:

  • Keyboard – Swipe the keys on the keyboard in any direction (or hold down a key) to unlock the screen.
  • Trackpad – Swipe the trackpad in any direction to unlock the screen – one or two fingers.
  • Mouse – Left-click the mouse or trackpad to unlock the screen.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

That’s it. It only takes a few minutes to get a beautiful new lock screen. I love the Metro theme because it looks exactly like Windows 8. However, I’m currently using the beautiful Lake Orr theme.

What theme are you using?

Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

How to customize your mac’s login screenMalcolm Owen | Sep 06, 2021

How to customize your mac’s login screen

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If you frequently lock your Mac, or you allow guests to sign in to a special account, here’s how to leave a message on the macOS lock screen for others to read.

There are some situations where a Mac owner has to warn or inform other users of the same device on a regular basis. A reminder not to use a connected printer or peripheral, for example, or giving a heads-up that something on the Mac is being repaired or fixed.

While such information could be provided as an email, an instant message, or face-to-face communications, it can easily be overlooked or forgotten if not presented regularly to the intended recipients.

If you have a guest account set up on your Mac, you will probably want to tell potential users that they can use the account, as well as informing them of limitations to access. Such a message could be very useful in encouraging guests at a hotel to use the offered connectivity, for example.

Adding a sticky note to a monitor isn’t necessarily a good workaround, especially if it becomes unstuck and flutters away out of view.

Apple includes a built-in answer to the problem, in the form of a Lock Screen Message.

Lock Screen Message.

A Lock Screen Message, as the name implies, is a message that is displayed on the log-in or lock screen of macOS. Before a user logs in, or after a user locks the screen, the message will be viewable to anyone who can see the display.

This makes it handy for multiple applications, including the aforementioned guest user account information. It may also be handy to place basic contact details for the Mac’s owner, which can potentially aid its recovery if misplaced.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

There is no real limit to what kinds of information you can put into the message, though you are restricted by having to only use text, and to do so within a limited number of characters. You have a grand total of 204 characters to play with before the message is truncated, which is enough to pass over essential information, but not necessarily a massive amount.

Bear in mind this is also a string of characters, and that you cannot put text on separate lines or in paragraphs. You have relatively little space to play around with for the feature.

This still could be enough to provide basic login credentials for a basic locked-down user account, a brief overview of guest account restrictions, or the previously-suggested contact details. A workaround to this could be using the text to mention a website address, that users could use to find out more information about the intended longer message.

AppleInsider strongly advises against including account credentials as part of the lock screen message, for obvious security reasons.

How to customize your mac’s login screen

How to set a Lock Screen Message in macOS

  • Click the Apple logo in the menu bar and select System Preferences.
  • Select Security and Privacy.
  • If the padlock is locked, click the padlock icon and Authenticate.
  • Tick the checkbox next to Show a message when the screen is locked.
  • Click Set Lock Message.
  • Enter your desired message, then click Ok.

Once you have set your message, it’s suggested to either lock your account or restart your Mac to check it is displayed appropriately, with no character limit truncation. It will be displayed at the bottom of the screen, below the log-in section.

To disable the Lock Screen Message, follow the same process, but untick the checkbox.