Apple introduced a feature back in OS X 10.7 Lion which was the ability to add custom text to your Mac’s login screen. While you can use many third-party applications to do this, Apple “officially” added this ability to all machines running OS X 10.7 or higher, mainly for security reasons.
The Mac login screen really doesn’t feature anything else other than a list of users by default, which you can then click on and log in to your account. In other words, it doesn’t really allow any type of customization by default, but using the two methods detailed below, you can easily add a customized message onto your Mac’s login screen.
1. Add Custom Text Using System Preferences
This method is the easiest of the two, and should work on all systems. To do this, simply:
1. Open up System Preferences on your Mac.
2. Click on “Security and Privacy”.
3. Authorize yourself using the Lock icon in the bottom-left corner. You’ll need to enter an administrator name and password.
4. In the General tab, enable the option to “Show a message when the screen is locked.”
5. Click on the option to “Set Lock Message.”
6. In the opening window, simply set the message you want your Mac to display when it’s on the login/lock screen.
This message should now appear on your Mac’s login screen, as shown below:
If the above method for some reason doesn’t work for you, try following the one detailed below.
2. Add Custom Text Using Terminal:
The second option for adding a customized message to your Mac’s login screen is using Terminal. To do this:
1. Open up Terminal on your Mac.
2. Type in the following command:
sudo write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText "Custom Text Here"
Here, replace “Custom Text Here” with the message you want your Mac to show on the login screen.
Remove Login Screen Message Using Terminal
If anytime in the future you want to remove the custom text message you added to the login screen, you can either remove it by unchecking the box you enabled in System Preferences, or you can remove it using Terminal by simply entering in the following command:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText ""
Once you enter this command, the text you previously set will be gone.
Everybody has fears that his/her Mac might be stolen, and won’t be able to be recovered. As we always say, it is better to be safe than sorry. Using the above 2 methods, you can easily add a customized message on your lock screen, which might just increase the chances of your Mac being returned to you should anything happen to it.
Has your Mac ever been stolen? Did you wish you had added a custom message to your Mac’s login screen? Be sure to tell us in the comments below whether this worked for you or not.