How to Customize Your Mac’s Lock Screen

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.”

Lock Screen Plus preferences window

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.

Choose a theme for your Mac lock 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.

Lock Screen Plus in action - example lock 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?