If you have a communal MacBook, your login screen may be looking a little cluttered. If you have a list of accounts but crave a more minimalist look, you can easily hide user accounts (usernames and user icons) from macOS’s login screen.
Make your login screen a username-free zone
By default, the macOS login screen displays the username and user icon for every account on your Mac.
However, if you’re craving a more simplified look, then you can remove all of the usernames and icons from your login screen.
With this information banished from your login screen, macOS will display two blank text boxes where you can enter the username and password for the account that you want to access.
Removing the username and user icon can also give your Mac an extra layer of security, since anyone who’s attempting to break into your account will need to know your username rather than having this information handed to them as soon as they power up your Mac.
To remove all the usernames and icons from your login screen:
1. Select the “Apple” logo from your Mac’s menu bar.
2. Navigate to “System preferences -> Users & Groups.”
3. Click the padlock icon and enter your username and password.
4. Select “Login options.”
5. In the “Display login window as … ” section, select “Name and password.”
That’s it! The next time you want to log in to any account, you’ll need to enter that account’s password and username.
Hide specific accounts from the login screen
Do you want to pick and choose which accounts appear on the login screen?
Perhaps you want to hide all of your guest accounts and place your personal account center stage? Or maybe you want to add some extra security to your admin account, by making sure it doesn’t appear on the login page?
You can bundle multiple macOS accounts into an “Other … ” overflow category.
If you want to access one of these hidden accounts, you’ll need to select “Other … ” and then enter the password and username for the account you’re trying to access.
To hide a specific user account from the login screen:
1. Navigate to “System preferences -> Users & Groups.”
2. Click the padlock icon and enter your username and password.
3. Control-click the user(s) you want to hide and then select “Advanced Options … ”
4. On the subsequent screen, make a note of the “Account name,” including any formatting, such as spaces and capital letters, as you’ll be needing this information shortly.
5. Open your Mac’s Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal).
6. Copy/paste the following command into the Terminal, making sure to replace “username” with the username of the account you want to hide:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow HiddenUsersList -array-add username
7. Run this command by pressing the Enter key on your keyboard.
8. Enter your admin password when prompted.
9. Rinse and repeat for every account you want to hide.
All of these accounts will no longer appear on your login screen, and you’ll only be able to access them by selecting “Other … ” and then typing the username and password associated with that account.
Help! I’ve forgotten my username
When an account is hidden, you’ll need to know that account’s exact username in order to access it, but what happens if you forget or misplace a username?
If you still have access to at least one other account, then you can log into that account and retrieve a list of all the usernames that are registered with your Mac.
To retrieve this information, open the Terminal application and run the following command:
The Terminal will now display a list of all the accounts that are registered with your Mac.
Alternatively, if you can’t access any of your accounts, then you can retrieve a list of usernames by booting into macOS’s Single User Mode:
1. Power down your Mac.
2. Boot while holding the Command + S keys. Your Mac should now boot into Single User Mode, which is a black screen that accepts text commands, similar to a full-screen Terminal.
3. In Single User Mode, type the following command:
4. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
5. After a few moments, Single User Mode will display some information about your Mac, including all of your user accounts. Take note of this information, including how the usernames are formatted.
6. Restart your Mac by running the following command:
Your Mac will now restart, and after a few moments you should see the standard macOS login screen.
Mac aren’t exactly known for being customizable but still provide you a simple way to hide user accounts on the login screen. There are also other ways to personalize the login screen, including adding a custom message. Have you made any other changes to your login screen? Let us know in the comments below!
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