Tweaking Mac Login Window

Use Transparent Login Picture

By applying this tweak, you will be able to use PNG image (with its beautiful transparency) as your login icon, replacing that old JPEG icon (with its ugly-looking white-box boundary). Only several Terminal commands need to be executed here, but it’s quite tedious, so always be careful.

Here are the steps:

  1. dscl . -read /Users/[your username] Picture
    Return Path → Picture: [current path]
  2. sudo dscl . -delete /Users/[your username] JPEGPhoto
  3. sudo dscl . -change /Users/[your username] Picture ‘[current path]’ ‘[new path]’


$dscl . -read /Users/Wendy Picture
Picture: /Users/blacky/Desktop/Nest.tif
$sudo dscl . -delete /Users/Wendy JPEGPhoto
$sudo dscl . -change /Users/Wendy Picture '/Users/blacky/Desktop/Nest.tif' '/Users/blacky/Desktop/smiley.tif'

Add Welcome Message

With this tweak, you can show a welcome message on add your Mac login window. Perhaps, if you always forget your password, you can also put your it as welcome message (but it’s not recommended). Only one line of code is required to be executed:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ LoginwindowText “[msg]”


$sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ LoginwindowText "Hello, I am a Mac!"

Change Login Background

This is an old trick, but some people might find it difficult to dig up this tweak from piles of archives, so I decide to bring it up again. With three simple steps, you will be able to change your login window background, i.e. replacing the original Vortex background (if you’re using Leopard, of course).

  1. Open Finder and Hit Command-Shift-G
  2. Enter Path: ‘/System/Library/CoreServices/’
  3. Replace ‘DefaultDesktop.jpg’ with New JPEG Image

Change Apple Logo

And for the last touch, let’s change our big silver Apple to shiny-black Apple.

  1. Open Finder and Choose Go → Go to Folder… (Command-Shift-G)
  2. Enter Path: /System/Library/CoreServices/SecurityAgentPlugins/loginwindow.bundle/
  3. Replace ‘applelogo.tif’ with this one: ‘applelogo.tif’
    It’s a bit tricky to replace with new image as it involves system file. At first, you need to delete the old file. And after that, you can drag in new file.

Now you can go to your login window and see the changes. I am unable to provide your with screenshots here, because I have found no way to capture screen of my login window. Perhaps, you can suggest me a way to capture my login window, I’d be very happy to know about it.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s