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Thursday, October 1, 2020

How to Customize the Lock Screen on macOS 10.14 Mojave?

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Apple which has released the macOS 10.4 Mojave update which came with several features and optimisations. It took us over a week to discover and tweak most of them. One of the things I did was to customise the lock screen on my MacBook Air running Mojave.

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The entire activity only just took a couple of minutes, and now my MacBook Air’s lock screen looks more personalised than ever. Thankfully, Mojave continues to offer more ways to change the lock screen look and options from the vanilla one which was provided out of the box.

Note: If you use the lock screen for privacy reason whatsoever, then you should consider enabling FileVault, the disk encryption setting, by going through System Preferences >> Security & Privacy >> FileVault and then click on Turn on FileVault button.

So, let’s begin with an easy option.

Change the Desktop Wallpaper

Using a large wallpaper can make the desktop look clear and crisp. Get a wallpaper in at least HD resolution for MacBook Air and 4K resolution for MacBook as well as for MacBook Pro.

Note: We recommend that you use at least a 4K UHD which is (3840×2160) just in case you plan to connect your plain MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air to a 4K monitor or TV. You will need a 5K wallpaper for the 5K iMacs.

Step 1. Right-click on the desktop and go ahead to select Change Desktop Background from the context menu.


Step 2. Head to the wallpaper or select anyone from the available album folders as your wallpaper.



Step 3. Click on the Apple Menu and then select Lock Screen to confirm that the newly elected wallpaper is visible on the lock screen. Alternatively, you can use a shortcut key by pressing Control + Command + Q on your keyboard to lock the screen.


I for one chose an official PUBG game’s wallpaper for my desktop as the lock screen background.

Change the User Account Picture

Apple provides over 43 different images to choose as your account photo which can be seen at both login screen and the lock screen. You can create a custom photo which could be your picture or anything else. Below is how you can change the user account picture.

First, you must add the image you want to put as your user account image in the Photos app.

Note: Using a square image with 700 x 700-pixel resolution gave better results to set at the User account image replacement.

When you are done transferring the picture(s) to the Photos app then you can follow the following steps:

Step 1. Click on the Apple Menu and select ‘System Preferences’.



Step 2. Navigate to User & Groups.

Step 3. Select the current User account image, and it’ll roll out a photo selection menu.

Step 4. Select Photos. Scroll the left pane that contains thumbnails until you see the new images you added at the bottom. Select the one you like to use and hit the next button.


Also, you can take a picture of yourself using the cam on the system and set it as your account image.

Step 5. Use the zoom slider to adjust the image correctly and hit the Save button when you are satisfied with the image alignment.

You can also use the Control + Command + Q shortcut keys to view the lock screen and check out your new User account image.

Adding a Message or Text on the Lock Screen

MacBook’s are convenient, lightweight to carry around, and easy to forget at the airport, conferences, cafes. How can anybody identify whose laptop it is and then go an extra mile to reach out to the rightful owner? Well, you can leave a custom message on the lock screen of your Mac that would help anyone to reach out to you in case you ever misplace your laptop.


Such custom text message is an excellent way to leave cheeky a message for your sneaky sibling or a co-worker. Here is how you can set a custom text message on your lock screen:

Step 1. Navigate to System Preferences using the Apple menu and click on Security & Privacy.


Step 2. Click on the lock icon which can be found at the bottom right corner of the window to unlock the setting and then you are required to enter the administrator password.


Step 3. Check the second option that says ‘Show a message when the screen is locked’ and click on the Set Lock Message button.


Step 4. Add text in the field, then hit on the Ok button and finalise by clicking on the lock icon to lock the screen.


You can also access the lock screen by using the short keys Control + Command + Q and then view the custom text on your lock screen.


Password Protect after Screen Saver Starts

Sometimes we prefer to use a screen saver and select the Mac system to automatically go to sleep mode when the laptop is not in use. The screen saver or the sleep mode don’t activate the lock screen by default. So someone can take advantage of that and gain access to your system but to avoid that, you can set up a password requirement whenever the computer enters sleep mode or after the screen saver starts.

Follow these steps to create a password to protect your laptop after your screen saver starts:

Step 1. Navigate to the ‘System Preferences’ from the Apple Menu.

Step 2. In the ‘Security & Privacy’ settings, check the first box for require a passcode and pick a preferred time from the drop-down menu.


You can now walk away from your laptop without worrying about someone being sneaky.

In Conclusion

The macOS 10.14 Mojave enables the use of few tricks with the lock screen. Although, while most are quite efficient and straightforward, one still need to set the screen saver and the energy saver settings smartly to make the best of them.

The only thing missing is notification support mostly for emails, Slack and few other productivity apps. But indeed, just like the lock screen on n iPhone, iPad or an Android smartphone. Most significantly, the ones that can hide sensitive information like the one on iOS and Android lock screens. However, if you ever come across a good one, do share with us and also share your thoughts with us about this article by using the comments section below.

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