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How to Change Lock Screen on Mac in 2023

Lock screen is usually the introductory user interface encountered when starting an operating system such as Mac. The lock screen modulates access to the system necessitating the user to undergo verification inclusive of entering password, personal identification numbers (PIN), pattern lock and biometric identification. Lock screen may include time and date, recent notifications, music play back and owners information incase device is lost, stolen or medical emergency.

Mac operating system lock screen user interface feature is the first line data protection with prevention of undesirable user access. Customizing the lock screen on Mac can be because one wants a more appealing picture as the background. It can also be because one wants to replace the default Mac background with a more personalized option such as a family photo.

In this post, we will walk you through all the methods and steps on how to change lock screen on Mac. Read on for the details……

Preparing the screen wallpaper for the lock screen

Ahead of changing your Mac’s lock screen background, it is recommended to ascertain that the picture is in the right format and size. To do that here is a step-by-step guide;

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner from the menu bar and then select About These Mac.

Click on the Apple logoin

Step 2: Open the Display Tab and note down your Mac’s screen resolution. For an example 27-inch 1920 x 1080

Step 3: Using the preview application open the picture you want to use as the lock screen background.

lock screen background

Step 4: From the top panel click on Tools and select Adjust size. Change the resolution of the desired picture to correspond with Mac’s screen size then click OK.

Step 5: Again, from the top panel select file and click on save.

If the picture to be set as lock screen background is not in the PNG format it will require conversion. Here are the steps to get that done:

Step 1: Select File tab, in the drop-down menu select export

Step 2: Choose PNG as the desired format and rename the picture

Step 3: Choose where to save the picture and click on save.

With these done the picture is ready.

How to Change Mac lock screen on log in

You can also change the lock screen on your Mac during sign in. Here is how to do it using Finder:

Step 1: Launch Finder app then select Go Proceed to open folder from the menu bar. You can also open all that using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + G.

Command+ Shift+G

Step 2: In the address bar type /library/catches/desktop alternatively you may copy paste to the address bar and hit Enter


Step 3: In the desktop picture folder, there will be displayed one or a few folders named UUIDs. On your folder you should see a lockscreen.png file.

desktop picture folder

Step 4: Copy the picture you wanted to set as the screen lock background. You can use the keyboard shortcut Command + C.

Step 5: Replace the existing lockscreen.png file by pasting the picture in the Desktop Picture Folder. You can do that using the keyboard shortcut Command + V.

Step 6: If prompted enter username and password.

Step 7: Restart your Mac for the new lock screen wallpaper to take effect.

If there is no UUID folder in the desktop pictures folder on your Mac, you can go ahead and create one manually. Follow these steps to create a UUID folder.

Step 1: Go to System Preferences and click on Users & Groups

Step 2: On clicking the lock icon, you will be prompted to enter administrator password for the next step.

Step 3: After authentication right click on the user’s name and select advanced options.

Step 4: In the advanced options screen select and copy the UUID of the user ID

Step 5: After that go to the /library/caches/desktop pictures folder as in step two above. Create a new folder with the copied UUID as its name. If prompted, enter the log in credentials.

Step 6: Now open the newly created folder and copy the png image file to it.

Changing lock screen wallpaper

You can also change your Mac’s lock screen wallpaper. Usually, this is the picture that comes up when you wake your Mac up from sleep. To change your Mac’s lock screen just change your desktop background.

Here is how to set Mac’s lock screen

Step 1: Open System Preferences

Step 2: Choose Desktop & Screen saver

Desktop & Screen saver

Step 3: To use an image from the Mac’s collection, choose from the selection

Step 4: To use an image from somewhere else such as a downloaded picture, click on the plus sign (+) at your bottom left corner.

Step 5: After choosing your preferred image, it will automatically be set as your lock screen wallpaper.

Step 6: Try waking up your Mac to see your new lock screen wallpaper.

How to add a text as Mac lock screen

You can set a text message as your Mac lock screen. In the lock screen message one can add contact details among other details. These steps will help you set a text as your lock screen on Mac:

Step 1: On the System Preferences menu open the Security & Privacy

Security & Privacy

Step 2: In the general tab click the lock icon and enter password as prompted.

Step 3: Click on the Padlock Icon at the bottom left corner to allow for changes

Step 4: Check the box next to show a message when the screen is locked

Step 5: Then click on Set Lock Message and write your message in the pop-up text box

Set Lock Message

Step 6: Click OK when done and the message will be set.

Changing user icons on the lock screen

The user icon, also known as avatar, in Mac has a wide range of photos and icons to choose from. You can choose from the collection of images from the avatar to change the user icons on Mac lock screen. Follow these steps to get that done:

Step 1: On the System Preferences, click Users & Groups

Users & Groups

Step 2: On hovering over your user icon click the edit option

Step 3: Choose your new Icon Image. You can also choose to take a new picture using the web cam.

Step 4: Click Save and you’re all set. The new icon will appear as your new Mac lock screen

How to disable Mac lock screen

If you no longer worry about the safety and security of your Mac, you may choose to disable the lock screen. Here are the steps to that done:

Step 1: Click on the Apple Logo from the menu bar

Step 2: On the System Preferences go to Security and Privacy

System Preferences

Step 3: In the General tab uncheck the box adjacent to Password

uncheck the box

Step 4: In the pop-up alert click on turn off screen lock to accept changes these will remove the need to enter password every time you log in.


Q. How to use the Mac shortcut to lock the screen

The best Mac shortcut to use to lock the screen is Control + Command + Q which immediately locks your screen. Alternatively, you can click the Apple Menu > Lock Screen.

Additionally, to turn the display off, you can use the shortcut Control + Shift + Power button and press command + Option + Power button to put the computer in sleep mode.

Q. How to change the lock screen profile picture on Mac

The lock screen is a bit different from the login screen. Therefore, any change made on the login screen won't affect the lock screen image.

To change the lock screen picture, simply, open system preferences, desktop & screen saver, and choose an image from the library or press the (+) plus button to get it from somewhere else.

Q. How to set Mac lock screen without sleeping

When you aren't using your computer, it can easily lock itself. Therefore, you can set up a screensaver to let the computer sleep after it has been idle for over 15 minutes. Therefore, from the Apple menu, choose system preferences, click desktop & screensaver, screen saver, and use the slider to choose 15 minutes or less.

Thereafter, click “show all” to go back to the main system preferences window. After that, click security and “check” the requirement for a password to wake the computer from sleep or screen saver. Once done, close it.

Q. How to change lock screen time on Mac

To change the lock screen time on Mac, simply click the Apple menu, choose system preferences, proceed on to click desktop & screen saver, click screensaver, and then use the slider to choose the amount of time. Save and that’s it.


Remember it is recommended to keep a copy of your custom login lock screen wallpaper. That will help you revert and restore to the default desktop pictures folder in case it gets overwritten. With that said, we come to the end of this post. Hope you found it exceedingly useful.