How to Change the Login Screen Background in macOS Big Sur

You can customize your login screen on your Mac. This article describes how you can change your macOS Big Sur login screen to display any image you want when your Mac turns on. Here is how:

Big Sur Login Screen Background

The login screen is where you enter your password.

See also:

How to change the Big Sur login screen

1. On your Mac, in the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder.

Mac Go To Folder

2. Type the following pathname and click Go.

/Library/Caches/Desktop Pictures
Desktop Pictures

3. In this folder, you will see one or more folders. The folders are named after the name of the user’s UUIDs. Open this folder and you will see a file named “lockscreen.png”. Please note that if you do not have a folder named Desktop Pictures, create this folder inside the Caches folder. Then you will need to create a folder with UUID value as name inside the Desktop Pictures folder (see below).

Desktop Pictures folder
Lock Screen

Furthermore, If Desktop Pictures folder exists but if you do not see a folder inside the Desktop Pictures folder, you will again need to create one UUID value as name. Here is how.

See also: How To Screenshot (Print Screen) And Record Screen On Your Mac

A. On your Mac, open System Preferences and click Users & Groups.

B. Click the Lock icon and enter your passcode to unlock this section.

C. Right click (or control-click) on user name and select “Advanced Options…”.

Advanced options

D. Now, copy the UUID of your User-ID.

E. Now go to the “/Library/Caches/Desktop Pictures” folder again. And create a new folder. The name of this folder should be your UUID.

F. Now right click this new folder and click Get Info. Make sure that your computer has Write privileges. Grant permissions Read & Write to user, admin, everyone.

See also: Mac: How To Troubleshoot Screen Flickering

4. Now select the current lockscreen.png image (if you have this image in the folder) and rename it old-lockscreen.png.

5. Now find an image or photo that you want to use as your login screen background and drag-and-drop the image (name it lockscreen.png) into the open folder.

Lock Screen Background

Now restart your Mac and you are done.

See also:

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University.

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49 thoughts on “How to Change the Login Screen Background in macOS Big Sur”

  1. It appears that several users have slightly different file structures. Are we all using 11.3.1?
    Having several users does seem to change the requirements to effect the change.

    My own experience has the folder: Lockscreeen.png NOT containing the login screen background but the general colour background.

  2. There are TWO lock screen images, which this article does not make clear. There is USER one that you can change, and a SYSTEM one that you cannot (easily).

    This article is about the User lock screen image. This screen appears when lock your computer. It will also appear on restart if you only have ONE user profile.

    The System lock screen will appear when you restart a machine with MULTIPLE users because the OS has no idea which user is about to login. It will also appear if you select Login Window from your profile pic on the upper right menu bar, or Switch User from your lock screen.

    If you think about the way an OS is organized, this makes sense. All UI customizations are at the User level, not System level. Users should not automatically see other peoples lock screens either after a restart, they are private by default like your Documents, Downloads and Browser History.

    However I also think it is incredibly annoying, and Apple should allow local admins to change the System lock screen, but perhaps they have security or technical limitations that make it infeasible.

  3. Click on the Apply icon. Select System Preferences. Click on Desktop/Screensaver icon. Click on Desktop. Click on Photos and choose a photo from your own gallery. I’m not a techie, but this was really easy for me. Now one of my own photos comes up, not that awful Desktop color scheme.

  4. I am having the same problem as Becky, neither method works for me. I did go to my Macintosh HD/Library/Cache and found folder Desktop Pictures and made sure the new UUID folder held my new lockscreen.png image. When I restart, it is still on that nauseating multicolored image.
    And suggestions would be so appreciated!

  5. Lia- p.s. the existing Folder is not “locked”. The picture is my own picture which opens in the Start Page. There is no picture of the horrible Big Sur (red etc) within this folder. The tutorial shows a Folder which has the “forbidden” seal on it. I do not have this it seems. Thanks again.

  6. Thank you ….however…..Macintosh HD/Library/Caches/Desktop Pictures (NOT the system library) contains a Folder with UUID and a subfolder lockscreen.png.
    However, I did not manage to create a 2nd folder with my UUID. Does one need to import another picture in the already existing folder? Thanks for your answer. Best wishes, Lia

  7. Got it to work after realising there are 2 different Library folders on the mac. The one the article pointed to was wrong for me. But when you go to Macintosh HD/Library/Caches and create the Desktop Pictures folder in there, then follow the rest of the instructions, it works!

    I hated the red/blue screen so much I wanted to throw up. Thanks so much for the article. Made my day when I saw my old Catalina calm island pic come up.

    • Hi, I can’t change it via the method in this article either, its driving me crazy. I tried to go to the folder you suggested but when I type it in all I get is a ping sound and it goes to Desktop-Local.
      Did you create it in there? I’m really not sure why it won’t work and the bright colours on the log-in screen give me a headache 😛
      Any help?
      Thank you!

  8. Tried creating a new desktop pictures directory in caches, then a new folder with UUID name, with new lockscreen.png. Made sure everyone could read & write. Still have the horrid red, yellow, blue art screen on restart.


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