Customize The OS X Yosemite Login Screen


Give the OS X Yosemite login window a personalized look using your own image.  This is a simple trick to do.  Just save your desired image as:

Then, just log out to apply the change.  You should immediately see your new image.  If you don’t make sure you put it in the correct Library folder and that the permissions are correct.


This trick works best with wallpapers that have the image left or right-justified so that the login fields are not obstructed.  Brighter colors also help since the login window dims them a bit.



You can use Photoshop or the likes to make the image blurred to give it that pure Yosemite feel.  But some images work better than others.  The Portal image below looks cool and is blurred, but the login fields are a little difficult to distinguish.



If you want to use an image with alpha channels (i.e. transparency) such as one used to change the Apple Logo on the Mavericks login window, it won’t work as well. For some reason, the transparent areas show up as red.


Getting Creative

I’m not a Photoshop pro, but you can use this template (1920×1080) which has a layer with the opacity reduced so you can line up where the login fields will go.  You could use this to create your own wallpaper, or simply to line up where the login fields and buttons will appear on your wallpaper.  Your results may vary depending on the resolution of your Mac.


Author: Jacob Salmela

I am introverted.

  • Dechen

    Awesome tip and greatly appreciated. 🙂 May I add a note for those users who are new to the Apple ecosystem and OS X, that the Library folder they should look in is the root Library and not the user Library. You won’t find the file “” in the user Library location. Best regards.

    • sebastian ojeda

      Question to Dechen
      How then can you find the correct library to use this cool trick

      • Dechen

        Hi. Just to repeat what the author had commented above, open Finder, then click Go > Go To Folder… from the menu bar and type /Library/Caches. And you’ll be in the right folder. Cheers.

    • Dennis

      Thanks for the heads up.

    • jacobsalmela

      OS X has multiple Library folders because of its resource domains.

      To get to the correct folder, click Go > Go To Folder… from the menu bar and type /Library/Caches.

  • ChrisJones

    This looks awesome but I cannot get it to work. I got it once, but even then it was super blurry and had nowhere near the clarity of the pics above. Now trying with the R2D2 pic above and I cannot get it to work at all. Help! Am I missing something?

    • jacobsalmela

      Make sure you put it in the correct Library folder /Library/Caches not /Users/username/Library/Caches. Also, it works best if the image size matches the resolution of your monitor exactly.

      • Mark Jon Palomar

        placed the R2D2 pic in the /Library/Caches folder and signed out but still nada.

        • Make sure it is named properly: If it is not named exact, it will not work. Make sure it is also a real .png file.

          When you try, does it revert back to the default Yosemite picture?

  • Caleb Givens

    This is great! It should be noted that a file (image) with this name already exists in the folder (obviously since you already have a default background image on the login screen) – I simply renamed the original. Is this the best thing to do or could i just delete it. Basically all this is is a way to have different images for desktop background and login screen correct?

    • jacobsalmela

      Correct, this trick allows a different image for the login screen than what your wallpaper is set to.

      In my testing, the file can be removed without problem (this makes sense considering the file is in a cache folder, which means its existence is temporal). After a reboot, the login window defaulted to the original blurred Yosemite picture.

      If you do not want it to be changed, you can run this command via Terminal:

      sudo chflags uchg /Library/Caches/

  • Thanks !

  • flux_capacitor

    Thanks! Any reason you made your PSD in a 16:9 resolution (at 1920×1080 pixels), whereas Mac screen ratio is 16:10 (i.e. 1280×800, 1440×900, 1680×1050, 1980×1200…)?

    • 1920 x 1080 just happened to be the resolution of the Mac I was testing things with, so that’s where I grabbed the screenshot of the loginwindow from. If I had other Macs with different resolutions to make another layer in the .PSD, I would have.

    • jacobsalmela

      That just happened to be the resolution of the Mac I was using.

  • Anthony Carandang

    Thank you so much. It took me several tries but I finally figured it out.

  • NonMotivated

    This doesn’t seem to work in Version 10.10.2. And, before it’s asked,



    After several attempts to get this way to work, I tried:

    /System/Library/Frameworks/AppKit.framework/Versions/C/Resources where I changed the NSTexturedFullScreenBackgroundColor.png file

    also tried:

    sudo chflags uchg /Library/Caches/

    The only thing that happens, after all these logouts, is it defaults to the blurred Yosemite wallpaper (which isn’t even my desktop wallpaper).

    I’m curious to know, from those who actually got it to work, how?

    • I’m running 10.10.2 and it works fine for me. I’m not sure where some people are running into issues as I only had two Macs to test this with. The only thing I can think is that is has something to do with the resolution. Every image that I tested seemed to work as you can see from the screen shots.

    • Carlos Medina

      first navigate to “/Library/Caches/” by going to “Go > Go To Folder…” from the menu bar and paste that location in the address bar Like the pics I have below:

      • NonMotivated

        I don’t want to drag this out by having you repeat the instructions all over again. I followed these instructions to the letter. I also made certain that I was in the root Library and not the Users Library, which it seems you’re attempting to have me clarify again. The image below shows the file in the /Library/Caches folder explained in this tut, named appropriately.

        My question was to those who actually got it to work. Was there something, above and beyond the instructions in this tutorial, that you did to get it to work?

        • Josh Dinndorf

          Check the Sharing & Permissions of your image file.

          check my comment if you need steps

          thats what worked for me

          • NonMotivated

            Josh, or shall I call you Superman? YOU DID IT! Thanks! That was the issue. “Everyone”s S&P was set to No Access, so I set it to Read Only and that did the trick!

            I appreciate all the attention this got in resolving the problem. Internet FTW! Thanks, guys!

    • jacobsalmela

      It worked for me on 10.10.2 without issue. I’m not sure where people are having issues as it worked for me flawlessly every time.

      • Mark Jon Palomar

        been following the instructions as well. also not working for me

        • jacobsalmela

          Curious. Is the image you are using the same size as the resolution of your Mac? Also, please post the output of ls -l /Library/Caches/

          • NonMotivated

            Yes. Your R2D2 image link saves the image at 1920×1080, I converted it to 1280×800. It just doesn’t seem like it’s going to work. Thanks for trying, tho.

          • mjsp

            finally worked after a restart. is this supposed to change the login screen after a “sleep”?

          • jacobsalmela

            I haven’t found a way to change the “lock” or “sleep” screen yet.

          • RLC

            What about if I get a permissions denied when I search Ls -l command? Also instead of Admin it says staff. (Yes I’ve add the admin read on the file) what else can I do?

          • jacobsalmela
      • lee scott

        Yeah, worked here and there was not even a need to change permissions. Odd that so many see issues on this one. Works a charm, cheers jacob!

        • jacobsalmela

          Yeah, I’m not sure why so many have issues; I can get it to go every time, even on a different system. Glad it worked!

          • lee scott

            I made changes to the colors to exaggerate the whole palette due to the transparency overlay, but it’s more than good enough. Might be some trick hiding to allow for removing that, but not sure if that’s worth the trouble…

          • jacobsalmela

            I spent a long while trying to see where the setting came from, but never found it. I also conceded and just modified the colors to show up a bit better.

          • lee scott

            sudo chflags uchg /Library/Caches/

            This seems to get rid of most of the overlay. Looks much better now…

          • jacobsalmela

            Hmm. I wasn’t able to replicate your results, but I’ll keep trying with a few different pictures.

    • Mark Jon Palomar

      finally got it to work. it needed a complete shutdown. not just a logout.

      • NonMotivated

        I also did a full shut down, as opposed to just a simple restart (which I had also tried), and it’s still not working.

        I’m chalking this up to a lost cause, lol.
        Thanks for the responses, guys.

        • jacobsalmela

          Maybe try rebooting in safe mode by holding Shift while booting, then reboot again. This will clear out any cache files and reload the system, which can sometimes solve random issues.

          • NonMotivated

            Welp, I rebooted in safe mode. Then I rebooted again. Here’s the odd thing, it didn’t work, but what’s showing is a blurred version of my current desktop background… it’s odd, because that image isn’t in the Caches folder, nor in the Resources folder… so, it’s gotta be creating it somewhere…

  • Josh Dinndorf

    Ha! Finally Figure it out!.

    If you cannot get it the image to appear and only get default Yosemite image check the Sharing & Permissions.

    1. Double click on the login photo you want to use
    2. Click “Get Info”
    3. Scroll down in that window to “Sharing & Permissions”
    4. Make sure “everyone” has “Read Only” NOT “No Access” permissions

    • Jack Crow

      Thank you! o/

      • jacobsalmela

        No problem!

  • I couldn’t get it to work at first either. It needs to be in the SYSTEM /Library/Caches/ folder, NOT the — USER /Library/Caches/. After i figured that out, it worked like a charm 🙂

  • Korshe

    Worked great for the login screen after I’ve logged out. Is there any trick to change the screen for login after the Mac has been in sleep mode?

    • jacobsalmela

      I have not found a way to change that yet.

      • alex_poulsen

        When I replaced that, the login after sleep screen showed that
        (haven’t tested log out yet)

  • Emily

    Does anybody know if there’s an option to have the login image changing at every login?

  • Matt

    Hi….still having an issue: Correct path – Check; correct filename – Check, correct permissions – Check. However, as soon as I copy the “new” png in and overwrite the existing after about 2 seconds i can see the icon revert back to the old blurred Yos default image…same if I delete the default image…within 2 seconds another one is immediately populated back into the folder. Any thoughts?

    • Is it a work computer? Maybe your company is deploying some settings?

  • Amazing tip Jacob! We’ll share it with Mac Aficionados readers

  • Matt

    This is fantastic… even easier than in Mavericks! I’ve been googling for a solution like this since the Yosemite beta was released. Is there any way to disable the white haze that Yosemite puts over the picture

    • jacobsalmela

      No, I haven’t. I think it is something more tightly integrated into the OS. I will keep looking, but no luck so far.

  • Spoo Oot

    hi, i read all the comments, and i verified my path and all the steps.
    just to be sure, it allow to modify the screen after you closed your session.
    Not the one after you start your computer, right.
    because, i only got the picture after i close my session.

    • jacobsalmela

      This is the LOGIN screen, not the LOCK screen.

      /Library/Caches is the correct folder.

      • Olli

        I, too, have this problem: when I start my computer, all I can see is a grey background (not a blurred version of my desktop image) with the login fields. Is there any way of customizing this lock (?) screen?

        • jacobsalmela

          I’m not sure why some people are having issues. It works for me every time…I don’t know of a way to change the LOCK screen, but this works for the LOGIN WINDOW.

          • Duane Lee Roberson

            Have you found a way to change the lock screen yet?

          • jacobsalmela

            No. I spent a long time digging. Long enough where I decided to give up as it wasn’t worth the effort.

    • Tibor Marko

      It is because you are using FileVault and you need to decrypt data(background). Turn it off…

  • mysterygirl

    for some reason i get a black line on the top of my login screen

    • jacobsalmela

      It could be a part of the image or something weird happening with the alpha channels. Or your monitor could have some dead pixels…

      • mysterygirl

        Also on the black line my batter logo comes out

        • jacobsalmela

          I’m not sure what that sentence means, sorry. Do you have a screenshot?

  • alex_poulsen

    just locking the screen worked for me

  • :)

    Hi there, any clue on how to remove the gray overlay on OS X 10.10.2? Try setting a black wallpaper, it won’t be as black when you switch to the login window.

    • jacobsalmela

      Nothing yet. =(

  • Samuel

    How did you remove your icon picture?

    • jacobsalmela

      You need to change the Login Options to show a list of usernames and passwords.

  • An Anonymous Person

    Thanks a lot! Keep up the good work

  • KibblesAhoy

    If you did this and upgrade to El Capitan, it still works. You don’t even have to redo it.

    • jacobsalmela

      Funny you should say that. I just wrote a post on it. It’s also cool because the blur effect is gone now!

  • Porter Jones

    Thank you! It works great with OS X 10.11.1!!!

  • Porter Jones

    is there a way to revert back to the original?

  • tranzfat

    So is there any way to change the LOCK screen???? Thanks for the tip with the login screen though 😀

    • jacobsalmela

      Not that I have found. I have searched hard to find a way, but nothing yet.