OS X Mavericks: Change the Login Window Icon or Wallpaper

Replacing the default Apple Logo with your own is a great way to customize OS X.  This trick could also work with organizations looking to brand their Macs with their logo.

A while back, OS X Daily showed how to replace the grey-colored background with your own wallpaper.  Unfortunately, this also got rid of the Apple logo.

I liked the grey background, but just wanted to replace the logo.  This article will describe how to do that.  Take a look at some of the examples below of what I set my login window logo to:

communicator

Starfleet logo by unknown

hyrule

Thanks to Rex Castle for the amazing Hylian shield!

dragonball

Dragonball by chibi-fej on Deviant Art

starfleet

dharma

Dharam logo by Lostpedia

unsc

Notice on the last two screenshots that there is some white area in the images.  This is part of the image where the alpha channel was not completely removed.  To avoid this, you will want to make certain your item is transparent (meaning any part that is not the actual image is clear and not set to another color)–PNGs typically have the alpha channel enabled.

You can even make your own using Preview‘s Iesser-known Instant Alpha feature.  This is how I made the Dharma and UNSC logos (but didn’t catch every part that needed to be transparent).

Easy Approach

The easiest way to make this customization is using Deeper.  Just choose your logo and the app will do the rest!

deeperbroken

Manual Approach

If you like to take the manual approach, the instructions are the same as found on OS X Daily, but I found that making sure the image file was exactly 428 x 248 pixels and in a .png.  You can download the Starfleet emblem that I used below:

starfleet_emblem

You need four copies of this file, and they need to be named:

  • apple.png
  • apple@2x.png
  • apple_s1.png
  • apple_s1@2x.png

I don’t know why these are like this, but it works!  Once they are named correctly, just drag them into the following path:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/LoginUIKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LoginUICore.framework/Resources/

and then choose to replace all of them.

replacelogo

Log out and you should see your custom logo at the login window!

To add even more customization, change the picture associated with your user!

27 Replies to “OS X Mavericks: Change the Login Window Icon or Wallpaper”

    1. If you open that location in the Finder (press Ctrl+Shift+G and paste that file path in), you can highlight the four files (probably in your Downloads folder or on your Desktop) and drag them into the folder.

  1. The App you shared changes just the icon. Can you share where you got that awesome Star Trek symbol? I can’t find one that I like that works well.

  2. Same here. Tried the Deeper app, still getting the same results. tried different sizes too (80×95, 160×190, 428×248). I did try the login message and it’s working fine.

    Do you need to remove the avatar for this to work?

  3. Worked on my macbook pro (retina, 15″, late 2013) without issues. But I have only 1 account on that machine.

    Tried it on the family iMac. Did not work. We have 3 accounts created on that machine.

    I suspect that at some point the apple logo is not displayed anymore. Anyone else able to confirm this behaviour on Mavericks ?

  4. Hi Jacob

    I want to change the background image on my Macbook Air 11″, OS X 10.9.5.

    I’ve gone through the process of replacing the 4 png files in: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/LoginUIKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LoginUICore.framework/Resources/

    This isn’t working. When I logout of the account and get to the login screen again it is working, but when I shut down the computer and the login screen appears it’s still the original system background.

    Can you give me any tips or advice?

    Thanks

  5. Thanks! worked for me, if you’re having issues it may be that you have to update the file permissions on the new images so they are the same as the originals.

  6. Anyone able to do this on Yosemite? Deeper doesn’t show a Wallpaper or login image anymore.

    I’ve tried the older 10.8 and 10.9 methods and I just get a teeny tiny icon top left, and the blurry desktop wallpaper effect is replaced by a solid grey which sucks.

    1. In Yosemite, the blurred image is located in /Library/Caches/com.apple.desktop.admin.png. As of yet, I have not heard of a way to get an icon to appear or to eliminate the burred effect.

      1. Oh hey thanks Jason, that was too easy!

        So it seems to have a CSS-like opaque RGB grey in front of the admin image but I could see it right away because I’d left it sharp so thats done and dusted.

        Icon does actually appear (the method replacing the set of 4 Apple logos) you’ll see it in the top left of the login, but it is so teeny you can barely it. I tried varying icon sizes like your suggested landscape size, as well as square up to 800px, made no difference.

        For what it’s worth I saw a couple threads of developers trying to hack the boot loading white Apple logo but no one seems to have cracked that one.

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