Our community group has just had three Apple Macs donated to us. Two are laptops with macOS Sierra installed and one is an iMac with macOS High Sierra installed.

I’ve been asked to add a custom message to the login screen acknowledging the donation, but I am not familiar with Apple Macs. It only needs to be a simple message like:

This Mac was kindly donated by X.

Is there a way of doing this without having to use any 3rd party software? I would need some very clear steps.

  • 1
    Also, you can just call them "Macs." ;-) – Dave Kanter May 9 '18 at 22:12

This can be done without 3rd party app. Simply open System Preferences.app -> Security & Privacy -> Show message when the screen is locked. Here are the steps:

  1. Open "System Preferences" (located in you applications folder)
  2. Select "Security & Privacy"
  3. Unlock the padlock
  4. Set the lock message

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  • 5
    Good answer! I totally forgot about this option, and it's much easier for a new Mac user. :) – Monomeeth May 9 '18 at 12:03
  • 1
    Very nicely explained for a Mac newbie. +1. – Nimesh Neema May 9 '18 at 14:43
  • 8
    Upvoted despite the lack of freehand circles. – Riker May 9 '18 at 20:02
  • Just a heads up, I don't know if this is still the case, but historically you would have to log out twice before you would see the message update. – Alexander O'Mara May 10 '18 at 19:26

Yes, you can do this by using Terminal. More specifically:

  1. Open the Terminal app (by default this is located in the Utilities folder within your Applications folder)
  2. Now copy the following command and paste it into your Terminal window:

    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText "This Mac was kindly donated by X."

  3. Now press the delete key a few times to remove the X

  4. Type in the rest of your custom message. Make sure you close it off with the second quotation mark at the end.
  5. Press the enter key
  6. You’ll be prompted for your password. Type it in and press the enter key again (Note: You will not see the cursor move or the password on the screen)

Now when you’re back on the login screen you will see your custom message displayed below your list of users.

  • 5
    For anyone who isn't comfortable with shell programming: Watch out for dollar signs in your custom message! It might be easier to just surround it with single quotes and replace any single quotes in the message with '\''. – SilverWolf - Reinstate Monica May 9 '18 at 18:23

In the Terminal:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText "Your Message Here"

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