After turning on encryption with FileVault on my MacBook Air with Mountain Lion my login screen went gray. Is there a way to go back to the default one?

The grey one

The grey one

The default one The default one

  • With the default one being what exactly?
    – nohillside
    Sep 7, 2012 at 5:44
  • Sorry, uploaded some pictures for illustration.
    – norq
    Sep 7, 2012 at 5:58

4 Answers 4


Nope, you can’t. When FileVault is enabled, the disk needs to be decrypted on every boot. As the computer can’t access files on the disk, It generates a simple login screen so that you can enter your password and decrypt the disk. This UI is hardcoded into the firmware of your computer, and can’t be changed.

Source: https://discussions.apple.com/message/15823532#15823532

When your Mac first starts up, EFI-boot takes over to decide what to do. It either

  • continues to bring up the system to the typical OSX login screen, which is managed by OSX's system preferences, or

  • it starts a special EFI pre-boot where it displays the FV2 unlock screen with the icons of designated OSX accounts approved to unlock the disk. Once you log on, the EFI unlock sequence carries forth your credentials, performing a single signon.

  • If you have a link to some explanation of where in the firmware (EFI perhaps) this image is stored, that would be an awesome thing to share.
    – bmike
    Sep 7, 2012 at 12:36

I'm afraid it's not common knowledge how to change this (yet). This is the default behaviour when enabling FileVault, and this login background cannot be altered using a standard control that Apple built.


That's worked great for me:

OS X 10.8.2 included one important change to Apple’s fdesetup FileVault 2 management tool. fdesetup now has the authrestart verb, which allows a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac to restart and bypass the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen. Instead, the Mac reboots as a unlocked system and goes straight to the regular login window.

When you run sudo fdesetup authrestart, it asks for a password or recovery key. The password must be an account that has been enabled for FileVault 2 (i.e. an account that shows up at the FV2 pre-boot login screen.) After that, it puts an unlock key in system memory and reboots. On reboot, the reboot process automatically clears the unlock key from memory.


  • Sites disappear, links change, blogs get deleted. You should quote or explain the relevant information within the answer itself. Apr 21, 2013 at 6:49
  • It works one time but when rebooting, the file vault login screen is back :(
    – norq
    Apr 21, 2013 at 13:32
  • 1
    This disables FileVault for one boot.
    – duci9y
    Apr 21, 2013 at 14:52

You can customise your login screen as shown in this post.

  • 3
    Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – nohillside
    Sep 11, 2013 at 14:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .