On Mountain Lion, in the [Security & Privacy] pane of System Preferences, you can enter a lock screen message that gets displayed on the login/lock screen.
Sometimes, you might want to put a line break or a paragraph gap there. You might think that you could do this, hence the large text box, however you can't - even if it looks like you can. Enter or Shift+Enter doesn't enter a line break. I know it's possible, because iCloud does it when you lock your computer with Find My iPhone.
Is it actually possible to enter line breaks in your lock screen message?

2 Answers 2


Press Ctrl+Enter for a new line (or Option+Enter, which seems to work as well).


It actually is. You can't do it directly from System Preferences - you can do it using TextEdit. Just type your lock screen message into TextEdit and copy-paste into the text box in System Preferences. If you use more than three lines, then a scroll bar appears and everything looks all buggy and ugly. Three lines or less works perfectly - in fact, I have three lines right now! (Third line blacked out as it contains my email address)

The lock screen sheet, showing a multi-line message.

  • 1
    This isn't entirely true. Pat's answer is correct in saying that you can add a line directly in System Preferences, but they got the key combination wrong. I'll submit an edit.
    – Sabrina
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 18:44

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