Set a Lock Screen Message

You can set a text message to appear on your Mac's lock screen. Use this to put contact information or instructions for someone who may find your lost MacBook. Change the message often to fit your situation.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Set a Lock Screen Message.

There's a handy feature built into Mac OS that allows you to put a message on your Mac that appears on the Lock Screen. So if somebody were say to find your MacBook they could open it up and without having to login they can see this message on the Lock Screen and contact you. Let me show you how to set it up.

You want to go to System Preferences and once you're in there then you want to go to Security and Privacy. Then under General you can see Show a Message when the screen is locked. Now in order to turn this on you need to click Lock to make changes and enter in your user password. So once you've authenticated it that way you can check this button here, then click Set Lock Message.

You can type anything you want here. So, for instance, you can do something like, If found please call 303-555-1212, or email Something like that. Maybe if you're a student on campus you can include information about how to get in touch with you on the campus or something like please turn into the lost and found or the library or something like that. Or maybe even the department that you're a student of or faculty for.

You can put just about anything you want in there and then that will appear on the Lock Screen. So I'm going to test it by changing the Require Password immediately when sleep or screensaver begins. I have a hot corner set so when I move my cursor to the bottom right hand corner the screensaver will start. Now I'll hit spacebar and I get to the Lock Screen and I can see at the bottom of the Lock Screen there's my message.

Comments: 5 Responses to “Set a Lock Screen Message”

    Ginny Leger
    2 years ago

    Great idea, thank you. However, one question: Should I click on the lock again after I enter my message so someone else cannot make changes?

    2 years ago

    Ginny: It should lock automatically when you quit System Preferences. Either way, someone would have to be able to enter your account password to unlock your Mac to get to this, or anything on your Mac.

    Jerry Naples
    2 years ago

    This is a great tip Gary. Had missed that option on the Security Panel. Will pass it on to all my Mac associates


    Steve Kornfeld
    2 years ago

    Can a message be added to the lock screen on the iPhone ???

    2 years ago

    Steve: On the iPhone you can set the background wallpaper to anything you want. People usually create images with some “If found call” info using various apps, save those to the camera roll, and then apply them in Settings, Wallpaper. There are even some apps that specialize in wallpaper creation.

Comments Closed.