How to change the login screen wallpaper on Mac

By default, the Mac login screen shows a blurred version of your desktop background. While this blurred version of the desktop background often looks very nice, there are users who want to change the background image of the login screen on Mac with photos and images of their own choosing to personalize their Mac.

Change the background image of the login screen on Mac

Your current login screen wallpaper is an image file (com.apple.desktop.admin.png) located in the Caches folder on your Mac.

In theory, it should be possible to change the login screen wallpaper on Mac by deleting “com.apple.desktop.admin.png” from the Caches folder and replacing it with another image file with the same name.

However, this does not work on Mac and you may lose your current login desktop wallpaper if you delete the existing com.apple.desktop.admin.png file on your Mac.

Therefore, it is highly recommended not to delete the existing com.apple.desktop.admin.png file in the Caches folder and to follow the steps given below closely.

  1. Make two copies of the current login screen wallpaper
  2. Update the current login screen background file (copy) with a new image
  3. Replace the current login screen wallpaper file in the Caches folder with the updated login screen wallpaper file

Make copies of the current login screen wallpaper

Sign in to your Admin account on your Mac and follow the steps below to make two copies of your current desktop login wallpaper located in your Mac’s Library folder.

1. Click on that finder icon in your Mac’s Dock to launch the Go menu in your Mac’s top menu bar.

Finder icon on Mac

2. Then click on the walk option in the Go menu bar and then click Go to folder… Option in the drop down menu (see image below).

Go to the folder option on Mac

3. In the Go to Folder window, type the following /Library/Caches/ and then click the walk button or press the Enter Key on your Mac’s keyboard (see image below).

Go to Library/Caches on Mac

4. Copy the file named from the caches folder com.apple.desktop.admin.png on your desktop and also in any safe folder on your Mac.

com.apple.desktop.admin image

Note: If you cannot find this file, make sure you are logged in to your administrator account.

Important: Make sure you make two copies of the com.apple.desktop.admin.png file. The additional copy is required in case you want to revert to your current or default login screen background.

Update the current login screen background file (copy) with a new image

After making two copies of your current login screen wallpaper file, the next step is to update the desktop copy of your current login screen wallpaper file with a photo or image of your choice.

1. Find the picture you want to set as the new login screen wallpaper

2. When you find the image, double click on it picture to open it in the Preview app.

If the preview is not your default photo viewer, right-click on it picture and then click Open with preview Option in the displayed menu (see image below).

Open with preview option on Mac

3. After opening the image, select the entire image picture by dragging your mouse from the top left corner of the image to the bottom right corner of the image (see image below)

Select Image in Preview on Mac

4. After selecting the entire image, press Command + C Keys on your Mac’s keyboard to copy the image to the clipboard.

5. Now open the copied com.apple.desktop.admin.png File located on your Mac’s desktop by double-clicking and pressing on it Command + V Keys on your Mac’s keyboard to paste the image from the clipboard (copied in step 4 above) into this file.

6. Once the new image is inserted, rearrange and resize it picture as needed and close the window.

Replace current login screen background image file in caches folder

Finally, now is the time to replace your current login screen wallpaper file in Caches folder with the updated login screen wallpaper file available on your desktop to change login screen wallpaper on Mac.

1. Make sure the Caches folder is open – If not, you can repeat steps 1,2,3 as above in the “Create copies of the current login screen” section to open the Caches folder.

2. Next, drag the updated one com.apple.desktop.admin.png file located on your Mac’s desktop to the Caches folder.

3. You will see a popup, click on that Substitute Option in popup window to replace your current login screen background image file with your own photo/image (see image below)

Replace Image Popup on Mac

4. Sign out of your Mac and you should see the new sign-in screen background on your Mac.

Change the background image of the login screen on Mac back to default

If you don’t like the new login screen wallpaper, you can always change it back to the default login screen wallpaper by following the steps below.

1. Click on that finder icon in your Mac’s Dock to launch the Go menu in your Mac’s top menu bar.

Finder icon on Mac

2. Then click on the walk option in the top menu bar of your Mac and then click Go to folder… Option in the drop down menu (see image below).

Go to the folder option on Mac

3. In the Go to Folder window, type the following /Library/Caches/ and then click the walk Button to open the Caches folder on your Mac (see image below).

Go to Library/Caches on Mac

4. Now drag the backup of the original login screen wallpaper file (com.apple.desktop.admin.png) into the caches folder.

5. You will see a popup message, click on that Substitute Option in the pop-up window to replace your current login screen wallpaper with the original Mac default login screen wallpaper (see image below)

Replace Image Popup on Mac

6. Sign out of your Mac

This time, you’ll see the familiar Mac standard login screen background on your computer.

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