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How to add a message on the lock screen on macOS

A message on the lock screen can be an effective way to remind yourself to do something. If it helps, you can also use it as place for a motivational quote though perhaps the desktop is a more suitable place for it. Regardless why you do it, here’s how you can add a message on the lock screen on macOS.

We’re going to do this with a built-in macOS screensaver. The screensaver appears when you want it to, regardless if your screen is locked or not but, once you lock your screen, the display will turn off at some point. If you don’t want the screensaver and your message to be visible all the time, you can let it disappear when you screen goes to sleep. If you do want the screen awake at all times, use this trick to prevent sleep on the lock screen.

Message on lock screen

Open the System Preferences app, and go to the Desktop & Screen Saver preference. Select the Screen Saver tab. In the column on the left, go through the list of available screensavers and select the one named ‘Message’.

The stock message is set to your Mac’s name. There’s a ‘Screen Saver Options’ button in the pane on the right. Click it, and then enter the message you want to display. The Apple logo is going to stick around. You cannot get rid of it. Once you’ve set the message, click the Preview button to see what it looks like.

It’s a good idea to review the screensaver settings on macOS as well. You can set when the screensaver starts from this very same preference pane. Open the ‘Start after’ dropdown under the column on the left and set when the screensaver should start. You should also go to the Energy Saver preference and change when the display should turn off. You can set it to Never though we don’t really recommend that unless you’re displaying something incredibly important on your screen. Set it so that it doesn’t turn off at the same time the screensaver turns on.

The screensaver appears after a short, user-defined period of inactivity so make sure your screen doesn’t turn off before it. The screen’s sleep interval when it’s unlocked is different from the screen sleep interval when it’s locked. We’ve mentioned above what to do to keep the screen awake on the lock screen. Use a combination of sleep settings, the screensaver, and the method mentioned above to display a message on the lock screen on macOS.

Want to show a message on the lock screen on Windows 10? We’ve got you covered.

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