Tech Tip: Insert text message on your login window (Mac)

So you got that spanking new [Macbook Air?] laptop. So freaking light [yet so easy to get stolen, or lost]. You would like to somehow “watermark” your laptop so that if an Apple technician OR a good samaritan boots up your laptop, he/she would see a message on the login window….. so he would know who to return this laptop to.

Example: “This is a property of Mike Cannon, if found please contact me at +6012-345-6789. Thanks.”


This is a tip I’ve submitted to but the editor insisted that it is a dupe when clearly the 2 years old hint does not work anymore on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Also, please note that I’ve only tested this method on Leopard but it should work on older versions of Mac OS X such as Tiger.

Before you apply this tip [especially on non-Leopard machines] please note that I take no responsibility whatsoever if your computer decides to explode into pieces or refuse to play your porn videos anymore.

  1. First, navigate to /Library/Preferences folder.
  2. Right click on and click Get Info.
  3. Click on the lock icon on the bottom right (under Sharing & Permissions) and authenticate.
  4. Now, you should see that the ‘+’ button is un-greyed. Click the ‘+’ button and choose your account name. Give your account name ‘Read & Write’ priveledge. (NOTE: This will only give your account temporary read & write access to the current file until you log out.)
  5. Open this file with Property List Editor. (You need to install Xcode Tools from your OS X Installations discs if you don’t have this)
  6. Expand Root and click on Root. Click on New Child. Name this child ‘LoginwindowText’ without the quotes. Make sure the class for this child is String.
  7. Insert whatever message you would like your login window to display in Value. (NOTE: If you would like line breaks in your message, the workaround is to open a text editor such as TextEdit and craft your message there first, then paste it back into the Value box.)
  8. Save the plist file (Apple+S).
  9. Finally, log out and check to see if your login window now shows the text message! :)

Sorry about the poor quality picture. I left my digicam back in Aus. Till the next tech tip, I hope you enjoyed this one.

3 responses to “Tech Tip: Insert text message on your login window (Mac)

  1. Pingback: Apps and Tricks Every MacBook Warrior Should Have « Tze Chuen’s Weblog

  2. Thanks for this tip! It adds value to the Lock/ Logout function When and if ones laptop is lost or stolen

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