Change the Login Background Wallpaper on Mac OS X Leopard & Snow Leopard

Dec 19, 2009 - 11 Comments

If you want to change the wallpaper that sits in the background of your Mac’s login screen in OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard, from the Finder hit Command+Shift+G to open the ‘Go to Folder’ screen. Type /System/Library/CoreServices/ and click ‘Go’:

change mac login background

Next, find the image file called ‘DefaultDesktop.jpg’ – you should save a copy of this somewhere safe, or rename it to DefaultDesktop-backup.jpg or something of the sort, so that you can revert your changes.

change mac login background wallpaper

After that file is safely backed up, add the new wallpaper image you want to use as the login background, naming it exactly the same as the previous file: DefaultDesktop.jpg

That’s all there is to it! Reboot and your login wallpaper is now whatever you set it to. This works to change the login background in Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6


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Posted by: Manish Patel in Customize, How to, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Bob says:

    Just tried this on a fresh install of Snow Leopard (10.6.8) and it works fine for me.

  2. Nadia says:

    I get the same thing as crw. I have 10.6.8
    What’s up with it?

  3. crw says:

    This doesn’t work for me. I’m running 10.7.8 Snow Leopard. Login Screen background turns blue. When I put copy of original back it works. What else should I be doing because everything up until I test it follows this example. Thanks.

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  6. Hasel says:

    Loginox works great under Snow Leopard.

  7. BartendingBear says:

    Under Leopard I’ve used Loginox with ease and reliability.

    I don’t think it’s SnowLeopard compatible, however.

  8. BACON says:

    Saw this on reddit and posting here:::::

    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ DesktopPicture /Path/To/New/Image.png

    Can do the same… BUT I do not know about Snow Leopard?

  9. Navi says:

    does anyone else think it’s weird that Apple doesn’t allow this as a customization option in their Appearance settings? They’re so into personalization, seems out of place to not allow the wallpaper to change on boot.

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