Changing the Wallpaper on Your OS X El Capitan Login Screen

Changing the Wallpaper on Your OS X El Capitan Login Screen

Hey there! So, you want to give your OS X El Capitan login screen a fresh new look? No worries, I’ve got you covered! Let me walk you through the process step by step.

First things first, open up your web browser and search for a cool wallpaper that you’d like to see on your login screen. Make sure you find an image that you can legally use, and that it’s in a format that is compatible with OS X El Capitan. Once you’ve found the perfect wallpaper, download it to your computer.

Now, we need to find the right folder where the login screen wallpapers are stored. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Open a Finder window and go to the “Go” menu. From there, select “Go to Folder” and type in the following path: /Library/Caches. Hit enter, and you should see a folder called “” or something similar.

Here comes the slightly tricky part. We need to replace the image inside this folder with our downloaded wallpaper. But first, in case something goes wrong, it’s always a good idea to make a backup of the original file. Right-click on the file and select “Duplicate” to create a copy in case you want to revert back to it later.

Now, go ahead and rename your downloaded wallpaper to (don’t worry, we’ll change it back to its original name later). Once you’ve renamed the file, drag and drop it into the folder where the original file is located. It may ask you for permission to authenticate the action – just enter your administrator password and you should be good to go!

Almost there, I promise! The last step is to log out of your computer and then log back in. When you reach the login screen, you should see your brand-new wallpaper proudly displayed in all its glory. Enjoy the fresh look every time you log in!

If for some reason you want to revert back to the original wallpaper, simply go back to the /Library/Caches folder, delete the modified file, and rename your backup file to its original name. Easy peasy!

And that’s it! You now have the power to customize your OS X El Capitan login screen with your favorite wallpapers. Go ahead and have fun designing a screen that truly reflects your style and personality. Happy wallpaper hunting!

Whenever I log into my Mac or switch user accounts in OS X El Capitan, I see a full screen wallpaper image behind my account information. By default, this image is a blurred and slightly darker version of my current desktop wallpaper. While this effect is nice for most users, some people may want to display different wallpaper images on their desktop and login screens, or they may want to remove the blur effect, so the wallpaper image can be seen more clearly on the OS X login screen, whether it’s the same as their desktop wallpaper or not. Here’s how you can replace the OS X El Capitan login screen wallpaper, but there are some things to keep in mind.

First, you need to find and prepare your replacement image to replace your OS X El Capitan login screen wallpaper or background image. You’ll need an image in PNG format and it’s best to choose or edit your image to match your monitor’s resolution or aspect ratio, although OS X can stretch and scale the image to fit the screen if it’s too small.
In our example, we found a great promotional image from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and used Photoshop to edit it to fit our 16:9 1920×1080 display. You can use any image editing application, including the built-in Preview app in OS X, to resize your chosen image.

Once you have your image at the correct size and dimensions, save or export it to your Desktop as a PNG file and name it
Next, from your Desktop, press the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-G to access the Go to Folder window. Type the following path into the box and click Go.


When you enter a specific path, a new Finder window will open, displaying the contents of that path. Look for a file named “” in the folder. If you want, you can make a copy of this file and save it somewhere else as a backup. However, it’s not necessary to do so, and I’ll explain why in a moment. Next, drag and drop the file you created from your Desktop to the Caches folder. When prompted, agree to replace the existing file. Now, save your work and log out of your user account or restart your Mac. When you go back to the OS X login screen, your image will be displayed as the background, instead of the default image.

Things to Consider

The steps above were relatively straightforward, but there are some important things to keep in mind when changing your OS X login screen wallpaper in El Capitan.

  1. The default image is blurred for a reason. Depending on the image you use as your replacement wallpaper, the un-blurred image might be too bright and sharp, making it difficult to read the user account names and other system information. This may not be a problem if you only have one account, but if you encounter this issue, try reducing the brightness or manually blurring your image using software like Photoshop. Then, repeat the steps to replace the file.
  2. No change when using fast user switching. Your new OS X login screen wallpaper will only appear when you first log into your Mac or after completely logging out of your user account. If you have fast user switching enabled, you’ll still see the blurred desktop of the active user when switching between accounts.
  3. Change your Desktop wallpaper first. One important thing to note is that the modification to your OS X El Capitan login screen wallpaper discussed above is not permanent. As soon as you change your Desktop wallpaper in System Preferences, the file will immediately revert to a blurred and dimmed version of the new wallpaper you selected. Therefore, if you want to set a new OS X desktop wallpaper for your user account, do it before you replace the login screen image file. Also, make sure to keep a backup of your edited replacement image so you can quickly copy it back to the Caches folder if you forget about this in the future. On the bright side, because of this behavior, you don’t really need to keep a backup of the original login screen image file, as you can recreate the default one by simply changing your Desktop wallpaper in System Preferences.

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