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os x login informationHave you ever left your laptop somewhere by accident? It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while it does happen, like if you leave it in a bag and then forget your bag somewhere, or if you leave it somewhere thinking you’re coming right back, but you end up being gone for hours. Whatever the case may be, you would obviously like anyone who finds it to easily know that it was yours.

Recently I showed you How To Display Owner Information On Your Phone’s Lock Screen (Android) How To Display Owner Information On Your Phone's Lock Screen [Android 1.0+] How To Display Owner Information On Your Phone's Lock Screen [Android 1.0+] Have you ever lost your phone? It's a sick feeling, not just because it costs a lot of money to replace (especially if it's a fancy new smartphone), but because it has valuable information like... Read More in the event that if you ever lose or leave your phone somewhere and someone happens to find it (and wants to return it), they can do so easily. For Mac owners, you can achieve the same thing with just a few quick changes to your settings.

The Step-By-Step Process

The first thing you need to do is head over to the System Preferences menu on your Mac. You can do this by selecting the “gears” image on your icon dock or by selecting the Apple button at the top left of your screen and selecting System Preferences…

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In the first section, labeled “Personal“, you will find an icon that says Security & Privacy. Click that and you will be taken to your Mac’s security settings page.

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Head to the General tab and then click the Lock icon in the lower-left corner of the window. The lock icon allows you to make changes to certain settings on your Mac as long as you’re an administrator.

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You will be asked for your system password. Enter that correctly and you will be granted access to the security settings we’re interested in.

From here you can decide what options you would like to select. I’ve personally set up my Mac so that it logs me out after 2 hours of inactivity (although I may change it to 1), and that my name and phone number are displayed on the lock screen. You can enter whatever you like, but I would recommend at least leaving an email address where you can be reached in the event that someone else finds your laptop somewhere.

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If you have the automatic login feature enabled, you may want to consider disabling it. This means you’ll need to enter your password each time your Mac starts, displaying your newly created message and adding an extra layer of security on top of your files. I’ve also enabled the feature that requires a password after the computer sleeps or goes to screensaver for the same reason.

Once you get your settings just the way you like them, you can close System Preferences.


This is a really simple feature that no one really knows about, but it could make all the difference in the world if you happen to leave your laptop somewhere and someone calls you to return it. Remember, buying a new laptop is easy. Getting back your most important files isn’t. I also recommend you look into storing your files in the cloud. You never know when that hard drive of yours is going to quit working.

Have you ever left your laptop somewhere by accident?  If so, did you get it back?

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  1. kW
    August 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Steve, I couldn't find this feature in my MBP w/ Snow Leopard.  Would this be only available at Lion?

    • Steve Campbell
      August 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Hey kW,

      I believe it is a new feature, so if you are running Snow Leopard (with the latest updates!) and are not seeing the option that may be the case. I've upgraded to Lion so unfortunately I can't go back and check.

  2. Beachcomber10
    August 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks Steve!

    • Steve Campbell
      August 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      You're welcome! Glad you liked it!