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OS X: Login window partially appears, cursor movement redraws screen

Symptoms

In OS X Lion or OS X Mountain Lion, if you are logged out while the display is sleeping, the login window may not look the way you'd expect after waking the display. You may see your desktop picture or a blank screen; if the mouse or trackpad is used, the areas under the cursor will be redrawn.

Resolution

Install OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 or later to prevent this behavior from occurring. To do this, choose Software Update from the Apple () menu.

If you are using OS X Lion v10.7, you can workaround this behavior using the information below:

  1. Move the mouse or trackpad cursor over the center area of the login window so you can see the user icons. Click on the icon of the user that you would like to login as, type in the user's password, and press Return.
  2. If the login window is configured to show only the name and password fields, type in the user's name and password into the fields, and press Return (even if you cannot see the rest of the login window).

Additional Information

This issue will not occur if the display is not sleeping when the account is logged out. Use the steps below to confirm that the account is not configured to log out automatically while the display is sleeping:

  1. Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General.  Click the padlock to unlock the preference pane and enter your admin password. Click the Advanced button at the bottom, then see if the option "Log out after N minutes of inactivity" (where N is the number of minutes) is enabled.
  2. Open System Preferences > Energy Saver and configure Display Sleep to occur after the account is logged out, by dragging the slider to a number of minutes that is greater than N was set to in the previous step.

Important: If automatic log out is not needed, disable "Log out after N minutes of inactivity" in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. This will also prevent the issue.

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.
Last Modified: Mar 14, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Mar 14, 2013
  • Article: TS4135
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