OS X Mountain Lion: Set up login options

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Set up login options

If you are a computer’s administrator, you can customize the login experience.

For example, you can require users to enter a password to log in to your computer, or you can turn on automatic login, which automatically logs in a specified user each time the computer starts up.

If you require users to log in, you can customize what they see in the login window. The login window can display a list of users with a picture next to each name and a place to enter the password, or it can require users to enter both user name and password.

When FileVault is turned on, automatic login is disabled. For more information about FileVault, see this help topic:

Encrypt the information on your disk with FileVault

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Users & Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon to unlock it, and then type an administrator name and password.
  3. Click Login Options.
  4. Choose an option from the “Automatic login” pop-up menu.
    Option Description
    Off: This option requires users to log in whenever the computer starts up. It protects your computer from unauthorized access.
    Account name: When your computer starts up, the chosen user is automatically logged in. After choosing a user, enter the user’s password, and then click OK.

    This option is useful if you’re the only user, and if your computer is always kept in a secure location. Automatic login isn’t available when FileVault is turned on.

    Automatic login takes effect when you start up your computer after it’s been shut down or after you choose Apple menu > Restart. When a user logs out, the login window always appears.

    Important: For better security, don’t set your Mac to automatically log in an administrator.
  5. Select one of these options for “Display login window as”:
    Option Description
    List of users: When logging in, a user selects from a list of user names, and then enters the password.
    Name and password: When logging in, a user must enter the user name and password.
  6. To let users put to sleep, restart, or shut down the computer from the login window, select “Show the Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down buttons.”
  7. To let users select a language to use with OS X, select “Show Input menu in login window.”

    Type in another language

  8. To display a password hint during login, select “Show password hints.”

    The hint is shown when a user enters a password incorrectly three times in a row or clicks the question mark in the password field.

    Add a password hint

  9. To allow VoiceOver to be used during login, select “Use VoiceOver in the login window.”

    About VoiceOver

  10. To allow switching quickly between users without logging out, select “Show fast user switching menu,” and then choose from the adjacent pop-up menu to specify how users are listed in the menu bar.

    Quickly switch between accounts

  11. To let users log in to your computer with accounts on a network account server that your computer is joined to, select “Allow network users to log in at login window,” and then click Options to specify which network users can log in.

    Join your Mac to a network account server

    Allow network users to log in to your computer

To display a brief message in the login window, use Security & Privacy preferences. For instructions, see this help topic:

Display a message in the login window

Published Date: Nov 11, 2015