Change Mac App's Logo

The login screen is your computer's main door to your precious, sensitive data. Even if you are using an iMac that never leaves your home office, you should protect that data with a password. It may be inconvenient (though an Apple Watch makes the process quicker), but your personal security is always worth it.

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On older versions of OS X, Apple let you use your Apple ID password as your Mac's unlock option, which automatically changed whenever you changed the password on your Apple ID. That said, you don't have to use your Apple ID password to unlock your Mac. In fact, it's not really a good idea.

Ideally, you should use a separate password for every device and service you log into for safety reasons; it's why a good password manager is invaluable. If a nefarious individual or group somehow gets ahold of one of your passwords, it can't be used to access anything else you want to protect.

This is also why it's a good idea to change your Mac's login password on occasion: It ensures that, if someone got access to your Mac in the past, they can't continue to access it, nor can anyone else. Ultimately, we're not trying to scare anyone, here: I'm just making sure everyone realizes how important a secure password is.

If it's been a while since you changed your Mac's login password (or if you never have), now is a great time to do so.

How to change the login password on your Mac

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences from the drop down menu.

  3. Click on Users & Groups.
  4. Click the Password tab.
  5. Click the lock in the bottom left corner of the Users & Groups window.

  6. Enter your administrator password. (If you've never set one, you can leave the field blank and press OK.)
  7. Click Unlock.

  8. Click Change Password.
  9. Enter your current Mac login password.

  10. Enter a new password.
  11. Enter the new password again to verify it.
  12. Enter a hint, which will help you remember your password if you forget it in the future.

  13. Click Change Password.
  14. Click the lock to prevent further changes.

Your new password will automatically update. The next time you log out of your Mac, you will need to enter the new password.

How to set your Apple ID password as a backup in case you forget your Mac login

Apple allows you to set your Apple ID password a secondary backup login for your Mac. This is less secure, and I don't recommend it if you have ever shared your Apple ID password with anyone, but it can be useful if you forget your Mac's login.

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences from the drop down menu.

  3. Click on Users & Groups.
  4. Click the Password tab.
  5. Click the lock in the bottom left corner of the Users & Groups window.

  6. Enter your administrator password.
  7. Click Unlock.

  8. Tick the box for Allow user to reset password using Apple ID.
  9. Click the lock to prevent further changes.

This will enable your Apple ID password to be used on the off-chance you forget your Mac's login information.

How to use your Apple ID's password backup system

If you enter the wrong login on your Mac four times, and you have your Apple ID password set as a backup, you will be prompted to enter it.

  1. Click the arrow next to the prompt, 'If you forgot your password, you can reset it using your Apple ID.'
  2. Enter your Apple ID and password.

  3. Click Reset Password.
  4. Click OK to confirm that you will have to create a new keychain, but (you can update your previous one if you remember the password for it).

  5. Enter a new password (not your Apple ID password).
  6. Enter the new password again to verify it.

  7. Enter a hint, which will help you remember your password if you forget it in the future.
  8. Click Reset password.

You will be prompted to Update Keychain Password, Create New Keychain, or Continue Log In. If you are able to recall your old Mac login password (maybe you had it stored somewhere in your computer), choose Update Keychain Password. This is the best choice because you won't lose any of the passwords you've been keeping stored in Keychain. Otherwise, select Continue Log In to use the same password that you used to reset your Mac login, or select Create New Keychain to set a new password. Neither of the two latter options will access your previous keychain and you will lose all of your saved passwords until you remember the old Mac login. (another reason why a good password manager is invaluable).

How to disable the password requirement to wake your Mac from sleep

I absolutely do not recommend you disable the password requirement to wake your Mac from sleep. However, I realize that some people prefer convenience over security.

Note: This does not disable the password requirement to log into your Mac. So, make sure you don't lose that password. It is much more likely you will forget it if you disable this password requirement.

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences from the drop down menu.

  3. Click Security & Privacy.
  4. Click the General tab.

  5. Click the lock in the bottom left corner of the Security & Privacy window.
  6. Enter your administrator password.
  7. Click Unlock.

  8. Untick the box for Require password....
  9. Click Turn Off Screen Lock to confirm that you want to disable the password requirement to unlock Mac's screen.

  10. Click the lock to prevent further changes.

Again, I don't recommend you disable this option, but there may be a perfectly good reason why you want to leave your Mac unsecured.

Any questions?

Is there anything about changing your Mac's login password that you need help with? Let me know in the comments and I'll help you out.

macOS Catalina


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Apple announces new initiative with HBCUs to boost coding and creativity

Apple has today announced expanded partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to boost coding and creativity opportunities.

Apps For My Mac

Change Mac App

App Icon

Beautiful, compelling icons are a fundamental part of the macOS user experience. Far from being merely decorative, icons play an essential role in communicating with users. To look at home in macOS, an app icon should be meticulously designed, informative, and aesthetically pleasing. It should convey the main purpose of the app and hint at the user experience.

Consider giving your app icon a realistic, unique shape. In macOS, app icons can have the shape of the objects they depict. A unique outline focuses attention on the object and makes it easy to recognize the icon at a glance. If necessary, you can use a circular shape to encapsulate a set of images. Avoid using the rounded rectangle shape that people associate with iOS app icons.

Design a recognizable icon. People shouldn’t have to analyze the icon to figure out what it represents. For example, the Mail app icon uses a stamp, which is universally associated with mail. Take time to design an engaging abstract icon that artistically represents your app’s purpose.

Embrace simplicity. Find a single element that captures the essence of your app and express that element in a simple, unique shape. Add details cautiously. If an icon’s content or shape is overly complex, the details can be hard to discern, especially at smaller sizes.

Provide a single focus point. Design an icon with a single, centered point that immediately captures attention and clearly identifies your app.

iOS icons

macOS icons

If you’re creating a macOS version of an iOS app, design a new version of your app icon. Your macOS app icon should be recognizable, but not an exact copy of your iOS app icon. In particular, the macOS icon shouldn’t use the same rounded rectangle shape that the iOS icon uses. App Store, Maps, Notes, and Reminders provide icons for macOS and iOS that are recognizable, yet distinct from one another. Reexamine the way you use images and metaphors in your iOS app icon. For example, if the iOS app icon shows a tree inside the rectangle, consider using the tree itself for your macOS app icon.

Use color judiciously. Don’t add color just to make the icon brighter. Also, smooth gradients typically work better than sharp delineations of color.

Create A Logo On Mac

Avoid mixing actual text, fake text, and wavy lines that suggest text. If you want text in your icon but you don’t want to draw attention to the words, start with actual text and make it hard to read by shrinking it. This technique also results in sharper details on high-resolution displays. If your app is localized, prefer fake text or wavy lines over actual text in a specific language.

Avoid including photos, screenshots, or interface elements. Photographic details can be very hard to see at small sizes. Screenshots are too complex for an app icon and don’t generally help communicate your app’s purpose. Interface elements in an icon are misleading and confusing. If you want to base your icon on photos, screenshots, or interface elements, design idealized versions that emphasize specific details you want people to notice.

Don’t use replicas of Apple hardware products. Apple products are copyrighted and can’t be reproduced in your icons or images. In general, avoid displaying replicas of devices, because hardware designs tend to change frequently and can make your icon look dated.

Perspective and Textures

Design an icon with appropriate perspective and a realistic drop shadow. In general, an app icon should depict an object as if viewed through an imaginary camera that’s facing the object, positioned just below center, and tilted slightly upward. This camera should be positioned far enough away that the icon is nearly isometric, without appearing distorted. To achieve a realistic drop shadow, imagine a light source that’s also facing the object, but is positioned just above center and tilted slightly downward.


Consider tilting your icon after rendering it. A small amount of rotation can help people distinguish your app icon from documents and folders. A rotation of 9 degrees tends to work well.

Use only black in your icon’s drop shadow. In some contexts, such as Cover Flow view mode in Finder, app icons are displayed against a dark background. If an icon’s drop shadow uses colors other than black, the drop shadow can appear more like a glow.

Portray real objects accurately. Icons that represent real objects should look like they’re made of real materials and have real mass. Realistic icons should accurately replicate the characteristics of substances like fabric, glass, paper, and metal in order to convey an object’s weight and feel. For example, the Preview app icon incorporates glass effectively in its magnification tool.

Mac Change App Icon Mojave

Consider adding a slight glow just inside the edges of your icon. If your app icon includes a dark reflective surface, such as glass or metal, add an inner glow to make the icon stand out and prevent it from appearing to dissolve into dark backgrounds.

App Icon Attributes

All app icons should adhere to the following specifications.

Color spacesRGB
LayersFlattened with transparency as appropriate
Resolution@1x and @2x (see Image Size and Resolution)
ShapeSquare canvas; allow transparency to define the icon shape

Don't provide app icons in ICNS or JPEG format. Add de-interlaced PNG files in the app icon fields of your Xcode project's asset catalog.

App Icon Sizes

Your app icon is displayed in many places, including in Finder, the Dock, Launchpad, and the App Store. To ensure that your app icon looks great everywhere people see it, provide it in the following sizes.

Change Mac App Icon

Icon size (@1x)Icon size (@2x)
512px × 512px (512pt × 512pt @1x)1024px × 1024px (512pt × 512pt @2x)
256px × 256px (256pt × 256pt @1x)512px × 512px (256pt × 256pt @2x)
128px × 128px (128pt × 128pt @1x)256px × 256px (128pt × 128pt @2x)
32px × 32px (32pt × 32pt @1x)64px × 64px (32pt × 32pt @2x)
16px × 16px (16pt × 16pt @1x)32px × 32px (16pt × 16pt @2x)

Simplify your icon at smaller sizes. There are fewer pixels to draw as icon size decreases. In your smaller icons, remove unnecessary features and exaggerate primary features so they remain clear. Even when a high-resolution size matches the pixel dimensions of a standard size, you should still consider simplifying the smaller rendered image. For example, the 128pt × 128pt @2x icon appears smaller onscreen than the 256pt × 256pt @1x icon, even though both icons have the same number of pixels. Visually smaller icons shouldn't appear drastically different from their larger counterparts, however. Any variation should be subtle so the icon remains visually consistent when displayed in different environments.

Keep high-resolution and standard-resolution artwork consistent. For example, the 256pt × 256pt @1x and 256pt × 256pt @2x images should look the same. Some people use multiple displays with different resolutions. When they drag your icon between their displays, the icon's appearance shouldn’t suddenly change.