Monthly Archives: November 2014

Help your missing Mac laptop find its way home

Laptops out at airport security?  What if you forget to put that laptop back in the bag? I know, you would never do such a thing. Nor would I, except that I did. Ran the Athens Marathon, was doing the airport security routine. Asked the guard if I should take my laptop out. Guard said yes. Retrieved all other items, zipped up my bag and was on my way–without my laptop. It was only after I arrived home that it was missing. The good news is that the airport security folks turned over my laptop to the Hellenic Police and its on its way back home. I remembered a simple trick that would have saved me a whole lot of trouble and cash. Put a contact number on your lock screen. It takes only a few minutes. A good Samaritan could call, send a text, or email while you’re still sitting in the Lounge.

Normally, your MacOS lock screen looks something like this:

MacOS Login Screen


Sorry, we have no idea how to return this laptop to someone.

Instead, your laptop could look like this:


Contact information right on the home screen. I know, you could also do something like put a label on the outside of the laptop, but that would be too easy.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Download Cocktail.  This nifty little program allows you to tweak many settings on your Mac. We’re going to use it for one thing: adding your contact information to your lock screen.

2. You’ll probably have to “allow apps from unidentified developers,” if you haven’t already.

3. Launch Cocktail. Select Login tab. Enter your contact details. Press apply.

Cocktail Login Screen Elements

That’s it. You’ll have your mobile and email on your home screen.

For extra credit, you should be sure to enable find my Mac, for iCloud–that will help you find all of your iOS devices. I’ve recently started tinkering with Prey which is like Lojack for laptops…it helps you track things down in the event your device falls into less scrupulous hands.