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How to customize the “About This Mac” section of a Mac

The “About This Mac” window contains information relating to your computer specifications and OS version, and is useful for quickly checking any of those details. However, it’s a little impersonal, and often (on a Hackintosh), incorrect. If, like me, you enjoy customising your machine to your own personal taste then this guide should help somewhat, by jazzing up the “About This Mac” section. If you own a Hackintosh then this guide may be of especial utility, as their non-Apple components and varied range of specifications can mean that “About This Mac” contains errors, or fails to provide any information at all. For these users the guide may be of functional use. If you’re on a real Mac, it’ll be for more aesthetic purposes.

These edits will work on macOS versions from Yosemite (10.10) to Sierra (10.12). Prior to that the file locations were different, but can still be modified with a little research. Let me know if you need any other file locations, and on which OS, and I’ll try to oblige.

Changes do not always survive a system update, though often do.

For all of these examples, BACK UP the original file to a safe location on your computer before modifying it, in case of a mistake or wanting to revert to stock later.

This section will modify the circular image of your OS version on the main “About This Mac” page. On older OS versions, this used to be an image of your computer hardware, and I still prefer that.

1) Open a Finder window, and navigate to your /Applications folder. Find the /Utilities folder inside, and inside that, the System Information application.

2) Right-click the application and select Show Package Contents.

3) Once inside the application, look inside Contents/Resources. Find the file entitled SystemLogo.tiff.

4) Backup the original file, and then replace it with the image you want to use. It must be renamed to SystemLogo.tiff, SystemLogo.png, SystemLogo.jpg, etc.

5) After a logout/login or reboot the new image should appear in place of the pedestrian Sierra logo. For illustrative purposes I chose an image of the most pathetic piece of hardware known to Rick-kind.

For future reference, the full file path for this image is:

To revert, simply replace your backup of the original file, overwriting your edited image.

Changing the Model Name and Year

This section will change the reported hardware model and production year on the main “About This Mac” page. On a Hackintosh this page will usually report the Model you have selected in your SMBIOS settings, but you might want it to say something different. For example, for best performance on my hack, I have an iMac model set in my SMBIOS. However, the case I made for it is from an old G5, so I want that model to be reported instead in “About This Mac”. If you are on a real Mac this will likely be just, as they apparently say, “for funsies”.

1) Open a Finder window and navigate to your home User folder (the one containing your Documents, Pictures, Movies, etc.)

2) Inside that, open the Library folder. If you cannot see it, it may be hidden. You can find it with our guide. Do not confuse it with /Library by mistake, it must be /Users/YOUR_USERNAME/Library.

3) Inside the folder, open Preferences and look for the file entitled com.apple.SystemProfiler.plist.

4) Copy the file, and paste one somewhere as a backup. Then paste another copy to your Desktop to edit. Do not try to edit the file in place, it will not work.

5) Right-click the copy on your Desktop and open it with your .plist editor of choice. I use TextWrangler, which is free on the App Store.

6) In the editor, look through the file for the CPU Names entry which describes the current Model and Year of your computer. Mine originally said “iMac 27-inch, Late 2012”.

7) Edit the text in that line to report your preferred hardware name and year, or whatever text you like. Save the document and exit.

8) Drag the edited file from your Desktop back into the

/Library/Preferences folder we got it from to overwrite the original. Authenticate with your user password if required.

9) After a reboot the changes should be visible in the “About This Mac” window.

For future reference, the full file path for the document to edit is:

To revert, simply replace your backup of the original file, overwriting your edited .plist.

Changing the processor name

This setting may allow you to change the processor name, but I have had mixed results. It worked on my Hackintosh, but not on my MacBook Pro, so your mileage may vary.

1) Open a Finder window, navigate to the System folder, and then to the Library folder inside. (Not the “Library” folder we visited in the Model name section).

2) Inside Library, go to PrivateFrameworks, and find AppleSystemInfo.framework.

3) Inside this framework, navigate to /Versions/A/Resources/. Then find the folder for your system language. If yours is English, go to English.lproj.

4) Inside that folder, find the file AppleSystemInfo.strings. Copy the file, and paste one somewhere as a backup. Then paste another copy to your Desktop to edit. Do not try to edit the file in place, it will not work.

5) Right-click the copy on your Desktop and open it with your editor of choice.

6) In the editor, look through the file for the UnknownCPUKind entry which describes non-standard CPU models. Mine originally said “Unknown”.

7) Edit the text in that line to report your preferred CPU model and speed, or whatever text you like. Save the document and exit.

8) Hackintosh only, Mac users skip to Step 9.

Open up your Clover config.plist, and under the CPU section set the Type to Unknown. I used Clover Configurator for this step but it can be done manually too.

9) Drag the edited file from your Desktop back into the folder we got it from to overwrite the original. Authenticate with your user password if required.

10) After a reboot the changes should be visible in the “About This Mac” window.

And there you have it! My under-powered robot’s CPU is now correctly reported. Remember this section may not work for you, especially on a real Mac, as it will probably not default to the “Unknown CPU” field. Setting the CPU type to “Unknown” in Clover on a Hackintosh forces it to use the field, and therefore work.

For future reference, the full file path for the document to edit is:

To revert, simply replace your backup of the original file, overwriting your edited .strings file.

Changing the Displays image

This edit is one of the most useful, as many people use external displays, and they come from many third-parties. Consequently, a generic icon is used by Apple in the “Displays” section of “About This Mac”, and in the “Displays” section of “System Preferences”. Many people will wish to change this to an image of their specific external display model.

1) Open a Finder window, and navigate to the System folder. From there, open Library, then CoreServices, and locate the file CoreTypes.bundle.

2) Right-click CoreTypes.bundle and select Show Package Contents. From there, go to /Contents/Resources, and find the file called public.generic-lcd.icns.

3) Make a backup of this file somewhere safe, and then place an image of your own display, or whatever image you like, into that folder. It will replace the generic display image. Make sure the file you place there is called public.generic-lcd.icns. The file must be in .icns format. I use Image2Icon for this; it is available on the App Store for free.

4) After a logout/login or reboot, your changes should be visible.

For future reference, the full file path for the document to edit is:

To revert, simply replace your backup of the original file, overwriting your edited .icns file.

As you can see by browsing through, many other basic system images and pieces of text are contained in the files and folders we have been editing in this article. With a bit of digging you can find many other useful things to change in the locations we have been looking.

Just make sure to always make a backup of any files before changing them, and preferably to have a clone of your whole system too. That way if you delete a truly crucial file you can boot from the clone and replace it.

Was this guide helpful to you? Did you customize “About This Mac” on a Mac or a Hackintosh? Do you know of any other similar customisations which I missed off the list? Let me know if you do!

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Question: Q: ‘about this mac’ not working

Does anyone else have an issue with the ‘About this Mac’ function?

I simply want to see how much memory I have left so I clicked on the ‘Apple’ then clicked ‘About this Mac’ as normal but there is absolutely no response?

Is there a keyboard shortcut I can use?

I have a 2011 iMAC Intel with Yosemite OS X installed and have had no issues with anything up until last night.

iMac, OS X Yosemite (10.10.2)

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 9:28 AM

All replies

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Thanks for the question. If I understand correctly, you are not able to open About This Mac from the Menu bar. I would recommend that you read this article, it may be able to help the issue.

You can try starting in Safe Mode, it might be another program interfering.

Follow these steps to start up into Safe Mode.

  1. Be sure your Mac is shut down.
  2. Press the power button.
  3. Immediately after you hear the startup sound, press and hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be pressed as soon as possible after startup, but not before the startup sound.
  4. Release the Shift key when you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

After the Apple logo appears, it may take longer than usual to reach the login screen. This is because your computer is performing a directory check as part of Safe Mode.

Thanks for using Apple Support Communities.

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How to find my MAC address on Mac OS X?

These instructions explain how to find MAC address on your device with Mac OS X.

The first way

Select System Preference from the Apple menu .

Then, select Network .

On the next screen select Wi-Fi and click on Advanced .

On this screen, you will see the MAC address. Also, you can click on the Hardware tab.

The second way

Select About This Mac from the Apple menu .

Then click on System Report .

Here you can see your MAC address.

The third way

Yet another way to get your MAC address on newer versions of Mac OS X is a search for the network Utility.app , if you have this, you launch the application.

Using terminal

Another way to find MAC address on Mac OS X is by using the terminal.

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The Eclectic Light Company

Macs have a lot of different identity numbers, settings, and other key bits of information which you will need to access at some time or other. The hardware serial number is an obvious example, but there are many others, including the hardware UUID, MAC addresses for each network port, and so on.

These and much more are provided by the About This Mac dialog (at the top of the  menu), and the System Information app which is launched when you click on the System Report… button there.

Tricks

If you’re unsure whether your Mac supports Bluetooth LE Continuity features such as Handoff and Instant Hot Spot, select the Bluetooth item in Hardware to see a list of those features, and a detailed list of all Bluetooth devices which your Mac knows.

If you have an optical drive installed internally or connected externally, select the Disc Burning item in Hardware to see all the formats which it supports, and burn speeds.

Extensive details of your network settings, both current and in saved locations, are provided in the Locations item under Network.

To discover whether an installed app was purchased from the App Store, and inspect its version and signature details, select the Applications item in Software. This also lists a lot of hidden apps, such as uninstallers and tools bundled with suites such as Microsoft Office. The information provided about signatures is not as detailed as that given by Objective-See’s neat What’s Your Sign?, but should suffice for a quick check.

To see what has recently been installed or updated, including silent security updates pushed out by Apple, select the Installations item in Software. Then click twice on the Install Date column header, which sorts installations in date order with the newest at the top.

System Information gives some access to selected logs, in the Software section, the Logs item, but these are of very limited use compared with a proper log browser, even Console.

One important piece of information is currently missing from System Information: if you have a UPS connected to a USB port and have set automatic shutdown in the Energy Saver pane, those settings are not shown in the Power item, nor in its USB listing. You will either have to refer to the preferences file, or the settings shown in the pane itself.

Startup problems and instability

Now that it is much harder to browse your Mac’s logs, System Information is a good place to start if you are concerned that you have old extensions or other items which are causing problems during startup or later.

In the Software section, the Extensions item gives a full listing of all kernel extensions (KEXTs), which you can sort by the Obtained from column to make it easier to check third-party extensions. Loadability, dependencies, and signature details are also given, together with the date of last modification. These can give you clues as to which extensions may be suspect.

Although the Frameworks item can also be helpful on occasion, the other important sections to browse when checking for causes of instability are Preference Panes and Startup Items.

Index of useful information available

Accessibility features enabled – System Information, Accessibility
Apple Diagnostics, when last run, result – System Information, Diagnostics
application origins, version, signing – System Information, Applications
Bluetooth device details, including whether paired, battery levels – System Information, Bluetooth
Bluetooth discoverability – System Information, Bluetooth
Bluetooth File Exchange setup – System Information, Bluetooth
Bluetooth version – System Information, Bluetooth
boot ROM version – System Information, Hardware
codecs and components, types, locations – System Information, Components
disk repair logs – System Information, Logs, Filesystem repair log
display colour depth, resolution, auto brightness adjustment – System Information, Graphics/Displays
display size and resolution – About This Mac, Displays
drive storage type, capacity, used – About This Mac, Storage
drives, medium types, S.M.A.R.T. status, etc. – System Information, Hardware section, bus type; for most Macs, internal drive(s) will be in SATA/SATA Express; also System Information, Storage
Energy Saver pane settings – System Information, Power
Ethernet port name – System Information, Ethernet Cards
fonts, types, validity – System Information, Fonts
graphics card and memory – About This Mac, Overview; Displays
Handoff support – System Information, Bluetooth
Instant Hot Spot support – System Information, Bluetooth
kernel extensions (KEXTs) – System Information, Extensions
MAC addresses of network ports – System Information, Network
macOS version (full) – System Information, Software
macOS version (short) – About This Mac, Overview
memory size and type – About This Mac, Overview
memory slot usage – About This Mac, Memory
Metal accelerated graphics support – System Information, Graphics/Displays
model identifier (e.g. iMac17,1) – System Information, Hardware
network connections – System Information, Network
Network pane settings, by location – System Information, Locations
optical drive, format and burn support – System Information, Disc Burning
POST (Power on self-test), when last run, result – System Information, Diagnostics
Power Management settings – System Information, Power
printer driver version – System Information, Printers
processor type and clock rate – About This Mac, Overview
processors, number, cores, caches – System Information, Hardware
scanner support – System Information, Printers
scanner UUID – System Information, Printers
serial number (computer) – About This Mac, Overview
SIP status – System Information, Software
SMC version – System Information, Hardware
software installations, latest, details – System Information, Installations
startup disk – About This Mac, Overview
Thunderbolt cable and device serial numbers, etc. – System Information, Thunderbolt
time since last startup/restart – System Information, Software
updates, latest, details – System Information, Installations
UPS support (limited info) – System Information, Power
USB devices connected – System Information, USB
UUID (hardware) – System Information, Hardware
Wi-Fi interfaces – System Information, Wi-Fi

A lot of information is given in multiple places. The location listed above is normally the most useful, and most easily accessed.

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Mac OS X Hints
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