MacOS - login dialog latency

Hi gang!

You know the login dialog. Enter correct password, there’s the Desktop. Almost instantaneously on my system.

However, if I type the WRONG password, macos seems to be really thinking hard about it. 2 or 3 seconds at least, before it decides that it was the wrong password.

Why would the engineers at Apple add that delay, even for the first incorrect password attempt? The actual verification of the password will take the exact same time whether it’s right or wrong. I know, 1st world problem, but kinda annoying. Most times, I already know that I mis-typed it just as I hit Enter…

A small annoyance, but I am mostly curious as to the reasoning behind this design decision.


I would image that it’s a look and feel decision. Most users if something is the correct value want it to be instantaneous and the software to feel snappy.

On the flip side if it’s wrong most users prefer a slight delay as it provides the illusion that the software thought about it. / is actually working

The trick is making sure the delay is not too long, then the system feels sluggish and slow.