A Beginner’s Guide to Mac User Accounts

New Mac users may not yet be using multiple user accounts, one for each individual using the Mac. Using accounts is a good way to keep from stepping on each other's toes when more than one person share a Mac. They are a must if you want to use iCloud or customize your Mac experience in any way. You can also set up a guest user account for one time uses.

Comments: 8 Responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to Mac User Accounts”

    Bob
    2 years ago

    Gary, I respectfully disagree in one aspect: If all users operate day to day out of ‘standard’ accounts, it adds an additional layer of security against nefarious types installing whatever without permission. I’ve been doing this for eons & the only real difference (I’ve noticed) is that an admin password must be entered to install software. Leave an admin account unused. I could be mistaken, but seem to remember learning of this strategy in the Apple support help forums. Cool videos, Thanks!

    Eric
    2 years ago

    How can I transfer iTunes music files from one account to iTunes in another account on the same computer?

    2 years ago

    Eric: It depends on where the music originated from. If there were music files you created yourself (ripped CDs, for instance) then you’ll need to copy the files to the other account (using the Shared folder is one way) and drop them into iTunes.

    -Sx-
    2 years ago

    Standard accounts without a password cannot become ‘admin’ (or root) … another advantage over other non- unix like systems :)

    Barry Lewis
    2 years ago

    How do I manage Login Items, Finder Preferences, etc. on the Guest Account? I can change them when logged into the account – for example, I can go into Finder Preferences and uncheck Hard Disks under “show these items on the desktop” – but nothing is saved when I logout because it is a Guest account! Thanks, Barry

    2 years ago

    Barry: That’s right. It is an account for a one-time use. There is no way to save preferences of any kind because there is no point since you can never log in a second time.

    Christol James
    2 years ago

    Is it possible to change the name of the primary account user admin? When my macbook was new I plugged it into an older computer to grab all the files (as per the setup instructions) and it gave me a user/Home name that belonged to the original owner of the old computer. Or is there a way to move all the files under that Home username to another?

    2 years ago

    Christol: This is dangerous to do, so I would make sure your Time Machine backup is up-to-date and maybe do a clone or at least copy all of your files to a second backup before starting. Then Apple has some instructions at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201548

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