MacMost Now 670: Changing Your Short User Name

Your short user name is both your account name and the name of your home folder. You can't really change it. But you can create a new user account and move everything to that account if you are willing to put a lot of effort into it.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 670: Changing Your Short User Name”

    Jim
    8 years ago

    Hi Gary… Thanks for all of the great videos.

    I’ve got five Macs and thought I would try the the Apple instructions using the root user that you mentioned in your video. I couldn’t get it to work on a new Macbook Air running Lion. Admittedly, I was a little nervous so I aborted at the first sign of a problem, even though I had a clone and Time Machine backup of the drive.

    Instead, I created an alias via Login Options-Advanced that appears to have accomplished my goal. My goal was to be able to move to any of my Macs (via network or physical presence) and type in a consistent administrators name each time the Mac requested it when installing software, etc.

    (I think the root user method may not have worked because my short name on the Lion machine was not all in small case letters, something that I migrated to the MacBook Air (which is why I wanted to change my short name), but who knows.)

    Sean
    7 years ago

    Hei Gary! Thanks for the tutorial. I have a question. You said that we can’t change the home folder name because it’s tight to the system and applications. If I create a new admin account and delete the old one, what about the system and application that tight to my old short username? will that affect the new user? or I can connect my system and application to the new home folder name? thanks anyway.

      7 years ago

      Creating a new account and then deleting the old one is a valid way to do it. It will work as long as you remember to move over all of your files and don’t mind starting from the beginning with system preferences, settings, options, accounts, etc. It won’t affect applications unless you have specifically installed some for only one user (it is rare that anyone does that). And, of course as long as you are using the same App Store ID and iCloud ID, etc.
      I would only recommend this if you absolutely MUST change your short user name for some reason. Don’t do it unless it is absolutely necessary and back up everything first, of course.

    Joe
    7 years ago

    If I changed my short name (which I might do), I would also like to transfer an Apple icloud id email that has purchases to a new one. Is this possible? Also, I “reached my limit” on creating free icloud accounts on my new macbook, is there a way to permanently delete the previous ones I no longer want and have them erased from my machine’s history? I’m new to apple products and it seems every click is being recorded and unchangeable, unlike microsoft which I used all my life up until now.

      7 years ago

      These things are unrelated. User accounts on your Mac have nothing to do with iCloud/iTunes accounts. You should have only one iCloud/iTunes account. You can sign out and sign in to iCloud/iTunes accounts on various apps (Mail, iTunes, App Store, etc) but you should never have to as you should only have one. And that is unrelated to how you organize your Mac hard drive and local users.

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