Guest User Accounts

If you want to give someone else access to your Mac, like a house guest or someone visiting you at work, use the Guest Account instead of letting them handle your real user account. Guest Accounts are easy to switch to, and protect all of your documents, settings and other data from mistakes the guys might make. When the guys is done, the Guest Account is wiped out completely, leaving nothing behind. You should have your own account, and anyone else who 'owns' the Mac with you, like a spouse or other family member should have their own account as well. Anyone else should use a Guest Account.

Comments: 10 Responses to “Guest User Accounts”

    Barry
    5 years ago

    following your video, When I set up Guest account on my MacbookPro, all I get is Safari. No dock, so no access to any other applications. The look is not the same like the screen is black and no desktop picture exists. only a black screen. what am I missing?

      5 years ago

      Sounds like you have selected options to limit access under Parental Controls in your System Preferences.

    Marty
    5 years ago

    How can I replace the “ghost” icon for the Guest Account? I share my Mac with my wife and daughter, and everytime we switch Users, we see that icon and I would like to replace it with a photo of someone or a cartoon character or anything other that what’s there now. Thanks.

      5 years ago

      If you really want to, you can change it. Though I’m not sure it is worth tinkering in your system if you are not 100 percent comfortable. It is at /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/LoginUIKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LoginUICore.framework/Versions/A/Resources/ in Yosemite — two GuestUser.png files (regular and retina). Use Shift+Command+G to get there.

    Scott Beattie
    5 years ago

    The guest user is great for allowing random visitors to use your Mac – but the guest user behavior is different when File Vault is enabled. With File Vault enabled – attempting to access the guest user – will force you to reboot the Mac into a Safari-only environment – thus it is necessary for other users to log off first. Without File Vault enabled – you can simply switch to the guest user without actually logging off – if you have fast user switching enabled or are at a login screen.

    MARTIN
    5 years ago

    I just purchased an imac and i have two accounts… one for my wife and the main one for myself… how can i keep my account unaccesible from my wife and viceversa… yeahh i know… trust issues… dont ask… if i could do it, it will save a lot of blaming and time… she likes to move things around and then i cannot find documents and or programs… thank you!

      5 years ago

      They already are inaccessible. You can’t access her stuff and she can’t access yours. Just remember to log out or switch away. You can’t switch users without logging in to that account.

    William
    5 years ago

    If the same program is used by both users, is it loaded twice? I have lost the password to a guest account on my Macbook and suspect that unnecessary space is being taken up on my hard drive.

      5 years ago

      As long as you have access to one admin account you can reset the password on any account. The guest user account doesn’t have a password. If you are not in the guest user account right now, then it is closed out and nonexistent. But if you mean another user account, then you can simply go to System Preferences, Users and Groups and change the password from any admin account.
      But all you need to do is to restart the Mac and everyone gets logged out.
      Also, don’t confuse “space” with “memory.” Apps use memory when running, but not much and OS X is smart about freeing up memory when an app is inactive. Storage space isn’t being used by running apps (well, sometimes, but probably not in the way you are thinking). Apps are stored in your Applications folder which is shared by all users. So one copy of each app, not matter how many users you have. You can install an app into a special Applications folder for that one user, but that’s the exception, not the default behavior and most Mac users would never do that.

        Bill (William)
        5 years ago

        Thank you!

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