There's more information that goes into a user account, but these are the three aspects related to name and directory:. If you made a typo when setting up a user account or you want to change the name, you can do so. Just remember that there are certain limitations, the most important being that the Short Name and Home Directory name must match. This process is going to make some fundamental changes to your user account. As a result, your user data could be at risk. That may sound over the top, but it's possible for a problem to occur during the process of making changes that causes your user data to become unavailable to you.
Its permissions could be set in such a way that you no longer have access to it.
So, before beginning, take the time to ensure that you have a current backup. If possible, create both a current Time Machine backup and a bootable clone of your startup drive.
Delete a user
If the account you're going to change is your current administrator account, you will need to first have a different, or spare administrator account to use during the process of changing account information. After you create a spare administrator account to use:. Log out of the account you wish to make changes to, and log in to your spare administrator account.
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The option to Log Out is located under the Apple menu. In the Finder window click the home directory to select it.
Click again in the name of the home directory to select it for editing. Enter the new name for the home directory remember, the home directory and the short name that you'll be changing in the next few steps must match. In the Users and Groups preference pane, click the lock icon in the bottom left corner and supply your administrator password. This may be the password for the spare admin account, not your normal administrator password. From the pop-up menu, select Advanced Options. Change the Home Directory field to match the new name you created in step 6.
Hint: You can click the Choose button and navigate to the Home Directory instead of typing in the new name. Once you have made both changes account name and home directory , click the OK button.
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The new account name and home directory should now be available to you. Log out of the administrator account you used to make the changes, and log in to your newly changed user account. Check your home directory, and ensure that you have access to all of your data. If you can't log in, or if you can log in but can't access your home directory, chances are the account name and home directory names you entered don't match.
Log in again using the spare administrator account and verify that the home directory name and account name are identical. The full name of a user account is even easier to change, although the process is slightly different for OS X Yosemite and later versions of the operating system than for earlier versions of OS X. Click the lock icon in the lower left corner and supply the administrator password for the account you're currently using.
Right-click the user account whose full name you want to change. OS X and macOS has come a long way from the days when typos in account names were something you had to live with unless you were willing to look up various Terminal commands to try to correct a silly mistake. The administrator is the person who can change any settings on the computer.
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If there were no administrator, then no one could, for example, set up other new user accounts as well as make other important changes to the way the computer works. In addition to creating new user accounts, the administrator can modify existing user accounts. He or she can allow any user to also be an administrator — you can have as many administrator accounts as you want — and can also reset the password of any user account.
And the administrator can enable and set up parental controls on any account. The administrator can also change settings such as which startup disk the computer uses, which files can be shared, backup and security settings, and more. This preference pane shows a list of existing user accounts, which you create new accounts, it also lets you set a number of login options. Start by looking at your own user account; it's at the top of the list under Current User. Click it and you'll see a number of options.
On the Password tab, you can change your password if you wish it's a good idea to do this every few months , and at the bottom of the pane, you can check Enable parental controls if you want to limit access to the current user. Of course, you probably don't want to do this to your user account, but you may be examining a Mac when someone else, such as one of your children, is the current user. The Login Items tab shows a list of apps that launch when you log into or start up this Mac. Remove any apps by selecting them in the list and clicking the - icon. As I said above, administrators can change any settings on the Mac.
Only administrators can access locked preference panes; to do so, click the padlock at the bottom of the window then enter your administrator's password. Standard users are limited only in their ability to change certain settings and access system files. Otherwise, each standard user has full access to the files in their home folder — the one with the house icon and their username — and can change any settings in System Preferences that apply to their personal use of the Mac.
Change the full or the short name of your macOS account
Enter the user's full name, then an account name — it's best that this is an abbreviated name — then enter a password and enter it again in the Verify field. If you wish to have a password hint, something to remind the user of their password in case they forget it, you can enter that as well. Click Create User, and the Mac will create a new account, and a new home folder, for that user. They will be able to log in and access their files. This type of account is designed for children.
If you select Managed with Parental Controls from the New Account menu in the new account sheet, you will see a menu allowing you to select an age.
Each of these ages correspond to built-in parental controls in apps like iTunes. Once you have selected an age, proceed as above for a standard user account. After the account is created, select it in the list of users and check Enable parental controls. Next, click Open Parental Controls, and enter your password. You have a number of options for limiting what your children can access. A sharing only user account allows a user to access specific shared folders on your Mac.
If you use your Mac for file sharing at home or at work, you may want to create accounts for users so they can access files on the computer but do nothing else.