How to create a guest account on your Mac

By , May 23, 2016

OS_X_users_icon

In OS X, just like most desktop operating systems, you can have more than one computer user. For instances where you may need to share your computer with someone else, it can be convenient for you to create a guest user rather than risk your security from your own administrator account.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can enable the guest user account on your Mac.

About the guest user

The guest user on a Mac has fewer privileges than an administrator such as yourself does.

The guest user account is designed for letting your friends and family use your computer temporarily, and as a result, information and settings that are created or accessed by the guest account is deleted and/or reset every time the user logs out. This makes it feel like you’re logging into a factory-restored Mac each time you use it.

This means that if your friend uses it to write a paper for school, they will need to save it on some kind of USB flash drive, Dropbox, or another storage medium before they log out; if they don’t, they’re going to lose it.

Please keep in mind that changes made inside of the guest account do not affect files and settings of other accounts on the computer, including your own.

Enabling the guest account on your Mac

If another person will be using your computer besides you, it’s a good idea to enable the guest account on your Mac. This way, they’re not logging into your personal OS X account and tampering with your own files and settings.

The guest account is easily enabled from the System Preferences app on your Mac, and can be done via these simple steps:

1) Launch the System Preferences app on your Mac and open the Users & Groups preferences pane.

OS X Guest User Account Preferences pane 1

2) Now, make sure you’re in the Password tab, and click on the lock icon at the bottom of the preferences pane to unlock the settings.

OS X create guest account unlock button

3) You will be asked to enter your admin password, so go ahead and authorize the action by entering it, then click on the blue Unlock button.

OS X System Preferences is trying to unlock users & groups pefernces type your password to allow this

4) If you entered your password correctly, then the Users & Groups preferences pane will now be unlocked to you.

5) Click on the Guest User option on the left side of the preferences pane:

OS X Users & Groups Guest User

6) Now put a check mark under the Allow guests to log in to this computer option, and this will enable the guest login for your Mac.

Allow guests to log in to this computer preferences pane mac

And now that the guest account is enabled, you can start using it immediately after you log out of your Mac or restart it.

Wrapping up

Enabling the guest user on your Mac is a good idea if someone else is going to be using your computer, and it’s not hard to do at all.

Anything is better, in terms of security, than letting someone just log into your administrator account and do whatever they darn well please, and that’s why the guest account exists in OS X.

Also read: How to enable guest mode on iPhone

Will you be enabling the guest account on your Mac? Share in the comments!

  • Share:
  • Follow: