How to add a new user account to your Mac

By , May 30, 2016

OS_X_users_icon

Not that long ago, we showed you how to enable the guest account on your Mac so that people could use your Mac without tampering with your own apps and files, but it’s more of a temporary solution than anything because any progress they make is reset after they log out.

If you know the other person who is using your computer will be using it more often than just once in a blue moon, then you might consider making them a completely separate user account from your own.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a new user account on your Mac.

Why create another user account

Creating another user account in OS X is a great idea for families who want their children or significant other to have a separate user account from their own, all while sharing the same computer.

Although the guest account option is a lot easier to enable, logging out of it deletes all files from the user account and resets all settings back to the factory defaults by the time the account is logged back into again. Ideally, this feature is great for institutions who want guests to be able to log onto their computers to use them momentarily, but not really for private Mac owners.

With a separate user account, this isn’t the case. The other user(s) is free to modify and set up the new user account to their liking and their progress will be saved. This can all be accomplished while giving the administrator of the computer (the owner) the privacy they want for their own apps and files because other users won’t be able to access them.

How to create a new user account on Mac

If everything sounds good to you so far, then you’ll be happy to know it’s easy to set up a new user account. To do so, just follow these steps:

1) Launch your Mac’s System Preferences app and click on the Users & Groups preferences pane button.

Creating a new user account on mac

2) Unlock the Users & Groups preferences pane by clicking on the Lock button at the bottom of the app.

Make changes to Mac users and Groups Settings

3) Enter your administrator password when prompted, then click on the blue Unlock button.

Enter password for new Mac user

4) Once unlocked, click on the + button to add a new user account to your Mac.

Create new account on Mac button

5) Fill out the form you will see next with a name for the account and a password, but leave everything else alone. Then, click on the blue Create User button.

User account info on Mac

6) The user account is now made, and you can set the user account profile picture to anything you’d like.

New User Account on Mac Created

You’ve just created a new user account on your Mac, and you can log out of your own account and log in to the new account you created as soon as you’re ready to.

Something to keep in mind

Unlike a guest user, another user account will actually save data and write data to your disk. This means another user account has the potential to let someone eat up precious storage space with their own files and apps.

You will need to decide if a guest account or a dedicated user account is right for the person you are letting use your computer. If it’s going to be temporary, then a guest account will suffice. Those who you know are going to be using your computer quite often should probably get their own user account.

Just to recap, another person’s user account cannot access files that are in your account and cannot access the apps installed on your account, so it’s a good idea from a security standpoint. The apps will have to be installed on the user account separately and can be configured by the user to their own liking.

Wrapping up

The ability to create new user accounts on your Mac is a useful one that makes it feasible to share a computer with someone without having them invade the privacy of your own apps and files.

Do you have multiple user accounts on your Mac? If so, tell us why in the comments below.

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