You can easily create separate user accounts on your Mac, which will ensure that everyone who uses it can personalize their setting and keep their files separate. This tutorial shows you how to do that.
Types of accounts you can create on Mac
1. Standard accounts
Creating standard user accounts in macOS 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 Mac. Other Mac users can’t access files of other accounts.
2. Guest accounts
The guest user account is designed to let your friends and family use your computer temporarily, and as a result, information and settings that are created or accessed by the guest account are 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.
Important: This means that if anyone uses the guest account to create a new document, they will need to save this document on some kind of USB flash drive, Dropbox, or another storage medium before they log out. If they don’t, the file will be purged at log out.
3. Admin accounts
It can be a tough decision to have multiple administrator accounts on your Mac. Personally, for security reasons, I never give anyone but myself administrator access, but there are certainly some situations where having multiple administrator accounts would come in handy. Just to list a few:
- When two parents need their own accounts to better manage their kids’ accounts
- When there is more than one administrator at a facility or institution, such as a school
- When some people need higher privileges than other users on your computer
It goes without saying that you should be very careful who you give administrator rights to because someone with this privilege can wreak some serious havoc if they can’t be trusted.
4. Sharing Only
With a Sharing Only account, you can share files with other users remotely. These sharing-only users cannot log in to your Mac or change its settings. This is used in conjunction with File Sharing, Screen Sharing, or Remote Management settings found in System Settings > General > Sharing.
Finally, using Group, you can bundle together several users of that Mac and give them the same privileges.
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, make sure you have the admin right and follow the steps below.
How to create a new user account on Mac
- Open System Settings on Mac running macOS Ventura or later.
- Select Users & Groups.
- To enable a guest account, hit the info button ⓘ next to Guest User and enable the switch for ‘Allow guests to log in to this computer.’ Optionally, you can also block adult websites for guests and allow them to connect to shared folders.
- To create a new account, click Add Account and enter your Mac’s admin password.
- Select the type of account from the drop-down menu next to New Account.
- Fill out the form with the full name, account name (keep it short with no spaces), and password. With all done, hit Create User.
Optionally, you can set the user account profile picture to anything you’d like.
On macOS Monterey and earlier
- Open System Preferences and go to Users & Groups.
- Click the lock button and enter your admin password to unlock it.
- Once unlocked, click on the plus button (+) button to add a new user account to your Mac.
- Now, fill out the form and click Create User.
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 and be able to save data on it should probably get their own user account.
If you don’t need a particular user account on your Mac anyone, then deleting it is just as easy.