How to Change or Remove a User in Mac OS X Lion

4 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of File and Folder Permissions in Mac OS X Lion

When working with user accounts and file sharing in Mac OS X Lion, circumstances might dictate that you need to change a user’s identity, password, or accessibility, or perhaps delete a user. Follow these steps to change an OS X Lion user’s name, password, or administration permissions:

  1. Choose Apple→System Preferences (or click the System Preferences icon in the Dock).

  2. In the System Preferences window, click the Users & Groups icon.

    If the lock icon at the bottom of the window is locked, you have to click it and provide an administrator password before you can proceed.

  3. Select the user’s name in the accounts list.

  4. Make your changes by selecting the existing username and then replacing the old with new text or a different setting.

    • If you want to change the password, click the Reset Password button and make your changes in the sheet that appears.

    • To change the picture or other capabilities, click the Picture, Login Options, Allow User to Administer This Computer (to make this user an administrator on this Mac), or Enable Parental Control check box and make the appropriate changes.

      To change a user, you must be logged in using an account that has administrator powers.

  5. Quit the System Preferences application or choose a different System Preferences pane.

    Your changes are saved when you leave the Users & Groups pane.

To delete a user, select the user you want to delete in the list of accounts and then click the – button. A sheet appears, offering three choices:

  • Save the Home folder in a disk image saves a disk image of the user’s Home folder in a folder named Deleted Users (which it creates inside the Users folder).

  • Don’t change the Home folder removes the user from the Users & Groups System Preferences pane and login screen but leaves that user’s Home folder in the Users folder. (Deleted) is appended to the folder’s name.

  • Delete the Home folder does what it says. You have the option of a secure erase (the contents get overwritten multiple times) if you select this option.

To remove a user from your Mac, you must be logged in using an account that has administrator permissions.

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The Essentials of File and Folder Permissions in Mac OS X Lion

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