How to Create User and Administrator Accounts on Mac

How to Create User and Administrator Accounts on Mac

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There is an opportunity to create multiple accounts on Mac and to share your working machine with family members, colleagues and friends and to be sure that your private information is completely safe.

At the same time, each user can set their own desktop wallpapers, have own Home folder and change other preferences to make Mac look and feel the most comfortable. As you know, many apps allow to use own preferences for different users, so it is one more reason to create separate user accounts on your Mac.

It works with iTunes libraries, Messages and iChat accounts with own contact lists, Safari bookmarks, iPhoto and Photos albums, Address book, and so on.

Creating user accounts on Mac is not a difficult process. You just need to act like an administrator to create user accounts, so you have to log into your Mac using the account you created while setting your Mac for the first time. So, while you are logging in with your admin account, let’s get started.

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What account types are there on Mac OS?

Mac OS offers five account types for users:

  1. Admin account
  2. Standard user account
  3. Managed with parental controls
  4. Sharing only account
  5. Group account

However, let’s go back to creating a standard user account.


How to Add a User Account to Your Mac?

  1. Fo to ‘System Preferences’. This can be done by selecting it from the Apple menu or clicking on the icon in your Dock.
  2. Select ‘Accounts’ or ‘User and Groups’ icon. You will see the pane for managing accounts.
  3. Find a click the icon with a lock on it in the left corner. The system will ask you to type your admin password. Type it and click OK.
  4. Tap on the button with a plus + on it below the lost of the currently existing accounts.
  5. You will see the sheet called ‘New account’.
  6. Find the dropdown menu and select ‘Standard’ from all the account types. Note, that this is the default option on Macs.
  7. Create its name in ‘Full name’ or ‘Name’ line. Usually, people name their accounts like ‘John Smith’ or ‘Ann Black’.
  8. Choose a nickname and add it to the ‘Account name’ or ‘Short name’ field. For example, ‘john’ or ‘annie’. Nicknames must not include special characters or spaces, they also usually consist only of lowercase letters. What’s more, Macs usually suggest users short names, you can accept them or create your own nickname.
  9. Create a password for your new user account and type it into the ‘Password’ field. Choose your own one or ask the Password assistant to generate it. For doing this, click on the icon with a key on it next to the field with your password.
  10. Confirm your password by typing it to the next field called ‘Verify’.
  11. In order not to forget your password, you can create a hunt in the field called ‘Password hint’. It is some word or phrase which should recover the password from your memory in case you forget it.
  12. Finish creating the account by clicking on the ‘Create user’ or ‘Create account’ button.

After you do all the 12 points, a new user account will be created on your Mac. Moreover, a new Home folder will appear. It will be named by the new user’s name, its icon will be chosen randomly, you can change it to any you want from the list of images.

You can repeat all the steps described above to create more user accounts on your Mac. When you are done with them, find the icon with a lock on it in the lower left pane’s corner, click on it. This will prevent others from changing their preferences.

You now can share your Mac with your family and friends. Everyone will have full access to its functions along with setting own preferences and customizing everything without interfering others’ accounts.


How to Add an Administrator Account to Your Mac?

As I noticed earlier, you have already created an admin account while setting up your Mac for the first time. So, there is one administrator account by default. However, why not to share admin privileges with someone else? Moreover, your family members may need admin privileges for installing apps, and you are most likely don’t want to be their technical support all the time.

Admin accounts have the same capabilities as ordinary user accounts such as desktop wallpapers, own preferences, Photo and iTunes libraries and so on, but at the same time accounts of administrators have additional privilege levels that allow users to changes Mac’s operating settings. I mean system preferences, applications, software, and the way your Mac works. Standard user account can’t perform all these actions.

Well, as in case with standard accounts, setting up a new admin account is not a big deal. Moreover, you can “promote” a standard account to admin. I’ll tell how to do this later. Make sure you’re logged in as the Mac’s administrator. Now, let’s go further.


Steps of Creating a New Administrator Account

  1. Go to ‘System preferences’ by clicking on the icon in your Dock.
  2. Select ‘Accounts’ or ‘Users and groups’, it depends on your Mac OS version. Accounts preferences pane will open.
  3. Click on the icon with a lock on it. Type in the admin password and select OK.
  4. Find the + button below the accounts list and click on it.
  5. It will take to to the ‘New account’ sheet.
  6. In the drop-down menu, choose ‘Administrator’ from all possible account types.
  7. Further steps will be similar to those you should take for creating a standard user account. Nevertheless, I’ll repeat them once more here. Create its name in ‘Full name’ or ‘Name’ line. Usually, people name their accounts like ‘John Smith’ or ‘Ann Black’.
  8. Choose a nickname and add it to the ‘Account name’ or ‘Short name’ field. For example, ‘john’ or ‘annie’. Nicknames must not include special characters or spaces, they also usually consist only of lowercase letters. What’s more, Macs usually suggest users short names, you can accept them or create your own nickname.
  9. Create a password for your new user account and type it into the ‘Password’ field. Choose your own one or ask the Password assistant to generate it. For doing this, click on the icon with a key on it next to the field with your password.
  10. Confirm your password by typing it to the next field called ‘Verify’.
  11. In order not to forget your password, you can create a hunt in the field called ‘Password hint’. It is some word or phrase which should recover the password from your memory in case you forget it.
  12. Finish creating the account by clicking on the ‘Create user’ or ‘Create account’ button.

Done! Your new admin account is created as well new Home folder with its short name. The picture for the user icon will be chosen randomly but you can change it later.

You can create as many accounts as you need by repeating the steps described above. After you are done with everything here, find the lock icon in the lower left corner and click on it. This will prevent other users from interfering your user accounts.


How to make a standard user an admin?

As I promised, here is the manual about how to “promote” an already existing user to admin.

  1. Visit ‘System preferences’.
  2. Select ‘Accounts’ or ‘Users and groups’, it depends on your Mac OS version. Accounts preferences pane will open.
  3. Click on the icon with a lock on it. Type in the admin password and select OK.
  4. Find the necessary account from the list.
  5. Put a check next to the ‘Allow user to administer this compute’ line.

That’s all! You can do the same changes to any other account. After finishing find the lock icon in the lower left corner and click on it. This will prevent other users from interfering your user accounts.