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OS X Mountain Lion: Restore a deleted user

Restore a deleted user

If a deleted user’s home folder was saved, you can restore the user and the user’s home folder.

The technique you use depends on whether the home folder was saved as a disk image or a regular folder.

Restore the home folder from a disk image

  1. Locate the home folder in the Deleted Users folder in the Users folder at the top level of your hard disk.

    The filename of the home folder is the same as the user’s account name and ends in .dmg.

  2. Double-click the disk image to open a window showing the home folder contents.
  3. In the Users folder, create a new folder to serve as the deleted user’s home folder.

    Choose File > New Folder, enter the deleted user’s account name as the name for the new folder, and then press Return.

  4. In the disk image window showing the home folder contents, choose Edit > Select All to select all the items.
  5. Drag the selected items into the folder you created in step 3.
  6. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Users & Groups.
  7. Choose a type of user from the New Account pop-up menu.
  8. Enter a full name for the user.

    An account name is generated automatically.

  9. If necessary, edit the account name so it matches the name of the old home folder.
  10. Enter a password for the user in the Password and Verify fields, and then enter a hint to help the user remember the password.
  11. Click Create User.
  12. Click Use Existing Folder.
  13. You can also do one of the following:
    • To give the user administrator privileges, select “Allow user to administer this computer.”

    • To manage the user by using parental controls, select “Enable parental controls.” Click Open Parental Controls to open Parental Controls preferences and set up computer usage restrictions for the user.

Restore the home folder from a saved folder

  1. Locate the home folder in the Users folder at the top level of your hard disk.

    The filename of the home folder is the same as the user’s account name followed by (Deleted).

  2. Rename the home folder by removing (Deleted) so that the folder name becomes the account name of the deleted user.
  3. Follow steps 6 through 13 of the above task.
Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
  • Article: PH11069
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