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OS X Mavericks: Set up users on your Mac

Set up users on your Mac

If your Mac has multiple users, you should set up an account for each person so he or she can personalize settings and options without affecting other users.

To begin, open Users & Groups preferences, then click the lock icon to unlock it. If necessary, type your password, then click Unlock.

To permit new users to access your shared files or screen, you may need to change settings in the File Sharing, Screen Sharing, or Remote Management pane of Sharing preferences.

Add a user

  1. In Users & Groups preferences, click Add (+) below the list of users.
  2. Choose the type of user you want to create from the New Account pop-up menu.

    Be sure you know the different user types before you choose. For descriptions, see:

    About users, administrators, groups, and guests

  3. Type a full name for the new user. An account name is generated automatically. To use a different account name, enter it now—you can’t change it later.
  4. Enter a password for the user, then enter it again to verify. Using a password hint is recommended to help the user remember his or her password.
  5. Click Create User.
  6. Depending on the type of user you create, you can also do any of the following:
    • To let the user access your shared files and screen using an Apple ID, click Set, then enter the user’s Apple ID. The Apple ID must be the same as an Apple ID entered for the user in Users & Groups preferences on the user’s Mac.

    • To let the user reset the password while logging in on this Mac, select “Allow user to reset password using Apple ID.” If this option is dimmed, click Set, then enter the user’s Apple ID.

    • For an administrator, select “Allow user to administer this computer.”

    • For a child or other managed user, select “Enable parental controls.” Click Open Parental Controls, then set up restrictions for the user.

    • For a sharing only user, specify which folders the user can view and whether the user can share your screen. For more information, see:

      Share your files

      Share your screen

Create a group

  1. In Users & Groups preferences, click Add (+) below the list of users.
  2. Choose Group from the New Account pop-up menu.
  3. Give the group a name, then click Create Group.
  4. Select each user and group you want to add to the new group.

Customize the login experience

If you are an administrator, you can specify how the login window looks to all the other users.

  1. In Users & Groups preferences, click Login Options.
  2. From the “Automatic login” pop-up menu, you can choose one user, or Off.

    If you choose a user, then whenever the Mac starts up, that user is automatically logged in. Automatic login takes effect the next time you restart the Mac. For better security, don’t set your Mac to automatically log in an administrator.

    If you choose Off, then at startup the Mac opens a login window showing all the users.

  3. Select the options you want. If you have any questions, click the Help button for detailed information.

If FileVault is turned on, automatic login is disabled. For more information, see:

Encrypt the information on your disk with FileVault

Convert a standard user to an administrator

Select a standard user or managed user in the list of users, then select “Allow user to administer this computer.”

Let occasional users log in as guests

A guest user account lets others use your Mac without setting up a full account or using someone else’s. You can use parental controls to limit guests’ activities, and specify which folders they can view.

  1. In Users & Groups preferences, select Guest User in the list of accounts.
  2. Select “Allow guests to log in to this computer.”
  3. If you like, select “Enable parental controls,” then click Open Parental Controls. For details about the limits you can set, see:

    Set up parental controls

  4. To let guests use your shared folders from another computer on the network, select “Allow guests to connect to shared folders.”

When guests log in, they don’t need a password.

Last Modified: Oct 23, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Oct 23, 2013
  • Article: PH14411
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