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OS X Lion: Set up a guest account

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Set up a guest account

If you want others to be able to temporarily use your computer, but you don’t want to create user accounts for occasional users, you can use a guest account.

A guest user can log in to the computer without entering a password. Guest users can’t make changes to other user accounts or change computer settings, and they can’t log in remotely.

You can use parental controls to manage a guest account. For example, you can limit the applications a guest user has access to, or filter Internet content.

When FileVault is turned on, guest users can’t log into your computer. For more information about FileVault, see:

Encrypt the information on your disk with FileVault

Important: Files created by a guest user are deleted when the user logs out. A temporary home folder is created for the guest user’s files, but this folder and its contents are deleted when the user logs out.
  1. Choose Apple Menu > System Preferences, and then click Users & Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon to unlock it, and then type an administrator name and password.
  3. Select Guest User in the list of accounts.
  4. To let a guest user log in to the computer, select “Allow guests to log in to this computer.” However, guest users can’t log in remotely.

    You can set up parental controls for guest users who have login privileges. Select “Enable parental controls,” and then click Open Parental Controls.

  5. To let a guest user access shared files from another computer on your network, select “Allow guests to connect to shared folders.”

    You can also use a sharing-only account to give others remote access to shared folders.

    Change a sharing-only account

Last Modified: Oct 30, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Oct 30, 2013
  • Article: PH4489
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