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Mac OS X 10.6: Changing the way users log in

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Changing the way users log in

You can require users to enter a password to log in to your computer, or you can turn on automatic login, which automatically logs in a specified user each time the computer starts up.

Automatic login is useful if you’re the only person who uses your computer, and the computer is always in a safe and secure place. If you have more than one user account on your computer, or if you’re concerned about the security of information on your computer, you should require users to log in with a password. Automatic login is not available for accounts that are using FileVault encryption.

If you require users to log in, you can change what they see in the login window. You can show a list of users with a picture next to each name and a place to enter the password, or require users to enter both their user name and password.

To change the way users log in:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Accounts.

  2. Click the lock icon to unlock it, and then type an administrator name and password.

  3. Click Login Options.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To require users to log in whenever the computer starts up, choose Off from the “Automatic login” pop-up menu.

    • To have the computer automatically log in to a particular account when the computer starts up, choose the account from the “Automatic login” pop-up menu, enter an administrator password, and click OK.

    Important: Automatic login allows anyone to get immediate access to your computer simply by restarting it. If you turn on automatic login, make sure the computer doesn’t automatically log in to an account with administrator privileges.

  5. Next to the ”Display login window as,” select how you want the login window to appear:

    • To have users select an account from a list in the login window, select “List of users.”

    • To require users to type their user account name and password, select “Name and password.”

  6. To show each user’s password hint, select the “Show password hints” checkbox.

If you turn on automatic login for yourself, the computer opens your account when it starts up. If you log out, other users see a login window to log in to their user accounts.

Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
  • Article: PH6709
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