OS X Mountain Lion: Set up users

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Set up users

If several people regularly use your Mac, you should add them as users. You can manage what users see, protect users’ privacy, and ensure that only people you’ve authorized can get access to your Mac.

About user and group accounts

Add a user

To add a user, you must be an administrator for your Mac. The user you created when you first set up your Mac is an administrator.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Users & Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon in the lower-left corner to unlock it, and then type an administrator name and password.

    The Password pane of Users & Groups preferences

  3. Click Add (+) in the lower left.

You can choose the type of user and specify what the user can do on the computer. For more information, see this help topic:

Create a new user account

Customize the login experience

You can control what users can see and do when logging in.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Users & Groups.
  2. Click Login Options.

    The Login Options pane of Users & Groups preferences

    Set up login options

Add a group

Add groups when you want to control access to folders or files for a group of users.

For example, you can grant a group permission to read and write items in some folders, only read items in other folders, and have no access to other folders. All members of the group share its folder access permissions.

Add a group

Let occasional users log in as guests

You can let people use your computer temporarily by logging in as guests. A guest user can log in without entering a password, but can’t change other user or computer settings. When the guest user logs out, any files the user created are deleted.

Set up guest users

Last Modified: Sep 4, 2015

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