OS X Lion: Create user accounts for others

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Create user accounts for others

If several people regularly use your Mac, you should create a user account for each person. User accounts let you 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

Create a user account

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

  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 the Add button (+) in the lower left.

You can choose an account type for each user to manage what they can do on the computer. For more information about creating an account, including the types of accounts, see:

Create a new user account

Customize the login experience

You can control how the login window appears to users.

  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

Create a group account

Create group accounts when you want to assign the same privileges to a group of users.

For example, you can assign specific file access privileges to a group. All members of the group share those access privileges.

Create a group account

Use a guest account for occasional users

If you want others to be able to temporarily use your computer, you can let them log in as guests. A guest user can log in without entering a password, but can’t change other user accounts or computer settings. When the guest user logs out, any files the user created are deleted.

Set up a guest account

Last Modified: Oct 30, 2013

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