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Manage Profiles On Your Apple MacBook Pro

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If your Mac has multiple users, you should set up an account for each person so each can personalize settings and options without affecting the others. You can let occasional users log in as guests without access to other users’ files or settings. You can also create groups. You must be an administrator of your Mac to perform these tasks.

This guide will assist with:

  • Creating and deleting user profiles
  • Changing your password and user picture
  • Converting standard user to an administrator

? What would you like to do?

  1. Create a new user
  2. Delete a user
  3. Change your password or other user settings
  4. Convert a standard user to an administrator
  5. Exit

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If your Mac has multiple users, you should set up an account for each person so each can personalize settings and options without affecting the others. You can let occasional users log in as guests without access to other users’ files or settings. You can also create groups. You must be an administrator of your Mac to perform these tasks.

This guide will assist with:

  • Creating and deleting user profiles
  • Changing your password and user picture
  • Converting standard user to an administrator
  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Screenshot of the Apple menu, with System Preferences selected.

  2. Click Users & Groups.
    Screenshot of the System Preferences window, with Users & Groups selected.

  3. Click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.
    Screenshot of a lock icon.
      
  4. Click the Add button below the list of users.
    Screenshot of a plus icon.
      
    Screenshot of the user and groups screen with account type, name, account name, password, and password hint highlighted

  5. Click the New Account pop-up menu, then choose a type of user.
    • Administrator: An administrator can add and manage other users, install apps, and change settings. The new user you create when you first set up your Mac is an administrator. Your Mac can have multiple administrators. You can create new ones, and convert standard users to administrators. Don’t set up automatic login for an administrator. If you do, someone could simply restart your Mac and gain access with administrator privileges. To keep your Mac secure, don’t share administrator names and passwords.
    • Standard: Standard users are set up by an administrator. Standard users can install apps and change their own settings, but can’t add other users or change other users’ settings.
    • Managed with Parental Controls: Users who are managed with parental controls can access only the apps and content specified by the administrator managing the user. The administrator can restrict the user’s contacts and website access, and place time limits on computer use.
    • Sharing Only: Sharing-only users can access shared files remotely, but can’t log in to or change settings on the computer. To give the user permission to access your shared files or screen, you may need to change settings in the File Sharing, Screen Sharing, or Remote Management panes of Sharing preferences.
      Screenshot of the New Account pop-up. Choices are Administrator, Standard, Managed with Parental Controls and Sharing Only.

  6. Enter a full name for the new user. An account name is generated automatically. To use a different account name, enter it now as you can’t change it later.
  7. Enter a password for the user, then enter it again to verify. Enter a password hint to help the user remember their password.
  8. Click Create User.
  9. Click the user you just created.
  10. Depending on the type of user you create, you can also do any of the following:
    • 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.
    • Use Sharing preferences to specify whether the user can share your files and share your screen.
  11. The new user is now ready to be used. Log off and then log back in to get started.

If you’re an administrator, you can delete users that you no longer want to have access to your Mac. You can also delete groups you don’t want.

When you delete a user, you can save the user’s home folder, which contains the user’s files and settings, or delete it. A sharing-only user doesn’t have a home folder.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Screenshot of the Apple menu, with System Preferences selected.

  2. Click Users & Groups.
    Screenshot of the System Preferences window, with Users & Groups selected.

  3. Click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.
    Screenshot of the lock icon.
      
  4. Select the user or group you want to delete, then click the Remove button below the list of users.
    Screenshot of the minus icon.
      
  5. If other users are logged in to this Mac now, you can’t select them.
  6. Do one of the following:
    • Save the home folder in a disk image: This archives all the user’s documents and information so the user can be restored later if needed. The disk image is saved in /Users/Deleted Users/.
    • Don’t change the home folder: The user’s documents and information remain and the user can be restored later if needed. The home folder remains in /Users/.
    • Delete the home folder: The user information is deleted and the storage space is freed.
    • Delete a sharing-only user or a group: Click OK.
      Screenshot of the delete users screen. Options are Save the home folder in a disk image, don't change the home folder, and delete the home folder. There's a Delete User button in the lower-right corner.

  7. Click Delete User.
    Screenshot of the delete user screen with an annotation around the Delete User button.

  8. Deleting a user may take a few minutes to complete.
If you don’t delete a user’s home folder, you can restore the user and the contents of the home folder.

If you are a standard user or an administrator, you can change your user account settings. If your user account is managed with parental controls, you may be able to change your user settings depending on the settings in Parental Controls preferences.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Screenshot of the Apple menu with System Preferences selected.

  2. Click Users & Groups.
    Screenshot of the System Preferences screen with Users & Groups selected.

  3. Do any of the following:
    • Click Password to change the login password
    • Click the picture to change the user picture.

It’s important to change your login password from time to time to protect your privacy.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Screenshot of the Apple menu with System Preferences selected.

  2. Click Users & Groups.
    Screenshot of the System Preferences screen with Users & Groups selected.

  3. Click Change Password.
    Screenshot of the Users & Groups screen with the Change Password button selected.

    Screenshot of the change password screen. The fields are as follows: new password, verify, and password hint. There is a change password button in the lower right hand side.

  4. Enter your current password in the Old Password field.
  5. Enter your new password in the New Password field, then enter it again in the Verify field.
  6. For help choosing a secure password, click the Key button next to the New Password field.
    Screenshot of the key icon.
      
  7. Enter a hint to help you remember the password.
  8. The hint appears if you enter the wrong password three consecutive times, or if you click the question mark in the password field in the login window.
  9. Click Change Password.

You can change the picture that appears next to a user name in the login window.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Screenshot of the Apple menu with System Preferences selected.

  2. Click Users & Groups.
    Screenshot of the System Preferences screen with Users & Groups selected.

  3. If you want to change another user’s picture, click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password. You can change your own picture without unlocking Users & Groups preferences.
    Screenshot of the Users & Groups window. The lock icon in the lower left is highlighted and should be in the unlocked position in order to make changes. Users are shown on the left. The user's profile icon is in the center.

  4. Select the user account on the left, then click the picture on the right.
    • Instead of clicking the picture, you can drag an image file from the Finder onto the picture.
    • If other users are logged in to this Mac now, you can’t select them.
  5. Do one of the following:
    • Use a picture included with macOS: Click Defaults, then select a picture.
    • Take your picture using your Mac: Click Camera; when you’re ready, click Take Photo.
    • Use a picture from the Photos app: Click Photos. To see specific photos from a time, place, or album, click a disclosure triangle below photos, then select a group of photos. Select a picture, then click Next.
    • Use a picture from the Photo Booth app: Click Photo Booth to see pictures you’ve taken using your Mac and the Photo Booth app. Select a picture, then click Next.

      Screenshot of the user's profile image properties window.

  6. Adjust the picture.
    • Zoom in or out: Drag the slider left or right.
    • Move the picture: Drag the picture around within the circle.

Convert a standard or managed user to an administrator

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Screenshot of the Apple menu, with System Preferences selected.

  2. Click Users & Groups.
    Screenshot of the System Preferences window, with Users & Groups selected.

  3. Click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.
    Lock icon.
     
  4. Select a standard user or managed user in the list of users, then select “Allow user to administer this computer.
    Screenshot of the Users & Groups window with the Allow user to administer this computer selected with a checkmark.

  5. You've successfully converted the standard user to an administrator.