Every user of a Mac has their own user account. In case you use Mac all on your own there’ll be only one account – yours. If you have to share Mac with someone else – for example, your colleagues or family members – several user accounts will be created. Here are the types of user accounts that can be created on a Mac:

  • Administrator account – any settings on Mac can be changed in it;
  • User account –only some settings can be adjusted;
  • An account manageable with parental control – created to ensure the safety of children online;
  • An account for sharing – exists to allow other users to access a limited number of files on your Mac through a network;
  • Guest account – works with a limited number of options.

This article will tell you how to create, use and delete each of these types of user accounts on Mac.

macos user account

Administrator account on Mac

The first account ever to be created on a brand new Mac is the administrator account. It allows making all types of major changes: for example, creating new user accounts and modifying the existing ones. The first administrator can assign other users to become administrators, too (there can be an unlimited number of administrator accounts for one Mac). Besides, it can change the passwords of all other Mac accounts. The first Mac administrator can apply parental control restrictions to any of existing accounts. The other things the first administrator controls are: choosing which startup disk the computer should use, adjusting security and backup settings, selecting which files on Mac can be shared, etc.

To check on the existing user accounts, open System Preferences – Users & Groups. First, the panel will be locked. To access it, you need to click the icon of the padlock and enter your admin password. Next, you’ll see a list of all accounts that exist on the Mac, create a new account and set a range of options.

You can find your user account at the top of the list as ‘Current user’; click it open all possible options. There will be two tabs – ‘Password’ and ‘Login items’. On the Password tab, you can change the password of your own or another user’s account. Find ‘Enable parental controls’ at the bottom of the page, to apply this to your child’s user account.

Switch to the tab ‘Login items’, to check the list of applications that are launched when you start up Mac or log into your account. Add new apps to this list by dragging in their icon, or by clicking the plus ‘+’ icon and searching for an application. To remove an app, select it in the list and click the minus ‘-‘ icon.

Standard user Mac account

Standard users can access any files in their own home folder (the one which has their username and an icon of a house on it). Besides, in System Preferences, they can adjust settings which apply personally to their use of the Mac. However, the ability of a standard Mac user to access system files or change a range of settings is limited.

A new account of a standard Mac user can be created by clicking the icon + at the bottom of the list of all users. A sheet of a Standard type of user account will open. In it, type in a Full name of a user, an Account name and confirm the new password. After clicking the button ‘Create user’, a new account, as well as a new home folder will be created.

An account with parental control

The type of user account designed specifically for children using your Mac. Select ‘Managed with parental controls’ when creating a New Account. Next, you will be asked to choose one of the following ages: 4+, 9+, 12+ or 17+. A set of certain parental restrictions corresponds to each of these age categories.

After having selected the age group, proceed with all further settings same way as for a Standard Mac user account. Once finished, select the new account from the list of all users and check next to the option ‘Enable Parental controls’. Click the button ‘Open parental controls’, to type in your password. Now, you can limit a number of things that your child can access.

A user account only for sharing

Through a Sharing only account, another user(s) can only access a range of specifically shared folders on your Mac. Creating such account can be useful if you share files at work or home. To come up with such account, choose ‘Sharing Only’ in the menu of a New Account. To enable access to selected folders, go to System preferences – Sharing preference.

Guest user account

When creating a new account, choose ‘Guest user’ in the pane User & Group preferences. Select the user; put a check next to Allow guests, to let them log in to your Mac.

This type of account allows a ‘Guest’ to browse online, manage their email account and send messages. Their files won’t be saved, and anything will be deleted from Mac once they log out. They won’t be able to access any files on your Mac unless you enable them to.

How to delete user accounts on Mac?

Once you no longer need some of the user accounts, you can delete it easily by clicking it in the Mac user list. Next, click the ‘Delete’ icon. Note, that all of the files in a user’s home folder will be deleted as well.

Well, now you see that creating, adjusting and deleting user accounts on Mac is easy. Go ahead and customize your Apple computer by coming up with user accounts to suit your needs! Just remember to first perform junk files cleanup (with High Sierra, Sierra or El Capitan cache cleaner) and back up all your data – and you’re good to go!