Sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of days. I have been really busy and unable to have time to write anything. Todays post is going to explain the types of accounts you can have on your Mac and what to do with them. I will also introduce some tips to make sure you don’t do anything that could potentially harm your user account.
Picking The Right Account
All of the account settings are done under System Preferences > Accounts. There are three type of accounts available to you. Guest, Normal and Admin. You can also have a root account, however this is not recommend for everyday use. If you want to enable the root account for what ever reason, please see this post.
A normal account and an admin account are very similar. Both allow you to do every day tasks. However a normal account will ask you for you admin password when you are doing stuff to your computer that could be deemed dangerous to your system. An admin account has less restrictions. Please note that when you first step up your first account on your Mac this first account is an admin account. A pro tip here is to make a general account for admin use every so often and not one you will use everyday.
A guest account is a special type of account that doesn’t save any settings. As a result you can use it as you wish, when you log off it will delete all files and settings and set it back to default. This is useful if you have kids using your Mac or want to use an account which leaves nothing behind.
Setting Up New Accounts
Setting up new accounts is simple, on the left hand side (known as the sidebar) is all of your accounts. If you click the plus button below you can add a new account. Here you have the option of picking the type, Standard is most common. Although you can have admin and managed with parental controls. Parental controls give you a lot of control on when the account is used and what it can be used for.
In the new account window you can pick a name, this is a standard name of the account. You can have more than one account with the same name. A short name, this sets up special permissions in Finder, you can only have one short name on your Mac at the same time. Then you choose to pick your passwords and hints. That’s it, simple and easy to set up. You can begin using your Account right away.
Other setting on the screen include the ability to set your login image and to enable parental controls on an account. At the very bottom of the sidebar the Login Options can be used to set up how your Mac is run. For example within these settings you can set an automatic login account, change how the login screen looks and the ability to set up fast user switching, where you can be logged into more than one account at a time. You can use these settings to really lock down your Mac and increase its security.
What Not To Do
There is two things that you should be away of when you are playing with account settings. Do not, rename your folder in Finder, usually found under /Users/. This will wipe your account and can leave you with no files or folders. As well as this, be careful if you click the minus button in the sidebar of Accounts in System Preferences. This will delete your account and it can be very hard if not impossible to recover. If you want to do any modifications to names or user accounts, always fo it through the System Preferences pane.