How to change your username on a Mac

Change your Mac's usernames in 4 easy steps

How to change your username on a Mac
It’s important to know how to change your username on a Mac, especially if multiple people use your computer. You can change your username on your account any time you want, as long as you have the right administrator password. Here’s how to change your username on a Mac without creating any problems!

Before you begin, please take the time to back up any important information that you may need from this user account. If something goes wrong, you could accidentally lock the account or create other problems that may leave you without access, so prepare accordingly.

Step 1: Log into a different administrator account

Apple Login

You cannot rename an account that you are currently using. So, your first step is logging out and then logging into your administrator account (the one that provides the authorization to change things like usernames, etc.). You can log out at any time by selecting the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your Mac, and choosing Log Out [name you want to change].

If the account that you are using has administrator privileges, then you’ll need to find a workaround. The easiest way is to log out and then create an alternative administrator account for these steps. You can delete this temporary account when you are finished with the other steps.

Step 2: Rename the home folder

how to change your username on a mac

For a complete name change, you will need to start with your home folder. Your home folders are located in the Users folder. You should be able to find the Users folder by going to the Finder menu, selecting Go, choosing Go to Folder, and then typing in Users.

Here, look for the folder that has the “short name” of the username you want to change. For example, if the full name is “John Mac” then the short name may just be “John” (or it may be identical to the full name). Jot this name down, because you’ll need it later, and then change the short name folder to the name that you want. Don’t bother shortening it. You’ll have to put in the administrator password again at this point.

Step 3: Log into Users & Groups to find your user profile

Mac Users and Groups

Head over to System Preferences, which you can find in the menu bar. Here, select Users & Groups and click the padlock button so that you can start making changes — you will probably have to enter the administrator password yet again at this stage.

Look for the username that you want to change, and right click on it (or control click, double-tap, whatever opens the shortcut menu on your computer). From the shortcut menu, choose Advanced Options. This should take you to a new window.

Step 4: Rename the proper fields and restart

In Advanced Options, look for two fields called Account name and Home directory. In the Account name field, you will want to change the name to the exact same name that you gave the home folder in step 3. Make sure the names match exactly and that there are no spaces, otherwise this won’t work.

In the Home directory field, do the exact same thing. Input the precise new username that you want for your Mac.

Now select the Ok button in Advanced options. Log out of this administrator account, and log into the account whose name you have changed (the new name should now be visible). Check to make sure that all your files and apps are visible, and that everything appears to be working properly. Perform a few basic actions and open some documents. If everything looks good, then your new username is ready to be used!

Note: This method works with the latest MacOS updates, including High Sierra, El Capitan, and Yosemite. Some of the icons or names may be a little different, but the basic steps are the same. If you don’t have one of the latest updates, then your operating system is already a few years out of date, and we suggest you update it before you try changing usernames.

Computing

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step by step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Social Media

Over selfies and an onslaught of ads? Here's how delete your Instagram account

Despite its outstanding popularity and photo-sharing dominance, Instagram isn't for everyone. Thankfully, deleting your account is as easy as logging into the site and clicking a few buttons. Here's what you need to do.
Mobile

Here’s how to set up an alternate appearance for Face ID

Would like to add a second face for your iPhone FaceID? Maybe your face looks different at work, or you have a loved one that you want to be able to unlock your phone. Here's how to set up an alternate appearance for Face ID.
Computing

How to protect your iCloud account

From Chinese hacking to identity theft, it's not surprising if you're a little worried about your iCloud data. Here's how to protect your iCloud account with a few simple security steps. It will only take a few minutes, and we'll walk you…
Computing

Problems with Microsoft’s Windows October 2018 Update aren’t over yet

Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 update is not having a great launch. More than two weeks after its debut and Microsoft is still putting out fires as new bugs are discovered and there's no sign of its re-release as of yet.
Computing

Chrome 70 is now available and won’t automatically log you in to the browser

Google has officially launched Chrome version 70 on Windows Mac and Linux. The update introduces some new Progressive Web App integrations on Windows 10 and also tweaks the much controversial auto login with Google Account feature.
Computing

Corsair’s latest SSD boasts extremely fast speeds at a more affordable price

Despite matching and besting the performance of competing solid-state drives from Samsung and WD, the Corsair Force Series MP510 comes in at a much more affordable price. Corsair boasts extremely fast read and write speeds.
Computing

New Windows 10 19H1 preview lets users remove more pre-installed Microsoft apps

With the release of the latest Windows 10 19H1 preview build on October 17, Microsoft is letting some consumers remove more of the pre-installed inbox app bloatware from their machines. 
Computing

Apple’s 2020 MacBooks could ditch Intel processors, arrive with ‘ARM Inside’

If you're buying a MacBook in 2020, be on the lookout for a new "ARM Inside" banner. Apple is reportedly working on transitioning away from Intel processors for its MacOS lineup in favor of new custom A-series ARM-based silicon.
Social Media

Tumblr promises it fixed a bug that left user data exposed

A bug on blogging site Tumblr left user data exposed. The company says that once it learned of the flaw, it acted quickly to fix it, adding that it's confident no data linked to its users' accounts was stolen.
Computing

Microsoft patent highlights a potential VR text input system

A new patent awarded to Microsoft could lead to a new typing method for virtual reality and on Xbox consoles. The virtual radial dial puts letters within easy reach of joystick commands and offers predictive typing, too.
Computing

Ryzen shine! AMD’s next CPUs could beat Intel at gaming in 2019

AMD's upcoming Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs could offer as much as a 13-percent increase in instruction per clock. With clock speed or core count increases, that could gave them a huge performance boost.
Computing

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 packs Snapdragon 850 into Always Connected Windows 2-in-1

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 is set to go on sale at the start of November and should be a solid addition the collection of Always Connected Windows laptops. It packs a Snapdragon 850 and a 20-hour battery.