If you have an account on your Mac that’s no longer used and is taking up valuable disk space, you can remove it in just a few steps. Our guide will take you through everything you need to do to delete a user on a Mac quickly and easily.
Step 1: Ensure you have administrator access
Deleting a user on a Mac requires you to have administrator access. You’ll need to be logged in to the administrator account and know the admin username and password to delete a user. You’ll also have to ensure you’re not logged in to the account you wish to delete — if you want to delete an administrator account, you’ll have to create another admin account and log in with that first.
Step 2: Enter the administrator password in System Preferences
Now that you’re ready to go, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen, then click System Preferences > Users & Groups.
Once you’re on the Users & Groups pane, click the padlock in the bottom-left corner and enter the admin username and password. This prevents any unauthorized changes from being made to user accounts.
Step 3: Remove the unwanted account
To remove the unwanted account, simply click the account name in the list of users, then click the minus sign at the bottom of the window. You’ll now be presented with a few options, which we’ll go over below.
- Save the home folder in a disk image: If you feel like you might want to restore the user account later, this is one option you can choose. It archives all the user’s documents and information so that they can pick back up where they left off if their account is later restored. The disk image of their files is saved in /Users/Deleted Users/.
- Don’t change the home folder: This removes the user account from the login screen, but most other things are left in place. Their home folder remains in /Users/ and you can restore their account later if you want to.
- Delete the home folder: This will completely remove the user’s home folder and all their information and documents, freeing up whatever space they were occupying. If you want to restore their account, you will have to set it up from scratch again.
When you’ve made your choice, click Done.
Step 4: Remove the guest user option
Your Mac may have a guest user enabled. This allows people to log in without a password, although they can’t change any system or user settings and their files are deleted when they log out.
If you want to delete the guest user account on your Mac, follow steps 1 to 3 above but instead of clicking on a named user, click the Guest User entry in the left-hand column.
Now, uncheck the Allow guests to log in to this computer box. This will disable the guest user account. You can also toggle whether guest users can connect to shared folders on your Mac — this can be enabled or disabled regardless of whether you allow guest users to log in.
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