Creating a New User Account in Mac OS X

July 19, 2011, By Christian Cawley

In order to control who uses your Mac and what they do with it, you will need to create a new user account and apply certain controls. As you should have already seen there are several non-Administrator account types that can be used, although in most cases you will probably want to use the standard account. Guest accounts can also be useful if your Mac is regularly access by casual users.

At the account creation stage, or perhaps later on by opening the account to edit it, you can also spend a few minutes assigning parental controls. These aren’t just for parents, however – they can also be used to manage when other accounts can be used, when Internet access can be gained and what apps can be run.

To get start with adding and managing user accounts, head to Apple > System Preferences > System > Accounts – in order to make any changes you may need to unlock the padlock in the lower-left corner, which will require your Administrator password.

ating and Managing a New User Account in Mac OS X

Creating a New User Account in Mac OS X

To create a new account, simply click the + button and in the New Account: field select the type you which to setup. Typically, this would be a Standard account. With the person’s name entered, and account name should then be displayed based on this, which you can either leave as it is or alter.

You should then enter and verify the chosen password for this account, and you might even like to leave a password reminder in the hint box.

If you have security concerns, this account can have its Home folder encrypted, and this is activated via the Turn on FileVault protection check box. With everything selected as you need it to be, click Create Account, and you will see your new Standard user account added to the list on the left.

Further Mac OS X Account Creation Tips

With the steps above followed you should have managed to pretty much master the art of creating a new user account in Mac OS X, and although it is pretty simple there are a few further options. For instance, you might want to assign Administrator privileges to a newly created account, which can be done by selecting the account from the left-hand pane and checking the Allow user to administer this computer box.

Similarly, you might like to manage the access times of an account, which you would do by selecting the account and checking Enable parental controls before selecting the Open Parental Controls… box. Here, you can restrict Internet access, control when and what games are run, and even prevent the computer itself from being used during specified times.

One word of note, however: you will be unable to make any changes to an account that is currently logged in. To make changes to a non-Administrator account, sign out and log back in as the Administrator and head to the Accounts screen to make any necessary changes.

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