Users and Logging In

When you first install Mac OS X (or when you first boot your new hardware), you have to create at least one user account. Mac OS 9 first introduced the option of setting up a multiuser Mac system, but you weren’t required to set up individual user accounts as with Mac OS X.

Tips for Users

Here are some helpful hints to assist you in managing your user account:

Configuring my login?

System Preferences Accounts Login Options.

Change my login password?

System Preferences My Account; click on the Change button next to My Password.

System Preferences Accounts username Edit User.

Use the passwd command in the Terminal.


When choosing a password, you should avoid using dictionary words (i.e., common, everyday words found in the dictionary) or something that could be easily guessed. To improve your security, choose an alphanumeric password. Remember, passwords are case-sensitive, so you can mix upper- and lowercase letters in your password as well.

Add another user to the system?

System Preferences Accounts New User (requires administrator privileges).


Unix administrators might be tempted to use the useradd , userdel, and usermod commands to add, remove, and modify a user, respectively, from the Terminal. The only problem is, you can’t—those commands don’t exist on Mac OS X.

Remove a user from the system?

System Preferences Accounts username Delete User (requires administrator privileges). After a user has been deleted, that user’s ...

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