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How To Change User Short Name On Mac OS X

written by: •edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 9/16/2009

If you wish to change the short name of your user account on Mac OS X, use the complete procedure described below for Mac OS X 10.5 and later.

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    What Is The Short Name In Mac OS X

    Every Mac OS X user has a short and full name and one short name. The short name can have maximum of 255 characters (lowercase only & without spaces) or 8 characters maximum in OS X 10.1.5 and earlier). The short name is used for creating a Mac OS X user’s home directory inside the Users folder.

    Further in this article, we will find out how to change the short name on Mac OS X 10.5 or later

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    How To Change The Short Name

    There are a number of methods through which you can alter the short name but the safer and easier one is to make a new OS X user, give it a desired name and then copy old user’s entire content into new user’s directory.

    Remember to backup your important data (from Documents, Desktop and other areas on your hard disk) before attempting to change the short name. Here are the steps you need to change the short name.

    1. Enable and login as root user.

    2. Go into the Users directory and rename the Home folder you wish to change the name of.

    3. Open up Accounts Pane, create a new user and give it a new name, which you chose in step 2.

    4. A message will appear saying “A folder in the Users folder already has the name 'short name'. Would you like to use that folder as the Home folder for this user account?” Click on Yes.

    5. Log out and then log back in as new user. You will have access to all your files in Documents, Desktop and all folders that belongs to this Home.

    6. Once you are satisfied with your data as expected, you can get rid of the original account from Accounts pane.

    7 Disable root . Visit this web-page for instructions.