Pin Me

Creating New Accounts On Your Mac

written by: Donny Yankellow•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 1/28/2010

Have to add a new user account to your Mac? Here's the step by step process.

  • slide 1 of 2

    Why a new account?

    If you are the only user of your Mac, you probably only have one user account set up. This would be the account you made when you booted the computer for the first time. What if you wanted to add a second user to your machine? How would you do it? This article will walk you through the steps. You will need the administrator password to be able to add a user to the computer. Of course, if you are the only user you should know that password, so it won't be a problem.

    You might be wondering why you would need a second account on your computer, especially if you are the only user. Well, for one thing you might not always be the only user. There might come a time when you need to add a family member or even a friend.

    However, even if you aren't adding a person to the users on your computer there is another reason for having a second account. There are times when things just go wrong on your computer and you can't figure out what is going on or why it is happening. A second user account can help you figure out the problem.

    If you are having such a problem, you can log into the second account and see if the same problem occurs. If it doesn't happen you know that something is causing the problem in the "main" user account and not the general system of the computer that all users share. This might not tell you much, but it could help you avoid reformatting your drive and losing a lot of time... and give you a place to start.

  • slide 2 of 2

    How to add a new account

    So how do you add an account? It is very easy to do.

    Go to the Apple Menu and choose System Preferences.

    From there pick "Accounts."

    Image 1 

    Click the lock in the lower left and enter the administrator password when prompted.

    Image 2 

    Click "+" to add an account. Enter the information and set the status of the user. If it is an emergency account you probably want to make it an administrator so you can do everything and anything you might need to. If it is for someone else you might want to make a standard account or parental control account to limit what that person can do on the computer.

    Image 3 

    "Click Create Account" and the account is made.

    Next you will have to decide how you want to login to the computer. Click "Login Options." Here you can decide if you want the computer to always login as the same person or prompt you when the computer turns on with a window to choose who is logging in.

    If the account you created is just for emergencies and you have always automatically logged into the computer, you can just keep it that way. You could even have auto login if the person you added will rarely be using the computer. You can just log out when you need to switch users.

    If the person is going to be on the computer a lot, you probably want the option of a login screen. That way the person logging in can choose themselves and enter their password.

    Once you set the login options you can quit System Preferences and you are done! It is just that easy.