How to Enable/Disable User Account On Mac or Hide/ Unhide/ Delete

Last Updated on Nov 29, 2021

If you are a Mac user with multiple people from your household using your system, it is best to set up an account for each user. You must be aware that the system allows you to create and maintain multiple user accounts at a time easily, so there is no need to worry about one person prying into another person’s stuff. 

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While the possibility of having more than one account on your Mac does exist, not all of them have the same features. In fact, any other user account created apart from the first one by the administrator (the default user on the system) lacks most system privileges the admin has. These accounts are the ones that you let your colleagues, friends, or family use. The advantage of creating these accounts is that anyone using it will be able to see just as much as you do but without being able to access any of your personal files on the administrator account. 

In situations like when you are away from your Mac, the security of an account is at stake, when an account is no longer in use, or someone using the Mac created a new profile by mistake, you have the option to disable access to that account.

Tricks & Methods to Manage User account on Mac

TIp 1: Change Password

Changing your Mac login password is a trick to stop access for known members in your home or office. S, next time he/she can’t access your account or is Disabled for Him/Her. Without Restart, you can change it on your Mac. for all users if you are an administrator of a Mac computer. Follow the below steps to change Login Password on Mac.

  1. Go to the Apple logo from top Mac menu > System Preferences.system-preferences-for-mac
  2. Select Users & Groups.users-group-on-mac-preferences
  3. Click on Lock to make changes and Enter your Mac administrator password.unlock-mac-settings-in-system-preferencesjpg
  4. Now, Select User for change login password, and Click on “Reset Password”.reset-password-for-added-user-on-mac
  5. Enter New Password [Repeat].enter-a-new-password-for-change
  6. That’s it.

Tip 2: TEMPORARILY DISABLING A USER ACCOUNT:

Here is a step-by-step guide to how you can disable a user account on your Mac:

  1. Go to Apple Menu and open System Preferences. Alternatively, you can use the Launchpad to go to this location. 
  2. There, click on the Users & Groups icon in the bottom row of the window. You will now be able to view the current user settings. users-group-on-mac-preferences
  3. On the bottom left corner of the page, you can find a lock symbol. Click on it to make changes. If a pop-up prompts you to do so, provide the password of the current account.
  4. Right click on the name of the user account you wish to disable and click on Advanced Options.see-user-settings-from-advanced-user-on-mac
  5. When the window opens, you can find various options. Of these, you can find a dropdown list for Login shell.
  6. Here, you will have to change the current shell from /bin/bash to the option /usr/bin/false from the dropdown.disable-user-on-mac-using-shell
  7. After you have made the change, click OK to save and restart your Mac.

When your system turns back on, you can find that the user account you disabled is no longer seen on the Login window. If that is the case, then the change was a success. By now, you would have understood that by disabling an account, you are basically locking it from being used and removing it from the Login window of your Mac.

While we are on the topic, please remember not to try and disable the administrator account or the currently logged-in account. If you need to disable the administrator account, you will have to appoint another user account as the administrator before disabling the former.

If you regret disabling the account by any chance, you can always enable it back to active status. We will tell you how.

ENABLING THE USER ACCOUNT BACK:

Since the account was disabled, it will no longer appear on the Users & Groups section of your System Preferences as well. You can enable the disabled account back by running on the Terminal. In addition, this account you are on must either be the root user or admin privileged user

If the above conditions are satisfied, then follow these steps:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Run this command: chsh <disabledUserName>Instead of disabledUserName, type the name of the disabled account. Example: chsh user1.
  3. The command will open a configuration file of the disabled account, which you can edit by pressing i.
  4. Search and find the value: “Shell: /usr/bin/false” and change it to “Shell: /bin/bash” to enable the user back.
  5. Once changed, press the Esc key and type :x to save the configuration and exit.
  6. Restart your Mac, and you can find the enabled account on your Login window again.

We just told you that after disabling an account, it is possible to enable it back. That means that this method is only a temporary option and not a permanent solution. Some users may also find the disable-enable process a bit tedious.

If you wish to explore more permanent, quicker, and better alternatives to get a user account out of existence, read on to discover the options available.

Hide user account mac Using Terminal

The second alternative on the list is hiding an account from the system. This option is best suited when you believe the security of your account is compromised. 

Here are the steps to hide an account on your Mac:

  1. Log in with the administrator account and go to the Terminal.
  2. Run this command: sudo dscl . create /Users/hiddenuser IsHidden 1.Replace “hiddenuser” with the name of the user you want to hide.
  3. Once you run the command, you cannot find the hidden user on System Preferences.

Unhide User Account Mac Using Terminal

If any User account is hidden using Terminal with the above terminal command, unhide, Now using the below steps.

  1. Log in with the administrator account and go to the Terminal [Command + Space, Type Terminal to Search app].
  2. To unhide the account you just hid, go back to the Terminal and run: sudo dscl . create /Users/hiddenuser IsHidden 0 by replacing “hiddenuser” with the account name you want to show again. That will make the account appear on the Login window. 

This Steps won’t work for the guest user account. For that, follow the subsequent solutions and tips to Remove guest access on Mac.

How to Disable Guest User Account on Mac

Disable Guest User that we can’t delete

On Mac, we can’t delete the default Guest user, but we can hide from the login screen from your administrator account. Follow the below steps to Hide or Disallow/Allow guests to log in to this computer.

Enable the guest user so that friends can temporarily log in to your computer. Logging in to the guest account does not require a password. Users cannot log in to the guest account remotely. If FileVault is turned on guest users can only access Safari. When a guest user logs out, all information and files in the guest account’s home folder are deleted.

  1. Follow the below steps, Go to the Apple logo from top Mac menu > System Preferences.system-preferences-for-mac
  2. Go with Users & Groups > Unlock the window by click on Lock icon at bottom conner.users-group-on-mac-preferences
  3. and select Guest User – Sharing only,
  4. Uncheck tik, “Allow quests to log in to this computer in” that’s it.disable-guest-user-on-mac
  5. Now, Guest user Login no longer show on mac login screen.
  6. That’s it.

DELETING A USER ACCOUNT:

The first alternative is deleting a user account that is no longer in active use. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences.system-preferences-for-mac
  2. Click on the Users & Groups icon from the bottom left corner of the menu.users-group-on-mac-preferences
  3. When the window opens, find and click the lock on the bottom left corner to make changes. If prompted, enter your account password and click Unlock.unlock-changes-on-mac-system-preferences
  4. Select the user you want to delete, and click the Remove button (that looks like – sign) that can be found below the users list. You cannot select other user accounts logged into the Mac.
  5. Then, perform one of the following actions:delete-user-account-from-mac-complately
    • Select the “Save the home folder in a disk image” option. This action will archive all the documents and information of the user account if you wish to restore it later. The disk image is present in /Users/Deleted Users.
    • Or, you can leave the account’s home folder as it is by selecting the “Don’t change the home folder” option. The documents and information remain where they are, and you can restore the account later.
    • Another option is to remove the home folder by selecting the “Delete the home folder,” which will erase all user information and free up storage space. This move will not allow the restoration of the user account.delete-the-user-account-on-mac
  6. Later, click on Delete User.

CONCLUSION

The suggestions we have provided will surely help you with your task of deleting, disabling, or hiding an account on your Mac. If all of these ways seem like too much work, you can always change your password and keep it confidential.

You no longer have to worry about some nosy nephew or prying colleagues peeping into your system without authorized entry. Let us know how helpful you find this article down in the comments.

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