How to Change Your Mac User Name

Make a mistake in your user account name? Fix it now

What to Know

  • Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder, search for /Users, then select the home folder and press Enter to type a new name.
  • Sign out of the account, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups, Control+click the user account, then select Advanced Options.
  • Type the name of the new home folder you created in the Account name field and after /Users/ in the Home directory field.

This article explains how to change the user name on a Mac. Instructions apply to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.5), OS X El Capitan (10.11.6), and macOS Sierra (10.12.6) and later.

Rename Your Home Folder

The name of your user account and your home folder must be the same for your account to work properly, so the first step is to change the home folder name.

If the account you plan to change is your current administrator account, first create a spare administrator account. After creating the second administrator account, complete the following steps:

  1. Back up all important data on your Mac, such as a Time Machine backup.

  2. From the Apple menu, select Log Out UserName (where UserName is the name of the account you want to change).

  3. From the Apple menu, select Log In, then sign in to the new administrator account you just created.

  4. Open Finder. From the Go menu, select Go to Folder. In the Go to the folder box, type /Users, then select Go.

    The macOS Go the folder box
  5. The Users folder contains your current home folder, which has the same name as your account name. Write down the name of your current home folder.

  6. In Finder, select the home folder, then press Enter on the keyboard.

    If you shared your home folder, you must stop sharing the folder before you can rename it.

  7. At the prompt, type the password for your new spare administrator account.

  8. Type the new name you want to use for your home folder.

    This name should not contain spaces.

  9. Write down the name of the new home folder.

Rename Your Account

While you're signed out of the account you're renaming, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.

    You can also access System Preferences by selecting its icon in the Dock.

  2. In System Preferences, select Users & Groups.

    macOS System Preferences
  3. In Users & Groups, select the lock icon, then type the password for your spare administrator account.

    Users & Groups system preferences screen showing Users list
  4. In the list of users in the left pane, Control+click the user account whose account name you want to change, then select Advanced Options.

  5. In Advanced Options, in Account name, type the name of the new home folder you created.

    You can change the full name for your account at this time, as well.

    Advance Options availabe within the User & Groups preference pane.
  6. In Home directory, after /Users/, type the name of the new home folder you created.

    The account name and user folder name must match.

  7. Select OK.

  8. Close all open windows and dialog boxes on your Mac, then restart your Mac.

  9. Sign in to the account you renamed.

    If you can't sign in to the renamed account or can sign in but can't access your home folder, the account name and home folder name probably don't match. Sign out of the renamed account, sign in to the spare administrator account, then repeat this procedure. You may need to restart your Mac again.

  10. Go to your home folder and verify that you can see and access all your files and folders.

macOS has come a long way from the days when typos in account names were something you had to live with unless you were willing to look up Mac Terminal commands to correct the mistake. Account management is now easy, and you'll feel like a pro.

Your Mac User Account

Each macOS user account contains information related to your name and primary directory:

  • Full name: This is your full name (for example, Casey Cat). It can also be the name you use to sign in to your Mac.
  • Account name: The account name is a shortened version of your full name (for example, caseycat). macOS suggests an account name based on the full name you enter, but you can use any name you want.
  • Home directory: The home folder name and the account name are the same. By default, the home folder is in the Users directory of your startup disk, but you can relocate the home folder to anywhere you wish.
Was this page helpful?