How to Change Your Mac User Name

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

What to Know

  • From Finder, select Go > Go to Folder, enter /Users, then click the folder and press Enter to type a new name.
  • Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups, Control+click the user account, select Advanced Options, and update the Account name.
  • Restart your Mac to confirm regular file and folder access.

This article explains how to change the user name on a Mac. Instructions apply to OS X Yosemite (10.10.5) and later.

To ensure you don't lose file access, back up important data on your Mac with a Time Machine backup or your preferred backup method.

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.

You can't rename an account you're logged in to. Log in to a different account with admin permissions or create a spare administrator account. After setting up the second administrator account, complete the following steps.

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

    Log out option from the Apple menu on macOS
  2. From the login screen, sign in to a different or new administrator account.

  3. From the Finder menu, select Go > Go to Folder, type /Users, and then choose Go to navigate to your home folder.

    The macOS Go the folder box

    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 to reference later.

  4. Select the home folder to rename and press Enter to edit it.

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

  5. Type the new name (without spaces) you want to use for your home folder, press Enter, and use the administrator password you used to log in when prompted.

    Dialog box to confirm Home folder name change on macOS
  6. Write down the name of the new home folder to reference when renaming your account.

Rename Your Account

After you edit the home folder name, stay signed out of the account you're renaming, and complete the following steps.

  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences > Users & Groups.

    Users & Groups settings icon from macOS System Preferences
  2. In Users & Groups, select the lock icon and type the password for your spare administrator account.

    Users & Groups lock icon to edit user permissions on macOS
  3. In the list of users, Control+click the user account name you want to change and select Advanced Options.

    Advanced Options for individual users from Users & Groups settings on macOS
  4. In the Account name field, type the name of the new home folder you created and select OK.

    Account name field and OK button highlighted from macOS Users & Groups Advanced Options

    You can change the full name for your account at this time, as well, but the account name and user folder name must match.

  5. Close all open windows and dialog boxes and restart your Mac.

  6. Sign in to the account you renamed and verify that you can see and access all your files and folders.

    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.

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.

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.

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