How to Delete a User on Mac

Get rid of those extra Mac accounts

Mac users can create additional accounts on their computers, but there are good reasons to limit the number of accounts other than the owner's Admin account. If you added additional accounts to your Mac, deleting these accounts is a smart and straightforward action. Here's how to delete a user on a Mac.

Information in this article applies to Macs with macOS Catalina (10.15) through OS X Mavericks (10.9). Earlier versions of the operating system have similar methods to remove accounts and activate Guest User.

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How to Delete a User on a Mac

To delete a user account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences by selecting it in the Apple menu or by clicking its icon in the Dock.

    A screenshot of the Apple Menu on a Mac with the System Preferences command highlighted
  2. In the System Preferences screen, click Users & Groups.

    A screenshot of Mac System Preferences with the Users & Groups heading highlighted
  3. In the Users & Groups screen, click the padlock in the lower-left corner.

    A screenshot of the Users & Groups menu in macOS with the lock icon highlighted
  4. Enter your password and click Unlock.

    A screenshot of the Users & Groups preferences in macOS with the authentication Unlock button highlighted
  5. Go to the left panel, select the user account you want to delete, then click the minus sign in the lower-left corner.

    A screenshot of Users & Groups in macOS with the minus sign highlighted
  6. Select one of three actions for the account's Home folder. These are:

    • Save the home folder as a disk image that is saved in the Deleted Users folder.
    • Don't change the home folder to save information from the folder in the standard Users folder.
    • Delete the home folder to wipe all information on this account from the computer.
    A screenshot of the Delete User confirmation window in macOS with the options highlighted
  7. After you make your choice, click Delete User.

    A screenshot of macOS' Delete User confirmation window with the Delete User button highlighted
  8. Repeat these instructions if you have other accounts you want to delete. When you finish, click the padlock to lock the account and prevent further changes.

How to Set up a Guest User

You don't need to clutter your Mac with user accounts for people who want to use your computer occasionally. Instead, set up a guest account for drop-in use. Here's how:

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups. Click the lock icon to unlock the screen and enter your admin credentials.

  2. In the left panel, click Guest User.

    A screenshot of the Users & Groups window in macOS with the Guest User item highlighted
  3. Click the Allow guests to log in to this computer check box.

    A screenshot of Users & Groups in macOS with the "Allow guests to log in to this computer" option highlighted
  4. Optionally, click Limit Adult Websites.

    A screenshot of macOS' Users & Groups window with the "Limit Adult Websites" option highlighted
  5. To give your guest access to shared folders on the network, click the Allow guest users to connect to shared folders check box.

    A screenshot of macOS' Users & Groups screen with the "Allow guest users to connect to shared folders" option highlighted
  6. Click the lock at the bottom of the screen to prevent additional changes.

There are several important things to know about activating Guest User on a Mac:

  • Your guest logs in as Guest User on your network. The connection may not be as secure or fast as your regular Admin account.
  • Your guest doesn't need a password to log in.
  • Your guest's files are stored in a temporary folder that is deleted when the guest logs out.
  • A guest can't change your user or computer settings.
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