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've added additional accounts to your Mac, deleting them is a smart and straightforward action. Here's how to delete a user on a Mac.

Information in this article applies to Macs running 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.

How to Delete a User on a Mac

  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. Click Users & Groups on the System Preferences screen.

    A screenshot of Mac System Preferences with the Users & Groups heading highlighted
  3. Click the padlock in the bottom left corner of the Users & Groups screen.

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

    A screenshot of the Users & Groups preferences in macOS with the authentication Unlock button highlighted
  5. Select the user account in the left panel you want to delete and click the minus sign in the bottom 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. This option saves information from the folder in the standard Users folder.
    • Delete the home folder. This choice wipes 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 only occasionally. Instead, you can set up a guest account for drop-in use. Here's how:

  1. As before, 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 box next to Allow guests to log in to this computer.

    A screenshot of Users & Groups in macOS with the
  4. Optionally, also click Limit Adult Websites.

    A screenshot of macOS' Users & Groups window with the
  5. If you want your guest to be able to access shared folders on the network, click the box next to Allow guest users to connect to shared folder.

    A screenshot of macOS' Users & Groups screen with the
  6. Click the lock at the bottom of the screen to prevent additional changes.

There are several important things you should know about activating Guest User on your Mac.

  • Your guest logs in as Guest User on your network. The connection may not 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.