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Everyone who uses a Mac has a user account. If you're the only person using your Mac, then there will only be one account. But if you share your Mac with other users — your family or coworkers, for example — your Mac will contain multiple user accounts. At least one of these is an administrator account, and that account is allowed to change any settings on the Mac.
Others can be standard user accounts, who can change settings that affect some of what they do on the computer. You can also have accounts that are managed with parental controls; these are designed so your kids can use your computer safely. Finally, there are sharing only accounts, which you can create to allow users to access some files on your Mac over a network. In this article, I'm going to explain how to create user accounts, when and how to use each of these different types of accounts, and how to delete them when you don't need them any longer.
When you set up a new Mac, you have to create a user account, and that first user account has to be an administrator account. The administrator is the person who can change any settings on the computer. If there were no administrator, then no one could, for example, set up other new user accounts as well as make other important changes to the way the computer works.
In addition to creating new user accounts, the administrator can modify existing user accounts. He or she can allow any user to also be an administrator — you can have as many administrator accounts as you want — and can also reset the password of any user account. And the administrator can enable and set up parental controls on any account. The administrator can also change settings such as which startup disk the computer uses, which files can be shared, backup and security settings, and more. This preference pane shows a list of existing user accounts, which you create new accounts, it also lets you set a number of login options.
Creating and Editing User Accounts
Start by looking at your own user account; it's at the top of the list under Current User. Click it and you'll see a number of options. On the Password tab, you can change your password if you wish it's a good idea to do this every few months , and at the bottom of the pane, you can check Enable parental controls if you want to limit access to the current user. Of course, you probably don't want to do this to your user account, but you may be examining a Mac when someone else, such as one of your children, is the current user.
You can use parental controls to set restrictions so guests can access only items that you want to share. Files created by a guest are stored in a temporary folder, but that folder and its contents are deleted when the guest logs out. You can locate your Mac if someone finds it, logs in as a guest, and then uses Safari to access the Internet. See Use Find My Mac.
Creating New User Accounts on Your Mac
If you choose a user, then whenever the Mac starts up, that user is automatically logged in. If you choose Off, then at startup the Mac opens a login window showing all the users.
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Automatic login takes effect the next time you restart the Mac. Note: Automatic login allows anyone to access your Mac simply by restarting it.
When FileVault is turned on, automatic login is disabled. Select the options you want. If you have any questions, click the Help button for detailed information. To permit new users to access your shared files or screen, you may need to change settings in the File Sharing, Screen Sharing, or Remote Management pane of Sharing preferences.
Click the New Account pop-up menu, then choose a type of user. Click Create User.
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Create a group A group allows multiple users to have the same access privileges. Click the New Account pop-up menu, then choose Group. Outlook profiles don't offer password protection, and Spotlight searches from the Finder will locate Outlook items from all the profiles in the current user account. To learn more about how to create user accounts, see Mac Help. Select the Create a new profile button , and then enter a name for the new profile. Restart Outlook for this change to take effect. If you use Outlook in more than one capacity, such as for your personal life and for work, Outlook can be set up to handle these different capacities by using identities.
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An identity is associated with and stores a set of e-mail messages, contacts, tasks, calendars, account settings, Scrapbook clips, and more. To manage identities, you must use the Microsoft Database Utility, which is installed as part of your Office installation. With this utility, you perform tasks such as creating a new identity, setting the default identity, and rebuilding an identity. When you open an Office application, it always uses the default identity.
Outlook identities don't offer password protection, and Spotlight searches from the Finder will locate Outlook items from all the identities in the current user account. To learn more about how to create user accounts, see Mac OS Help. Click the identity that you want to remove, and then click Delete.