Learn how to Change Your Username on a Mac

Knowing how to change your username on a Mac is important, especially if you have multiple people using your computer. You can change your username in your account at any time, as long as you have the correct administrator password. How to change your username on Mac without causing any problems.

Before you begin, please take the time to back up any important information you may need from this user account. If something goes wrong, you can accidentally lock the account or cause other problems that may leave you inaccessible. So prepare accordingly.

Note: This method works with the latest macOS updates. Some of the icons or names might be slightly different, but the basic steps are the same. If you don't have the latest updates, your operating system has been out of date for a few years. We recommend that you update it before attempting to change usernames.

Step 1: Sign in to a different administrator account

You cannot rename an account that is currently in use. So the first step is to log out and then log into your administrator account (which provides the permission to change usernames). You can sign out at any time by selecting the Apple logo in the top left corner of your Mac and choosing Sign Out (Name).

If the account you are currently using has administrative privileges, you need to find a workaround. The easiest way is to create an alternate administrator account for these steps. You can delete this temporary account after you finish the other steps.

Step 2: Rename the home folder

For a full name change you will need to start with your home folder. Your home folders are located in the Users folder. You should be able to find the home folder by going to the Finder menu> Go> Go to Folder and then typing "User". Alternatively, open Finder and press Cmd + Shift + C. Double-click the name of your startup drive, then double-click the Users folder.

Here, look for the folder with the short name of the username you want to change. For example, if the full name is John Mac, the short name can be just John – or it can be the same as the full name. Make a note of this name (you'll need it later) and change the short name to whatever you want. Note that there can be no spaces. At this point, you will need to enter the administrator password again.

Step 3: Log into users and groups to find your user profile

Mac users and groups

Go to Menu Bar> System Preferences. Here select users and groups and click the padlock button so that you can make changes. At this stage, you will likely need to enter the administrator password again.

Find the username you want to change and right click or Ctrl + click on it. Select Advanced Options in the context menu. This should bring you to a new window.

Step 4: Rename the correct fields and restart

Change the account username and home folder name to macOS

in the Expanded optionsFind the fields called Account designation and Home directory. It's best to start with that Account designation Field. You need to change the name in the Account designation Field to exactly match the name you gave the home folder in step 3. A common mistake many people make in this step is forgetting to find the names exactly. Every space and every character must be the same. If you add new characters or spaces, or enter anything other than the name you gave the home folder, you will not be able to proceed to the next step.

Next go to Home directory Field. You need to do exactly the same thing in this area. Enter the exact new username you want to use for your Mac.

The Account designation and Home directory both affect the short account names. If you want to change your full username you can easily make that change in the Full name Field. Note that the Full name Field can contain spaces.

Next you have to go back Advanced options> OK.

You should be done. All that is left is the final step in the process, which requires restarting your Mac. Then you have to log in to the changed account again. You should see your new username when you log in. Make sure that all of your files and apps are visible and that everything is working properly. To make sure nothing else has been toggled or messed up, you should try opening some documents or apps. If everything looks good, your new username is ready to use.

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