Sunday, 14 Jul 2024
Technology

Change the name of your macOS user account and home folder

Renaming your macOS user account and home folder can be a useful way to personalize your computer and make it feel more like yours. Whether you want to change the name for aesthetic reasons or simply because you’ve outgrown your old username, macOS makes it easy to update your account details. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to rename your user account and home folder on your Mac.

Create another administrator account, if necessary

Before you can change the name of your user account, you need to be logged in to a different account that has administrator privileges. If your Mac doesn’t have another administrator account set up, you’ll need to create one first. Here’s how to do it:

  • If you’re using macOS Ventura or later, go to Apple menu  > System Settings, click on Users & Groups in the sidebar, and follow the instructions to add an administrator account.
  • If you’re using an earlier version of macOS, go to Apple menu  > System Preferences, click on Users & Groups, and click on the lock icon to make changes. Then, follow the instructions to add an administrator account.
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Rename the home folder

Once you’ve created another administrator account, you can proceed to rename the home folder of the account you want to change. Follow these steps:

  1. Log out of the account that you’re renaming by choosing Apple menu  > Log Out.
  2. Log in to the other administrator account you created. Do not log in to the account you’re renaming.
  3. From the menu bar in the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder, then type “/Users” and press Return. This will open the Users folder.
  4. In the Users folder, select the folder of the account you want to rename. Press Return and enter the new name for the folder. Make sure not to use any spaces in the new name. When prompted, enter the name and password of the administrator account you just used to log in.

Then rename the account

After you’ve renamed the home folder, you’ll need to follow additional steps to rename the account itself, depending on the version of macOS you’re using.

macOS Ventura or later

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Settings.
  2. Click on Users & Groups in the sidebar.
  3. Press and hold the Control key on your keyboard, then click on the name of the account you’re renaming. Choose Advanced Options from the menu that appears.
    Users & Groups pane, showing the menu with Advanced Options
  4. When prompted, enter the administrator name and password you used to log in.
  5. Update the “User name” field (not the “User” field) to match the new name you gave to your home folder in the previous section.
    Users & Groups pane, showing the Advanced Options window
  6. Optionally, update the “Full name” field. The full name doesn’t have to match the user name and can contain spaces. You can use either the user name or the full name when logging in or making changes that require your account name and password.
  7. Scroll down to see the “Home directory” field. Update the user name in that field, but make sure not to remove /Users/. For example, if the “User name” is johnappleseed, the “Home directory” should be /Users/johnappleseed.
  8. Click OK, then restart your Mac and log in to the renamed account.
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Earlier versions of macOS

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences.
  2. Click on Users & Groups.
  3. Click the Lock icon, then enter the administrator name and password you used to log in.
  4. Press and hold the Control key on your keyboard, then click on the name of the account you’re renaming. Choose Advanced Options from the menu that appears.
  5. Update the “Account name” field to match the new name you gave to your home folder in the previous section.
  6. Optionally, change the “Full name” field. The full name doesn’t have to match the user name and can contain spaces. You can use either the user name or the full name when logging in or making changes that require your account name and password.
  7. Update the user name in the “Home directory” field. Change the name to match the new name of the home folder, but don’t remove /Users/. For example, if the “User name” is johnappleseed, the “Home directory” should be /Users/johnappleseed.
  8. Click OK, then restart your Mac and log in to the renamed account.
    Users & Groups pane, showing the Advanced Options window

Renaming your macOS user account and home folder can help you personalize your computer and make it truly yours. By following these simple steps, you can easily change the name of your account and enjoy a more customized and individualized Mac experience.