Rename home folder on mac os x

Did you create a Mac user account with an incorrect name, perhaps making a typo during setup?

How to change the home folder name macOS Sierra

Are you tired of that user name that sounded cute a few months ago, but is now so yesterday? No matter the reason, it's possible to change the user accounts full name, short name, and home directory name used on your Mac. If you're scratching your head at this point, because of the popular misconception that account names are set in stone, and the only way to change a name is to create a new account and delete the old one, then this tip is for you.

Each user account contains the information below; well, actually there's more information that goes into a user account, but these are the three aspects we're working with here:. If you made a typo when setting up a user account, or you simply wish to change the name, you can do so by following the instructions below. Just remember that there are certain limitations, the most important being that the Short Name and Home Directory name must match. This process is going to make some fundamental changes to your user account; as a result, your user data could be at risk. Now that may sound a bit over the top, but it's possible for a problem to occur during the process of making changes that could cause your user data to become unavailable to you; that is, its permissions could be set in such a way that you no longer have access to it.

So, before beginning, I highly recommend taking the time to ensure that you have a current backup. If possible, create both a current Time Machine backup and a bootable clone of your startup drive.

How to Change a User Home Folder Name in Mac OS

If the account you're going to be changing is your current administrator account, you will need to first have a different, or spare, administrator account to use during the process of changing account information. Log out of the account you wish to make changes to, and log into your spare administrator account.

Your Answer

You will find the option to Log Out under the Apple menu. In the Finder window click the home directory to select it.

Then rename the account

Click again in the name of the home directory to select it for editing. Enter the new name for the home directory remember, the home directory and the short name that you'll be changing in the next few steps must match. In the Users and Groups preference pane, click the lock icon in the bottom left corner and then supply your administrator password this may be the password for the spare admin account, not your normal administrator password.

From the pop-up menu, select Advanced Options. Edit the Account Name field to match the new home directory name you created in the steps 2 through 7.


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  7. Create an Additional Administrator User.

Change the Home Directory field to match the new name you created in step 6. You can click the Choose button and navigate to the Home Directory instead of typing in the new name. Once you have made both changes account name and home directory , you can click the OK button. Log out of the administrator account you used to make the changes, and log back into your newly changed user account.

If you can't log in, or if you can log in but can't access your home directory, chances are the account name and home directory names you entered don't match. Log in again using the spare administrator account, and verify that the home directory name and account name are identical. The full name of a user account is even easier to change, although the process is slightly different for OS X Yosemite and later versions of the operating system than older versions of OS X.

Click the lock icon in the lower left corner, and then supply the administrator password for the account you're currently using. Right-click the user account whose full name you wish to change. OS X and the macOS has come a long way from the days when typos in account names were something you had to live with, unless you were willing to look up various Terminal commands to try to correct a silly mistake.

Things outside the OS can break too. Some programs on your computer specify the location of resources by using the full file path. Most of the time reinstalling the program will fix this issue. Dropbox is a great example of a program that requires a little more cajoling.

How To Move or Rename Your Mac Home Folder [MacRx] | Cult of Mac

If the name of your home folder changes, Dropbox will complain when launched. The real problem is that the folder Dropbox is looking for no longer exists.


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  • First rename the home folder.
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  • Open Terminal. Type the following commands into Terminal.

    The Safest Way to Rename the Home Folder

    Enter them one at a time, and press Enter after each one. Copy and paste to avoid typos. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. You are here: Get Ready Before you do any of this, it is critical that you make a backup on your system.

    Click the lock in the lower left to unlock the preference pane and enter your password. Click the plus button under the list of existing users to create a new user.