If you wish, you can rename your macOS user account and your home folder, both of which were named when you created the account.
Before you proceed…
The name of your user account and home folder have to be the same for technical reasons. However, the good news is that renaming your user account and home folder doesn’t require a resetting of the password for said account.
Before renaming either of them, back up your data in case anything goes wrong. It shouldn’t, but there’s always the possibility of user error, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
First, you should log out of the account you’re renaming, then log in to a different administrator account.
As Apple explains it: “Your Mac can have multiple administrators. You can create new ones and convert standard users to administrators. Don’t set up automatic login for an administrator. If you do, someone could simply restart your Mac and gain access with administrator privileges. To keep your Mac secure, don’t share administrator names and passwords.”
How to create a new administrator account
If you don’t have another administrator account, you can create one in Users & Groups preferences. Here’s how:
- Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Click Users & Groups.
- If the lock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it to unlock the preference pane.
- Click the add button below the list of users.
- Click the New Account pop-up menu, then choose a type of user. In this case, you’ll want to choose “Administrator” because an administrator can add and manage other users, install apps, and change settings. The new user you create when you first set up your Mac is an administrator.
- Enter a full name for the new user. An account name is generated automatically. To use a different account name, enter it now because you can’t change it later.
- Enter a password for the user, then enter it again to verify. Enter a password hint to help the user remember their password.
- Click Create User.
- Since we’re adding an administrator, select “Allow user to administer this computer” and “Allow user to reset a password using Apple ID.”
Proceed to rename the home folder
Now you’re ready to rename the home folder.
- Open the Users folder on the startup disk, which contains the home folder for each user. To get there, you can choose “Go > Go to Folder” from the menu bar, then enter:
- Rename the user’s home folder without any spaces in the new moniker. You’ll be prompted to enter the administrator name and password that you used to log in. If you’re using file sharing to share the home folder, you won’t be able to rename it until you stop sharing the folder.
Now you can rename the account.
- Choose “Apple () menu > System Preferences,” then click “Users & Groups.”
- Click the lock icon, then enter the administrator name and password that you used to log in.
- From the list of users on the left, control-click the user you’re renaming.
- Choose Advanced Options.
- Change the “Account name” field to match the new name of the home folder. It should have no spaces.
Note: You’ll see a warning message to make sure you want to proceed — which is why Apple strongly recommends backing up your data before continuing down this path.
- The account name also appears in the “Home directory” field, after /Users/. Change that account name to match the new name of the home folder.
- If you want to change the full name associated with your account, update the “Full name” field as well.
- Click OK, then restart your Mac.
- Log in to the renamed account.
- Make sure that your old files and folders are visible and that everything is working as it should.
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