Setting Up Multiple Accounts With OS X Lion

9/17/2012 9:01:22 AM

Description: OS X LION

Although OS X Mountain Lion is close to hitting retail, OS X Lion is still the most recent version of Apple's desktop operating system right now. If you purchased a new Mac recently, chances are it came packed with OS X Lion. In this guide, we will show you how to set up multiple user accounts from Lion so that several people will be able to access your computer.

This is especially useful if you or the other people using the Mac have privacy, settings and folders tailored to their own needs.

You may not want friends eavesdropping on your e-mails, for instance. Alternatively, you may want to keep them from using your Apple ID to shop or delete files without your permission. The Mac is a great tool for the many users accessing it simultaneously. After using this guide, you can share it without fear of having your personal account compromised.

Description: OS X LION

Step 1: When first booting up a brand new Mac, Apple will prompt you to go through a set-up process, where you will pick a username and password for your desktop. This will be the main username that you connect to. It is also the one that gives you administrative privileges and from which you will set up other user accounts.

After setting up your brand new Mac to a main username and booting up to the desktop, you will need to click on the Apple icon on the upper-left portion of the screen. It is similar to the file drop-down menu when using Windows and running an application like MS Word. However, it exists on the main desktop along an upper-horizontal navigation bar.

Step 2: Then, click on the system preferences option from the drop down menu. You will access system preferences along with a wide range of sub folders and options within it. You will need to click on the "Users & Groups" sub folder/settings folder that is located below the "System" section in system preferences.

Step 3: Now you will see a section that says "Current User" and your username underneath it. You will also see a "Password" section and a "Login Terms" tab that is to the right of it. Below your username is a home icon and further below is a lock key icon. You will need to click on this lock for your Mac to grant you permission to make further changes.

After clicking the lock tab and before being able to unlock your permissions, you will need to type in the password for your main user account. Go ahead and do this before proceeding.

Step 4: You will now notice that the "Guest User/' located below the "Current User" or main account, is highlighted and no longer transparent like it previously was. After unlocking your Admin privileges and when the Guest User account is opened, is to click on the plus icon right above the lock icon you previously clicked on. This plus icon is used for adding new users to your Mac. You will also notice that a minus icon is located to the right of it, which is used to disabling accounts no longer active and needed.

The guest account is used for guests logging onto your system who only need basic shared files to operate. It requires no passwords and after the guests log out, their files that they uploaded or installed on your Mac disappear. You can set it up to allow folder sharing between other users as well. However, the guest account is not recommended for family members or roommates. Since these users may want a personalized account on your Mac of their choosing where information stored permanently.

Description: G:\lion110504.png

Step 5: After clicking the plus icon once you should see a new window pop up with blank fields of information for you to enter. There is also a drop-down menu present on the top tab, which is the "New Account" tab. You can choose to set up a wide range of different accounts from a new administrator account; to accounts for kids managed with parental controls; to shared accounts; to groups you can set up; and finally, to a standard account for most users.

You can probably guess what most of these accounts are about, however some could be a bit confusing. The "Sharing Only" account is useful for users who want to access shared files from your network remotely. The difference between the administrative and standard accounts is the administrator can create, delete and modify other accounts. Otherwise, the standard account is the one you want to set upfront other users in your household. Choose this option for the purposes of this guide.

In the blank text below the standard account tab enter the information as prompted. The users of the accounts you are setting up do not have to enter their real names in the selected field. They just have to leave an identification they will remember to log in with. However, for e-mail purposes, they should choose their real name if they want to be identified correctly when they sent e-mails from the Mail app. The account name can also be different than the displayed full name. Users can also set up their passwords in this prompt of their choosing. After filling out all of this information, have them click on "Create User."

Step 6: You will now notice that a new username has been created. It is located in the "Users & Groups" setting between the guest user and admin. After clicking on this user name you will see some settings on the right of it. These settings allow you to do things like set up parental controls for the user account or add an Apple ID onto it.

Step 7:  this step will involve you logging out of your main account onto the other user's account. You do this by going to the Apple icon on the desktop's navigation bar and logging out of the current account. Then clicking on the user account you want to access when logged out of the main one.

Keep in mind that when your Mac goes to sleep mode, the user account menu will display where you may have to click on your user account and type in your password to get back in the desktop. This is why you may want to customize the time it takes for your Mac to go to sleep mode.

Setting up multiple users on each Mac is highly recommended even for those of you who only sometimes may have someone else use your system. Sometimes, other Apple App Sore users may want to show you something in iTunes by connecting with their usernames and passwords. It's recommended for you to have a dummy account for such purposes and to let friends experiment with the OS while not messing up your personal files.


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