Mac For New Users

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Most of the multiuser account chores you’ll encounter take place in a single System Preferences pane on your MacBook. The Users & Groups pane is the one you’ll need.

The power of Mac. Dedicated apps for music, TV, and podcasts. Smart new features like Sidecar, powerful technologies for developers, and your favorite iPad apps, now on Mac. Select the Create a new profile button, and then enter a name for the new profile. Rename a profile. Double-click the profile, and then enter a new name for the profile. To learn more about how to create user accounts, see Mac OS Help. Create, rename, or delete an identity.

To add a new user account, follow these steps:

1Open System Preferences and click the Accounts icon.

Mac For New Users

If you haven’t added any users to your system yet, the Users list should look the one shown. You should see your account, which you set up when you installed Mac OS X, set to administrator (admin) level.

2In the Users & Groups pane in System Preferences, click the New User button at the bottom of the Current User list.


An empty user record sheet is displayed. If the New User button is disabled and you can’t click it, click the lock at the bottom left of the System Preferences pane to unlock the Users & Groups pane.

3Select the access level for this user from the New Account pop-up menu.

By default, the user receives a standard level account. You can also choose an Administrator account, a sharing-only account (with access only to shared files), a Managed standard account with Parental Controls already enabled, or a sharing-only account.

Mac For New Users

The sharing-only account allows the user to copy or open shared files from your MacBook remotely (from another computer), but that user can’t directly log in to your MacBook.

4In the Full Name text box, type the name that you want to display for this account (both in the Current User list and on the Login screen) and then press Tab to move to the next field.

Mac OS X automatically generates an Account (or short) name for use as your screen and Buddy name in iChat and various network applications. The short name is also the name of the folder that Mac OS X creates on the computer’s hard drive for this user.

You can keep the default short name or type a new one, but it must not contain any spaces. Choose the short name carefully, for it can’t be changed within the Finder.

5Press Tab again. In the Password text box, type the password for the new account.

Click the button with the key icon next to the Password field, and Lion is happy to display the Password Assistant, complete with a suggestion. Click the Suggestion pop-up menu to see additional suggestions.

You can choose the length of the password and select from several types: letters and numbers, numbers only, memorable, completely random, or even government-quality. The Assistant automatically copies the current password you’re considering to the Password text box.

As always, when you enter a password or its verification, Mac OS X displays bullet characters for security.

6Press Tab, type the password in the Verify text box, and press Tab again.

If you decide to use the password hint feature, you can enter a short sentence or question in the Password Hint text box. The hint is displayed after three unsuccessful attempts at entering the account password.

7Click the Create Account button to finish and create the account.

The new account shows up in the Current User list and in the Login screen.

Moving to a new Mac? Before taking these steps, you can use Migration Assistant to move your files from the old Mac to your new Mac.

Create a backup

Make sure that you have a current backup of your important files. Learn how to back up your Mac.

Sign out of iTunes in macOS Mojave or earlier

If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier, open iTunes. From the menu bar at the top of the screen or iTunes window, choose Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer. Then enter your Apple ID and password and click Deauthorize.

Learn more about deauthorizing computers used with your iTunes account.

Sign out of iCloud

If you're using macOS Catalina or later, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. Select Overview in the sidebar, then click Sign Out.

If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click iCloud, then click Sign Out.

You will be asked whether to keep a copy of your iCloud data on this Mac. You can click Keep a Copy, because you're erasing your Mac later. Your iCloud data remains in iCloud and on any other devices that are signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID.

Best Mac For New Users

Sign out of iMessage

If you're using OS X Mountain Lion or later, open the Messages app, then choose Messages > Preferences from the menu bar. Click iMessage, then click Sign Out.


Wipe Mac For New User

Shut down your Mac, then turn it on and immediately press and hold these four keys together: Option, Command, P, and R. Release the keys after about 20 seconds. This clears user settings from memory and restores certain security features that might have been altered.


Learn more about resetting NVRAM or PRAM.

Setup Mac For New User

Optional: Unpair Bluetooth devices that you’re keeping

If your Mac is paired with a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, trackpad, or other Bluetooth device that you plan to keep, you can unpair it. This optional step prevents accidental input when the Mac and device have separate owners but remain in Bluetooth range of each other.

If you're unpairing Bluetooth input devices from a desktop computer such as an iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro, you must plug in a USB keyboard and mouse to complete the remaining steps in this article.

Reset Mac For New User

To unpair a Bluetooth device, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Bluetooth. Move your pointer over the device that you want to unpair, then click the remove (x) button next to the device name.

Erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS

The best way to restore your Mac to factory settings is to erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS.

After macOS installation is complete, the Mac restarts to a setup assistant that asks you to choose a country or region. To leave the Mac in an out-of-box state, don't continue setup. Instead, press Command-Q to shut down the Mac. When the new owner turns on the Mac, the setup assistant guides them through the setup process.

No matter the model or condition, we can turn your device into something good for you and good for the planet: Learn how to trade in or recycle your Mac with Apple Trade In.