Due to the number of requests I have received about this issue, I will try to explain all the steps we need to make this change, although it seems simple, changing the account name can bring us head if we do wrong.
Change the data of an existing Account on a Mac Computer:
Everyone who works with a Mac knows the great advantages offered by this platform, especially in the sense of security, so if we do not know what we touch, we may have some problem accessing the files.
When the computer is new there are no problems in configuring it from scratch, but it is very common to inherit a computer from a relative or buy a second-hand one, which has a different configuration than what we want to have.
Computers that have already been used by other people, usually have a custom configuration according to the preferences of the previous owner. And that does not usually like us too much.
The first impulse that we have is to change the username for one that we choose, and that is not complicated. The problem comes when we access the window where this field is modified and we see that it also allows us to modify the name of the account, and we start to change it without knowing the consequences.
Before making changes to the account name of a Mac computer
- For the most experienced, this information may be unnecessary, but the vast majority of the owners of a Mac are unaware of this information and, even if by way of curiosity, everyone should know it.
- Start key, master key and Apple ID
- The startup key allows us to access the account from the boot window, where we choose the user with whom we want to access. This key is linked to the username. If we change the username, the password will remain the same to access the computer.
- The master key is the same one that we have assigned as the start key, but the difference is that it is linked to the account and not the name.
- If we change the name of the account without having made necessary previous changes, we will lose access to any change we want to make later.
- The ID of Apple is nothing more than an account that will allow us to access functions such as locating the terminal or computer in case of loss, using iCloud as storage in the cloud, access to iTunes or recover the start key if we forget it.
- Although it is not necessary to be able to work with our computer, it is very useful for certain critical moments. We can also use this account to access as users of our computer if we have it linked.
- Consistency between the account name and the user folder:
- If we decide to change the name of the account, we must change the name of the user’s folder to which it refers, they must be identical, otherwise, the account will not find where the user’s files are.
- It is not enough to change it in the properties, you have to manually change the name of the folder from the file manager. We will see a little below how it is done.
- In the case of having changed it without modifying the folder, you will have the problem of not being able to access it with the master key. Below I also explain a way to solve it.
Change the Username:
This process is very simple, we access the configuration of users from ” System Preferences ” and put the name we want.
- Once inside the ” Users and groups ” section, we must unlock the lower lock with the master key of the account.
- We choose the user from the column on the left to which we want to change the name and click on the right button of the mouse, or with two fingers on the Trackpad, to access the advanced options.
- In the window that will appear, we will only modify the section “Full name”. We can place the name we want, with spaces, uppercase, and lowercase, if we need them.
- We restart the computer so that the changes take effect.
Do not change another field different from the one indicated, or you will have problems with the account. In the next point, I tell you how to change the account name correctly.
This process is a bit more complex than just changing the username. But it does not mean that it is difficult to perform.
We have to create a different administrator account from which to work, which we will then delete after making the appropriate changes.
How to create a user with administrator privileges:
1. From the ” Users and groups ” section of the System Preferences, we unlock the padlock with the master key.
2. Click on the ” + ” symbol in the area on the left and create the new user by assigning administrator privileges.
Change the account name with the new administrator:
- We restart the computer and access the system with the new user .
- We reopen ” Users and groups ” and access the advanced options of our original user, clicking on it with the right mouse button or with two fingers on the Trackpad. We will have to unlock the padlock with the new user’s master key.
- We modify the field where it says ” Name of the account ” for which we want to use. It must be in lowercase and without special characters.
- In the field “Home directory “, we have to change it and put the same name that we have put in the account name. Exactly the same.
- Without closing or accepting the changes, we open the file manager of the computer and navigate to the ” Users ” folder. We click on the folder of the account to which we want to change the name and we put the same one that we have placed in the preferences of the advanced options. It will ask us for the master key to make the change (of the temporary user that we have created new).
- Now we close the window of the ” Users ” folder and accept the changes in the advanced options of our account. When we restart the computer, we will have changed the account name and we will be able to access without problems the changes that we need to make the password of our user.
If we change the name of the account without changing the name of the folder, under ” Users “, the system will block any attempt to configure the system.
If we have another user account with “Administrator” privileges, the solution is simplified to the maximum. Access to the user that allows us to make changes and modify the name of the folder to match the name of the account.
But if we do not have another user with these privileges, things get complicated. We have to get a user of that kind to recover the data or information from our old account.
Create a user using the recovery console:
Exactly we are not going to create a user from the console, but we will delete a file to create it once we access our account.
We could also create a user account from the console, but the process is long and the less we touch here, the better.
- We start the computer with the ” ⌘ + S ” keys pressed at the same time so that it starts in ” Console ” mode.
- When the start screen appears, we choose the user who has problems and enters the start key. A lot of lines will start to come out and we’ll let them load until they stop. This boot mode has ” super-administrator ” permissions, so you have to be very careful with what we do.
- To mount the file system and be able to give write permission we will write the following command, note that there is a space in front of the script and another space between the wand the / .
- Now we are going to delete a file that indicates to the system that the initial configuration has been completed, and that way we can create a new user, with administrator permissions, as if we started the computer for the first time. Do not worry that we will not lose any data from our original account.
- We write the following, here the only space there is between rm and the first / , the rest is all followed:
- – Only if your version of macOS throws an error because it is a little older, is it because the file is in another route, then write the following:
- To exit the console, type the following command, do not turn off the computer directly or we may come into conflict with the system files.
- – It is possible that, as in the previous point, the function to exit is different, in this case, write:
- When we start again and log in to our account, a process to create a new account will begin. We must make sure that we grant administrator permissions to this new user.
With the new user already created, we can modify the name of the folder as indicated above and recover the information that we thought was lost.