View Full Version : Change User Name

31st May 2005, 04:15 PM
Hi all

I have originally put in my name as the sole user / admin on this computer , but now realise that I would like to change my name on the computer. ie so in Finder I have the home name different.

Will this cause problems?

Or is it a simple rename?


31st May 2005, 04:38 PM
Well I don't think it would, I think Apple would have sorted it out

31st May 2005, 05:38 PM
You can change your long name, but the short name that your home folder is named isn't exactly easy to change. Once that's set, it's permanent for that user.

31st May 2005, 05:42 PM

I wanted to rename my home folder and had real trouble. I contacted Apple and they said that you either need to do a total reinstall or follow a quite complicated procedure that they e-mailed to me.

This is what the previous post is referring to - it is possible, just difficult (took the tech guy 15 minutes to dig up the info).

This was about a year ago and updates may have fixed this since. Have a go and if you can't do it PM me and I will try and dig up the correspondence. From what I remember when you rename it it just keeps reverting back to the original name.

It won't affect your information though.

I was amazed that it was so complicated - maybe it is a security issue :blink:



31st May 2005, 07:09 PM
it is possible but as said before you need to do a proceduce of root terminal commands.. which can be dangerious to your computer unless you know what your doing... so if you dont .. just go for the reinstall of the system...

31st May 2005, 07:44 PM
It's complex primarily because a: your "short" user name is set inside a Netinfo database, which you have to modify. Also because all your files "permissions" are set so that you are the owner, and that is flagged using your short user name. To add to the fun, you have to create another admin user with which to make all the changes.

Apple's description is long and complex because they babysit you through it. Basically, it's: Create 2nd admin user, login as 2nd admin, change short user name and user folder location in Netinfo, "chown" (change ownership) of files in the terminal, rename user folder, log back in under new name & delete 2nd admin.

31st May 2005, 08:06 PM
I changed mine after I did a clean install of Tiger. Reason being, I hurriedly named that Home folder after my first name, which, the missus wasn&#39;t to happy about seeming it is her Notebook too :o - so she forced me to change it to a mutually agreed title <_< - Crazy I know, but I allegedly always call &#39;our&#39; gadgets, &#39;my&#39; gadgets&#33;&#33;&#33; she gets shirty about it&#33;&#33;&#33; It was pretty ugly at the time&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

What I did wasn&#39;t really a change of name, more a deletion of the incorrectly named folder/user, with a new one - here&#39;s a simplified explanation:

In the Systems Settings area/Users section, I added a new user with full admin rights, with the correct name, similar to the one created at the install.. This created a new users Home folder for files such as Music, Pictures, Movies etc, which had the name I wanted.

I then deleted the old User with the original &#39;incorrect&#39; Home folder name - the OS then prompted me to save a back-up of the files that belonged to this &#39;to be deleted&#39; user profile, which I did.

I then found these backed up files (music/pics/Docs/etc), copied them to the Home folder of the new main user, and viola&#33; old user gone with wrong Home folder name, new user/admin in place with correct name & details... and fiancÚ happy..

It is probably best that you back everything up in the users folder, before you go trusting the OS to back things up for you - the only reason I took a punt on trying this User deletion was because i had all my backups still sitting there on iPod and DVD from the Tiger upgrade the day before..

I am assuming this is fine as the result seems OK.. If what I have done is really bad and could cause problems, then could someone let me know in this thread..


(p.s. Currawong, just read your post - could you have a read of the above and see if there&#39;s anything else I should do, or will it be fine??? thanks..)

31st May 2005, 09:17 PM
I wouldn&#39;t do it that way Spargo, there&#39;s no need to delete anything, merely set the ownership of the old users&#39; files to that of the new user.

31st May 2005, 09:32 PM
In hindsight i wouldn&#39;t have done it that way either, but it was a painless experience because I had backed up so recently, and the backing up of the &#39;to be deleted&#39; Users home folder meant it went fine..

So Curra, do i still need to change the ownership of any files to the new/current user, via Terminal, or should it all be OK? I am assuming that because the old user is gone, and the new user is in place, ownerships should have transferred, but now that i&#39;ve seen another way to do it, i&#39;m concerned I may have caused problems..

thanks in advance -

31st May 2005, 09:37 PM
I seemed to be able to do it easily as also with changing the password, the short name I can live with.....i just didnt want my full name out there in the world

31st May 2005, 09:42 PM
Anyways, here&#39;s the link to the relevant article giving the details of what Currawong was explaing..

Mac OS X: How to change user short name or home directory name (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106824)

31st May 2005, 09:45 PM
what I would do is log on to the computer as the root user, create a new user and drag all the stuff from your current home folder (Library&#39;s and everthing) in to the new home folder and simply delete the old on, I did that last year on a PowerMac that i am now the only user, had to delete the old tech guys account.

31st May 2005, 10:18 PM

1st June 2005, 11:44 AM
http://homepage.mac.com/frakes/MOSXPT/cont...rtusername.html (http://homepage.mac.com/frakes/MOSXPT/content/shortusername.html)