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Of course, you probably don't want to do this to your user account, but you may be examining a Mac when someone else, such as one of your children, is the current user. The Login Items tab shows a list of apps that launch when you log into or start up this Mac. Remove any apps by selecting them in the list and clicking the - icon. As I said above, administrators can change any settings on the Mac.

Only administrators can access locked preference panes; to do so, click the padlock at the bottom of the window then enter your administrator's password. Standard users are limited only in their ability to change certain settings and access system files. Otherwise, each standard user has full access to the files in their home folder — the one with the house icon and their username — and can change any settings in System Preferences that apply to their personal use of the Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mac Home Folder

Enter the user's full name, then an account name — it's best that this is an abbreviated name — then enter a password and enter it again in the Verify field. If you wish to have a password hint, something to remind the user of their password in case they forget it, you can enter that as well.

The File System—Where Did Everything Go?

Click Create User, and the Mac will create a new account, and a new home folder, for that user. They will be able to log in and access their files.


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This type of account is designed for children. If you select Managed with Parental Controls from the New Account menu in the new account sheet, you will see a menu allowing you to select an age. You can choose the following: Each of these ages correspond to built-in parental controls in apps like iTunes. Once you have selected an age, proceed as above for a standard user account. After the account is created, select it in the list of users and check Enable parental controls.

Next, click Open Parental Controls, and enter your password. You have a number of options for limiting what your children can access. A sharing only user account allows a user to access specific shared folders on your Mac. If you use your Mac for file sharing at home or at work, you may want to create accounts for users so they can access files on the computer but do nothing else. To do this, select Sharing Only from the New Account menu.

Directory Structures of Mac OS X, Examined and Explained

Fill in the rest of the information as above, but to provide access to selected folders, you must then go to the Sharing preference pane in System Preferences. See this Apple support document for more information on file sharing.


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  4. Select this user and check Allow guests to log in to this computer. You really don't want your friends to check their email on the web while in your user account, where they could potentially access a lot of your personal information or files. When the guest account feature is active, any guest to your home or your office can sit down at this Mac and click on Guest on the login screen to be able to use the computer. None of their files will be saved; when they log out everything will be deleted. But they can browse the web, even configure Mail to use their email account if they wish, send instant messages, and more.


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    • The File System--Where Did Everything Go? | Chapter 3: Mac OS X Basics | InformIT.

    And unless you check the option to allow them to connect to shared folders, they will have no access to any of the files on the computer. While you may create accounts for users who will be accessing your Mac for a long time, you may also temporarily create an account for, for example, a friend who is staying with you for a week, or a temporary employee.

    macOS Sierra: Folders that come with your Mac

    This folder contains the home folders of all the people set up as users on your Mac. The Users folder also contains the Shared folder. Items in the Shared folder are available to anyone who uses your Mac. Your home folder is named with your user name and has folders for your desktop files, downloads, pictures, documents, movies, music, and any public files. You can create folders in your home folder. Additionally, you can create folders in your iCloud Drive folder, the Documents folder, or on the desktop on your Mac or in iCloud Desktop and Documents to organize your files.

    There are certain locations where you may not be able to create additional folders. Applications This folder contains apps, including Mail, Calendar, Safari, and many others.

    macOS Sierra: Folders that come with your Mac

    Library This folder contains fonts, Internet plug-ins, and other items used by apps that are available to all users of your Mac. System This folder contains the macOS operating system. Users This folder contains the home folders of all the people set up as users on your Mac.