Adding Multiple Users on a Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Adding multiple users on a Mac is a simple process that can help maintain privacy and keep personal files separate. It’s a helpful feature for families, roommates, or colleagues who share a single Mac computer. With just a few clicks, you can create separate accounts for each person, each with their own settings and preferences.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding Multiple Users on a Mac

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that adding multiple users to your Mac creates individual spaces for each person. Each user will have their own login password, desktop, and can customize their settings without affecting other users. It’s a great way to personalize the user experience for each person that uses the computer.

Step 1: Open System Preferences

Open System Preferences from your Dock or the Apple menu.

System Preferences is the go-to place for changing settings on your Mac. It’s like the control center for your computer.

Step 2: Click on ‘Users & Groups’

Click on the ‘Users & Groups’ icon within System Preferences.

This is where you can manage all the user accounts on your Mac. You can add or remove users and change various login options.

Step 3: Unlock the Preferences Panel

Click the lock icon in the bottom left corner and enter an admin password to make changes.

This is a security feature to prevent unauthorized changes to user accounts. You must have admin privileges to add new users.

Step 4: Add a New User

Click the ‘+’ button below the list of users, choose the account type, and fill out the necessary information.

You can choose between an ‘Administrator’ account, which has the ability to make changes to the system, or a ‘Standard’ account, which is more limited.

Step 5: Set up the New User Account

Complete the setup by entering a full name, account name, password, and a password hint.

Make sure to pick a strong password to keep the account secure. The password hint can help the user remember their password if they forget it.

After completing these steps, you will have successfully added a new user to your Mac. Each user can log in to their own account from the login screen, which appears when the Mac starts up or when switching users from the Apple menu.

Tips for Adding Multiple Users on a Mac

  • Use strong, unique passwords for each user account to ensure security.
  • Consider setting up parental controls for children’s accounts to restrict access to adult content and limit screen time.
  • Take advantage of the ‘Guest User’ feature for temporary users, which doesn’t require a password and deletes all data upon logout.
  • Organize shared files in the ‘Shared’ folder, accessible to all users.
  • Regularly review user accounts and remove any that are no longer needed to keep your Mac organized.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set up a Mac for multiple users without an administrator account?

No, you need an administrator account to add or manage user accounts on a Mac.

How do I switch between user accounts on a Mac?

You can switch accounts by clicking the Apple menu and choosing ‘Log Out,’ then select the other user account from the login screen.

Can I share applications between users on the same Mac?

Yes, applications installed in the Applications folder are available to all users, but some might require separate licenses or subscriptions.

What happens to the files of a deleted user account?

When you delete a user account, you have the option to save the home folder as a disk image or delete it permanently.

Can I limit the time a user can spend on the Mac?

Yes, you can set time limits for user accounts by using parental controls in the ‘Users & Groups’ preferences.


  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on ‘Users & Groups.’
  3. Unlock the Preferences Panel.
  4. Add a New User.
  5. Set up the New User Account.


Adding multiple users on a Mac is a straightforward process that enhances the user experience, especially in shared computing environments. By creating separate accounts, users can enjoy a personalized space with their own settings, files, and applications. As an authority on the topic, I encourage Mac users to take advantage of this feature as it not only organizes the system but also adds a layer of security and privacy. Whether it’s for family use or to separate work and personal profiles, multiple user accounts are a smart way to manage a Mac’s accessibility. So, go ahead, set up that new account for your roommate or child, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your files are just yours.