System Preferences – Accounts

Sunday, May 11, 2008, 11:24 AM – Tips and Hints

If you are the only one who uses your computer you may wonder why you would ever want to have more than one account. Good, logical question. Sometimes I use a second account when I am teaching so I can keep my private stuff private. Besides, I get tired of being hassled about how many applications I keep in my Dock.

You may find that having at least one additional account is a good idea. It will let you check for problems at times, or give you a place to let someone else use your computer without putting any of your own stuff at risk. By checking for problems, I mean that you can check to see if a glitch shows up in more than one account. If it does, then you know you may have a system problem of some kind.

To add new accounts you must be logged into your administrator account. If you have never added additional accounts, then you will be in your administrator account by default every time you log on.

Add An Account

Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Accounts.

If the padlock in the bottom left corner is in the locked position, click on it so you can unlock it. You can’t make changes until it is unlocked. You will be asked for your administrator password before it will unlock.

Click on the + sign and a new user account box will open.

If you are using Tiger, type the user’s name and password. (You can choose to not have a password, but it is not recommended.) The Short Name will be entered automatically. If you want the person to have administrator authority for your computer, put a check in the box for that authority. Click on “Create Account”.

If you are using Leopard, select the type of account you want to create (administrator, sharing, managed with parental controls, or standard) and type the user’s name and password. (You can choose to not have a password, but it is not recommended.) The Short Name will be entered automatically. If you want the person to have administrator authority for your computer, put a check in the box for that authority. Click on “Create Account”.

Then click on the Parental Controls tab and set up whatever controls you wish to impose on the account. You have all kinds of options, including controlling from whom the account holder can receive e-mail.

The next step is to click on the Picture tab and select a picture from the options offered, drag and drop an image from iPhoto, or take an instant photo using your computer if you have one of the newer Macs with the built-in cameras.

If you want to change which account opens when your computer boots up, click the Login Option button at the bottom of the window. Otherwise, close the Accounts window and the new account will be set. Don’t forget to lock it again if that is important to you.

It is a good security measure to keep your accounts set-up locked so that no one can make changes but you.

 

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