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Mac users who have multiple user accounts on a single machine may sometimes wish to hide a specific user account from appearing on the login screens of OS X. This is fairly common for systems administrators who want to hide an admin account that can be used for direct or remote troubleshooting, but it can also be applicable to other users for a variety of reasons. By hiding an account this way, the account login still exists if it’s known and it can still be accessed from remote login and screen shares, but does not appear at the boot screens as a login option.

Note this method is geared towards hiding a specific user account from the login screen, applicable to Macs with multiple user accounts. If you simply want to not show all avatar icons at the boot login of OS X, you can hide all usernames from the login window with an OS X Preference setting, which will display a simple login form rather than any hint at what user accounts are on the Mac.

Targeting a specified user account to hide requires you to know the users account short name, and having some comfort with using the command line. To get started, launch the Terminal in OS X and have the account short name handy. The short name is almost always the same as the users home directory, the latter is what we’re actually using to hide and unhide the accounts.

Hide a User Account from the Login Screen of Mac OS X

This works in OS X Yosemite (10.10 and newer). The general syntax to use to hide an account is as follows, replacing ACCOUNTNAME with the user home directory of the account to no longer display:

sudo dscl . create /Users/ACCOUNTNAME IsHidden 1

For example, to hide the user account “osxdaily” on a Mac with the given user directory being /Users/osxdaily, the syntax would be:

sudo dscl . create /Users/osxdaily IsHidden 1

On reboot you will notice the target account is no longer visible in the avatar list. The account will also become invisible to Fast User Switching menu and the general login and logout menu of OS X. Nonetheless, users who are aware of the account can continue to access it through SSH, screen sharing, remote login, or even the GUI login panels, assuming they know it exists.

Upon boot, this is the login screen that specified account would no longer appear at:

Note that you can actually go further and hide the entire user directory from being visible as well as the login name, which basically makes the entire user account invisible (yet still usable) to the Mac except by someone who either knows how to find it, or that it exists to begin with. We’ll cover that separately.

Unhide the User Account from Login of OS X

Revealing the user account and going back to the default setting of displaying the specified user at login screens, windows, and the Fast User Account switching menu, is also quite simple. Simply replace the 1 with 0 and run the same command, again targeted at the user account short name / directory name.

sudo dscl . create /Users/ACCOUNTNAME IsHidden 0

As before, rebooting the Mac will reveal the specified account again at the login screen of OS X.

Aside from the obvious uses for a systems administrator, there are other practical uses for this too. Perhaps you want to avoid user confusion on a multi-user Mac, hide an admin account so that it’s not used, not show an infrequently used new user account that is for a particular purpose, maintain some privacy by not revealing a unique personal account, or maybe just not show a general guest account that remains active but not visible as it’s rarely needed. Whatever the desired intention or reason, this works quite well and can be reversed quickly if necessary.

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Set Up The Guest User Account In Mac Os

Though you can disable it, it’s best to leave enabled on all Macs, not only for the aforementioned temporary use scenarios, but also to be able to track the Mac if it’s lost or stolen by using Find My Mac. We’ll focus on setting up the Guest User account for short usage by your friends and family, the most likely scenario.

Understand Guest Account Restrictions

Before continuing, it’s important to understand the standard Mac Guest Account is limited in a few very specific ways:

No files, caches, or passwords are stored longterm – everything is deleted after the guest user has logged out

Using the Guest account does not require a password

Application usage and web access can be controlled through Parental Controls

These are all positive limitations. The lack of storage means temporary usage files and caches won’t take up unnecessary space on the Mac. Not requiring the guest password means it’ll always be easy to login to, plus Find My Mac will track the computer if it becomes lost or stolen. Finally, application and web restrictions are great if you want to keep the Guest account to something like web mail use, because it’s easy to block everything else.

If this is too limited and you’re hoping to setup a more full featured guest login that doesn’t have those restrictions or doesn’t toss out files and caches, you may want to consider just adding a complete new user account to the Mac instead.

Let’s assume all is good, so we’ll configure the guest login, make it available quickly through a menu item, and then implement some basic usage restrictions.

How to Setup Guest Account on Mac OS 1: Enable Guest Login

From the  Apple menu, go to System Preferences then choose “Users & Groups”

Select “Guest User” from the sidebar listing

Be sure the checkbox next to “Allow guests to log in to this computer” is checked

Now that Guest is enabled, let’s make it easy to get to and from with Fast User Switching.

2: Enable Fast User Switching Menu

You’ll want to enable the Fast User Switching menu so you can quickly go back and forth to (your) normal account and the guest account. Fast User Switching is super easy to use:

Still in System Preferences, go to “Users & Groups”

Check the box next to “Show fast user switching menu as” and pick either “Icon” or “Short Name”

Set “Automatic Login” to OFF

You can choose “Full Name” too but unless your full name is pretty short, taking up so much space in the menubar with a name has never made much sense.

The reason Automatic Login goes off is so that if the computer was stolen or misplaced, a reboot will not automatically login to any user account. This then lets someone choose the “Guest” account that doesn’t require a password, which then opens the Mac up to be found and tracked on a map with Find My Mac, the desktop version of Find My iPhone, and yes, either iOS or Macs can be tracked and discovered from one another.

With the Fast User Switching menu enabled, you’ll now see something like this in the corner. Pull that down and you can now instantly access the Guest account.

But before testing out the Guest Account, set a few simple configuration options…

3: Configurations for a Family & Friends Guest Account

Generally speaking, you trust friends and family enough, so you probably don’t need to limit their application usage and website access too much, but there are a few things you should take the time to check out

Enable Guest Restrictions

Configure Restrictions

First go to the “Apps” tab and determine if you want to limit app usage or not, if yes, then check the box next to “Limit Applications” and then only check the apps you want people to be able to use, like Safari, Pages, Google Chrome, etc. The options for Simple Finder and Dock Modification are largely necessary because this Guest account does not save files or changes anyway

Next go to the “Web” tab – without getting overly restrictive you can choose something reasonable like “Try to limit access to adult websites” option to prevent people from doing anything too weird on your Mac… do note these web restrictions only apply to Safari so you may want to have that be included in the app limit list

For most uses, skipping “People” and “Time Limits” is fine, but poke around in there to see if there’s something that sounds beneficial

Now go to “Other” to see if there’s anything else worth limiting. If you have a finicky printer (and who doesn’t) that is working at the moment , it is highly recommended to choose “Limit printer administration” to prevent the printer settings from changing at all

With configuration set up as desired, close out of System Preferences

You might want to try out the Guest account yourself, pull down the User menu you enabled and switch over to “Guest” and you can test out the experience. Remember, don’t bother to make any changes or adjustments once in the Guest account, because the whole account is ephemeral and nothing is saved.

The Mac is Now Ready for Guest Use

With everything configured, now you just need to remember to use the guest account when someone asks to use your computer. Someone asks to use your Mac to check their email or use facebook? No problem, pull down that Fast User Switching menu item and choose “Guest”:

This is why the Fast User Switching menu is great, fast access, plus it will keep your current account logged in, with all of your apps, windows, documents, everything still active, while simultaneously allowing the guest user to login into a separate area. Don’t worry about doing this, the Guest User has no access to your session, your documents, or your private data.

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Mac Os X 10.4.9 Update Released

What’s included?

The following improvements apply to both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs unless otherwise noted:

.Mac

Improves automatic iDisk syncing for customers whose .Mac username contains a period (.).

Improves overall .Mac Sync performance.

Addresses an issue with automatic and periodic syncing as set in the .Mac System Preferences panel.

Reduces .Mac Sync timeouts when syncing large data sets.

Prevents large amounts of Address Book data from being changed without authorization.

Addresses an issue which could result in properly unregistering a computer.

Addresses issues related to syncing a large number of changes to .Mac

Prevents third-party syncing applications from presenting an extraneous initial sync alert.

Bluetooth

Addresses a wake-from-sleep issue for Kensington PilotMouse Mini Bluetooth devices when used with a MacBook.

Resolves issues in which Bluetooth-based devices might not respond after sleep on some computers.

iChat, iCal, and iSync

Resolves an issue in which iCal reminders may appear off to the side of the screen.

Resolves an issues in which some events added to particular dates may not display correctly.

Event notes are now synced between iCal and Nokia N70 phones.

Adds iSync support for more devices.

Includes iChat support for USB Video Class webcams.

Networking and modem

Addresses a permissions issue when copying a file with extended attributes from an AFP share of an Xsan volume, via the Finder.

Resolves an issue when using kerberos authentication with Active Directory if the user is a member of many groups.

Resolves performance issues with Intel-based iMacs that could occur when determining high-speed network switches.

Improves reliability when faxing in France or Belgium via an external Apple USB Modem.

Adds support for WPA2 encryption in Network Diagnostics.

Addresses an issue with automatic AirPort connections that use different authentication methods.

Addresses an issue in which Network Preferences may unexpectedly quit after disconnecting a network-aware USB device while Network Preferences is open.

Addresses an issue with iMac’s maintaining manual duplex settings.

Internal Apple modem drivers now offer the same robustness as external Apple modem drivers.

External USB modems now report DLE-d for busy tone detection.

Adds modem support for Russia.

Fax receiving now works when the country code is set to France.

Resolves an issue in the Open dialog when browsing AFP volumes within applications using Rosetta.

Resolves a printing issue that could occur with applications using Rosetta, while logged in as Active Directory User that has an SMB home directory.

Printing

Resolves a printing issue with applications using Rosetta while logged in as an Active Directory User with SMB home directory.

Resolves an issue in which temporary files might use excessive disk space when printing to some third-party printers.

For information on the benefits this update includes for Aperture, see this article.

Resolves issues for these third-party applications that use Rosetta: LEGO StarWars, Adobe InDesign, H&R Block TaxCut, Big Business’ Big Business 5.1.0.

Resolves an issue in which Adobe Arno Pro Italics fonts might not install in Font Book.

Resolves an issue for Microsoft Word in which OpenType Fonts may not display correctly; this update also addresses OpenType font issues using Word 2004.

 Other

Improves the reliability of OpenGL-accelerated graphics in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft.

Improves the reliability of OpenGL-based applications on Mac Pro computer with Nvidia graphics cards.

Includes updated security certificates.

Includes the Daylight Savings Time Update (released February 15, 2007) which contains the latest worldwide time zone and Daylight Saving Time (DST) rules as of January 8, 2007.

Resolves a toggling issue when zooming using the Command-Alt-8 key combination (Universal Access).

Resolves an issue in which some USB printers may stop printing in Classic.

Addresses an issue in Classic in which an iMac G5’s built-in iSight camera might stop responding.

Improves validation of disk images.

Includes improved support for USB devices in Classic.

Improves support for files with “.ac3”, “.m2v”, and “.m4v” filename extensions.

Improves performance when transferring from a P2 USB reader in the Finder.

Resolves an issue in which DVD player might not play a track that’s longer than 3 hours.

Addresses a display issue that could occur in chúng tôi running in 256-color mode on an Intel-based Mac.

Addresses EAP-FAST in PAC mode issue in a TLS session.

Addresses an issue in which incorrect encoding could be used for the files created by the “New Text File” Automator action on Intel-based Macs.

Includes recent Apple security updates.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.

Source: Apple: About the Mac OS X 10.4.9 update

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Mac Os X Directory Structure Explained

Here you will find a brief overview of these directories, as well as an explanation of each system level directory as found in Mac OS X and macOS system software.

Directory Structures of Mac OS X, Examined and Explained

By default, if you glance in the root of your Mac’s hard disk from Finder, you’ll see some unfamiliar sounding directories. The underlying directory structures of Mac OS are best revealed by visiting the root directory of the Mac, which many Mac users may encounter when they visit their own “Macintosh HD”.

Going further from the command line, you will see even more root level directories if you type the following:

ls /

Here you will find directories with names like; cores, dev, etc, System, private, sbin, tmp, usr, var, etc, opt, net, home, Users, Applications, Volumes, bin, network, etc.

Rather than wonder at the mystery of what all these folders, directories, and items mean, let’s examine and detail what these directories are, and what they contain, as they are relevant to the Mac operating system.

In no particular order, here is a table to help with this effort of exploring the base system directory structure of Mac OS:

Directory Description

/Applications Self explanatory, this is where your Mac’s applications are kept

/Developer The Developer directory appears only if you have installed Apple’s Developer Tools, and no surprise, contains developer related tools, documentation, and files.

/Library Shared libraries, files necessary for the operating system to function properly, including settings, preferences, and other necessities (note: you also have a Libraries folder in your home directory, which holds files specific to that user).

/Network largely self explanatory, network related devices, servers, libraries, etc

/System System related files, libraries, preferences, critical for the proper function of Mac OS X

/Users All user accounts on the machine and their accompanying unique files, settings, etc. Much like /home in Linux

/Volumes Mounted devices and volumes, either virtual or real, such as hard disks, CD’s, DVD’s, DMG mounts, etc

/ Root directory, present on virtually all UNIX based file systems. Parent directory of all other files

/bin Essential common binaries, holds files and programs needed to boot the operating system and run properly

/etc Machine local system configuration, holds administrative, configuration, and other system files

/dev

/usr Second major hierarchy, includes subdirectories that contain information, configuration files, and other essentials used by the operating system

/sbin Essential system binaries, contains utilities for system administration

/tmp Temporary files, caches, etc

/var Variable data, contains files whose contents change as the operating system runs

You may very well find other directories as well, depending on the version of Mac OS X you have, and depending on what apps and system adjustments you have made.

Nonetheless you can be sure that if any directory is at the root of Mac OS X, it is important, and shouldn’t be messed with at least without detailed knowledge of what you’re doing. Never delete, modify, or otherwise alter system files and directories on a Mac (at least without knowing exactly what you’re doing and why) because doing so can disrupt the operating system and prevent it from working as expected. Always back up a Mac before exploring and modifying system level directories.

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How To Set Up An External Hard Drive For Use With Mac Os X

When you first attach a hard drive to your Mac, it should automatically mount and be ready to use; however before relying on it, you should consider taking a couple of precautionary steps to ensure that the drive continues to work as expected.

Note: This guide is for those whose drive isn’t really working with their Mac, or those who want to set up their drive to work specifically work on OS X. By default, most drives should work with both Windows and OS X unless specified otherwise.)

By default, if you got a new external hard disk and you have not done anything to it, it will probably in the FAT32 format. This format will work fine on Mac, but it does have some limitations. For starters, FAT32 lacks journaling support which would help prevent data corruption, and lack of support for various filesystem permission. In addition, FAT32 drives usually come with the Master Boot Record partition scheme, which does not work with Apple’s CoreStorage routines, and therefore will not allow OS-supported encryption of the drive (among other customizations).

If your external hard drive is not working as expected, or you need it to be in Mac-specific format, here’s how to set up your hard drive for use with Mac OS X:

To begin, be sure to format your drive. To format the drive, attach the external hard drive to your system and open Disk Utility, and then perform the following steps:

1. Select your drive device in the list of devices in the left-hand pane, which is the item above any storage volumes on the drive, and which may show the manufacturer name, media size, and so on.

2. Choose the “Partition” tab the appears.

3. Select “1 Partition” from the drop-down menu (or more, if you have specific need for more than one volume). When you select a new partition layout from the drop-down menu, each new partition will automatically be formatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) by default, but be sure to double-check this by selecting each in the partition diagram and then choosing the format for it.

Once you have completed all the above steps, the drive should unmount and remount with the new formatting settings, and should now be ready for use. Generally a format of the drive in this manner is all that is needed; however, some people may wish to test drives further to make sure the media does not contain any bad blocks or other errors beyond the scope of the drive’s formatting.

Testing out the newly formatted hard drive

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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How To Remove An Apple Id From A Mac

Have you unintentionally used an Apple ID or logged into an Apple ID on a Mac that isn’t yours, or perhaps that you don’t want iCloud access on? If so, you may wish to remove that Apple ID and iCloud account from that Mac. Similarly, you may want to delete an Apple ID from a Mac if you’re intending on changing the Apple ID in use on that computer for whatever reason.

This article will show you how to remove an Apple ID and iCloud account from a Mac.

Warning: Keep in mind that deleting an Apple ID and iCloud account from a Mac may result in unintended consequences, including loss of data, loss of Contacts syncing, loss of Notes syncing, an inability to use apps purchased or downloaded with a different Apple ID, an inability to access music purchased with a different Apple ID, and much more – if you log out of the Apple ID associated with all of that, then none of that data will be accessible on the Mac unless that Apple ID is used again. Thus you should not casually delete an Apple ID or iCloud account from a Mac.

How to Delete an Apple ID / iCloud Account from Mac OS

It’s a good idea to backup a Mac before modifying any important system settings like these, skipping a backup could result in unintended data loss. How you remove an Apple ID from a Mac depends on the version of system software in use, therefore use the instructions corresponding to

How to Remove an Apple ID / iCloud Account from MacOS Catalina and later

Go to the  Apple menu in the upper left corner then choose ‘System Preferences’

How to Delete an Apple ID / iCloud Accounts in MacOS Mojave and earlier

Go to the  Apple menu in the upper left corner then choose ‘System Preferences’

Select “iCloud” from the preference panel options

Choose “Sign Out” from the iCloud preference panel

Optionally but recommended for most users, select all possible options and choose to “Keep a Copy” of iCloud data on the local Mac *

* If you’re aiming to remove iCloud data as well as an Apple ID and iCloud account from a Mac, you may not want to choose “Keep a Copy” but that is ultimately up to you. Note that failure to do so may result in permanent data loss.

Once you are logged out of the Apple ID / iCloud account, the Mac will no longer have any of the iCloud features, files, or other Apple ID related data available to it (unless you then logged into a different Apple ID of course).

Removing the Mac Association from the Apple ID / iCloud Account

A follow-up additional step may be desirable for some Mac users if they are planning on never using the particular Mac again, or if they’re transferring it to a new owner with a different Apple ID, and that is to remove the device from the iCloud account, in this case you’ll be removing the Mac from the associated Apple ID / iCloud account. The simplest way to do this is from an iPhone or iPad using the same Apple ID:

Open Settings then tap on your name to access iCloud details

Choose “Devices” and then locate the Mac you have just previously deleted the Apple ID from

Scroll down and select “Remove from Account” to completely remove that Mac from the associated Apple ID / iCloud account

This is a good step to take if you’re selling or transferring ownership of a Mac to someone else, as you wouldn’t want the older compute still showing up on your Apple ID and iCloud account if it’s no longer yours.

Keep in mind it’s unnecessary to manually delete an Apple ID from the Mac if you’re simply aiming to erase and reset a Mac to factory settings, perhaps to sell it, or give to someone else, because that reset process will also delete any Apple ID accounts from the computer. But you probably would want to remove the computer from the Apple ID account as instructed.

While the vast majority of Mac users should be using an Apple ID with their Mac, since an Apple ID functions as basically the login gateway to the entire online Apple ecosystem including iCloud, iTunes, and the App Store, some Mac users also may want to have a Mac that has no iCloud functionality or Apple ID related data either, perhaps because it’s a public workstation or some other community device. That would be another situation where deleting an Apple ID from a computer could be reasonable, but otherwise this is something you should not take lightly. It’s also worth pointing out that if you’re aiming to delete an Apple ID from a computer because it’s outdated or your email address changed, you would want to change the email address associated with the Apple ID and then use that for the login.

An Apple ID is really an important component of using a Mac or iOS device within the Apple ecosystem, giving full access to any of the iCloud environment, App Store, iTunes, iCloud files, photos, Contacts, Notes, and so much more. With that in mind, you will want your own unique Apple ID for your own personal use, as they are not intended to be shared (even with family, each family member, partner, spouse, etc, should have their own unique Apple ID). If you’ve been in the situation where you were previously sharing an Apple ID with a partner or child, then it would be reasonable to backup the computer/devices, create a new Apple ID for the other person(s), and then log out of the shared Apple ID and then back into a unique Apple ID for each person. Just don’t skip over the fact that removing an Apple ID from a Mac can potentially delete files, contacts, notes, and other data you may not intend to remove, so back that data up and keep a copy of it if you’re concerned.

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