If you have an account on your Mac that’s no longer used and is taking up valuable disk space, you can remove it in just a few steps. Our guide will take you through everything you need to do to delete a user on a Mac quickly and easily.
There are plenty of other changes you can make to your Mac user accounts — if you want to change your username or manage an account’s Mac usage with Screen Time, we’ve got you covered.
These steps are compatible with MacOS Big Sur.
Step 1: Ensure you have administrator access
Deleting a user on a Mac requires you to have administrator access. You’ll need to be logged in to the administrator account and know the admin username and password to delete a user. You’ll also have to ensure you’re not logged in to the account you wish to delete — if you want to delete an administrator account, you’ll have to create another admin account and log in with that first.
Step 2: Enter the administrator password in System Preferences
Now that you’re ready to go, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen, then click System Preferences > Users & Groups.
Once you’re on the Users & Groups pane, click the padlock in the bottom-left corner and enter the admin username and password. This prevents any unauthorized changes from being made to user accounts.
Step 3: Remove the unwanted account
To remove the unwanted account, simply click the account name in the users’ list, then click the minus sign at the bottom of the window. You’ll have a few options, which we’ll go over below.
- Save the home folder in a disk image: If you feel like you might want to restore the user account later, this is one option you can choose. It archives all the user’s documents and information to pick back up where they left off if they gain access to their account once again. The disk image of their files is saved in /Users/Deleted Users/.
- Don’t change the home folder: This option will only accomplish part of the job, leaving some remnants of the user account on your Mac. You won’t see the unwanted user account on the login screen, but their home folder is still accessible. It is located in /Users/, which offers you the means to restore their account later.Delete the home folder: This will completely remove the user’s home folder and all their information and documents, freeing up whatever space they occupied. If you want to restore their account, you will have to set it up from scratch again.
You can opt to save guest user data or eliminate all traces of guest user activity, finalizing your selection by clicking Done.
Step 4: Remove the guest user option
Creating a guest account for friends and family to use allows you to let friends, family, and coworkers use your computer without compromising the protection of sensitive or personal information. If you have someone who needs computer access, allowing them to use a guest account is ideal for maintaining privacy for everyone involved.
After you finish working on your account, you have to log out, so the home screen shows all user accounts. If your primary account is password-protected, guests won’t be able to access it. On the other hand, the guest user account is accessible to anyone because it does not have privacy settings or a log-in password. If you don’t want to have guest accounts, you can disable the option so you will be the only user on your Mac.