How to Change Username on Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

Changing the username on your Mac is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. Whether you want to update your username for personal reasons or to align it with your professional identity, this tutorial will guide you through the process. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Create a New User

Before changing your username, you need to create a new user account on your Mac. This is necessary as macOS does not allow direct renaming of the current user account. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences”.
  2. Click on “Users & Groups” to access the user account settings.
  3. Unlock the settings by clicking on the padlock icon in the bottom-left corner and entering your password.
  4. Click on the “+” button below the user list to add a new user.
  5. Select “Administrator” as the account type, enter a full name (which will be displayed as your username), and provide a password for this new user.
  6. Click “Create User” to finish creating the new user account.

Step 2: Transfer Files and Settings (Optional)

If you want to transfer your files and settings from the old user account to the new one, follow these steps:

  1. Login with your newly created user account.
    • Note: Make sure you have administrative privileges for both accounts before proceeding.
  2. Open the “Users & Groups” preferences pane again.
  3. Select the old user account in the sidebar.
  4. Click on the gear icon below the user list and choose “Advanced Options..”.
  5. In the “Advanced Options” window, change the Account Name to match your new username.
    • Note: This will change the short name of your user folder in macOS.
  6. Close the preferences pane to save your changes.
  7. Delete the newly created user account you made in Step 1 (if you no longer need it).

Step 3: Update Your Home Folder Name (Advanced Users)

If you are comfortable with advanced settings and want to update your home folder name, follow these steps:

  1. Login as a different administrator user.
    • Note: This step is crucial to avoid any issues with permissions.
  2. Open Terminal app.
    • Note: You can find it in Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  3. Type the following command:

    sudo mv /Users/old_username /Users/new_username

    (Replace “old_username” with your current username and “new_username” with your desired username.)

    This command will rename your home folder from “old_username” to “new_username”.
  4. Press Enter and provide your administrator password when prompted.
  5. Restart your Mac to apply the changes.


Changing your username on a Mac may seem like a daunting task, but by following these steps, you can easily update your username and personalize your user account. Remember to create a new user account first, transfer files if needed, and proceed with caution when updating home folder names for advanced users. Enjoy using your Mac with your new username!

We hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment below.

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