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I'm using a Macbook Pro and I'm wondering how to change the short name of the "user account"?

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Do you also want to rename the home directory? (Normally /Users/shortname/.) – user495470 Apr 29 '11 at 14:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I am not sure whether this is what you are after, but by dropping into System Preferences > Accounts, you can change the Full name for any of the available users you have access over.

Apple has a KB article explaining how the short name as well as the directory name for a user can be changed.

I will cite the instructions to change the short name from the article for versions of OS X 10.5 and later:

  1. Enable the root user.
  2. Log in as root.
  3. Navigate to the /Users folder.
  4. Select the Home folder with the short name you want to change, and rename it just like you would rename any folder. Keep in mind that the shortname must be all lowercase, with no spaces, and only contain letters.
  5. Use the Accounts pane in System Preferences to create a new user with the short name that you used in the previous step.
  6. Click OK when "A folder in the Users folder already has the name 'short name'. Would you like to use that folder as the Home folder for this user account?" Note: This will correct the ownership of all files in the Home folder, and avoid permissions issues with the contents.
  7. Choose Log Out from the Apple menu.
  8. Log in as the newly created user. You should be able to access all of your original files (on the desktop, in Documents, and in the other folders of this Home).
  9. After verifying that your data is as expected, you can delete the original user account via the Accounts pane of System Preferences.
  10. Disable the root user.
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no i mean the short name.. – Pacerier Apr 29 '11 at 10:05
I've updated my answer. – ayaz Apr 29 '11 at 10:14
heys sry i got stuck at the first step, what's the root user? (my user is admin is that counted?) – Pacerier Apr 29 '11 at 10:50
btw i was wondering why do i need to "verify that the data is expected" (i've no idea how to do this..). is this operation dangerous? – Pacerier Apr 29 '11 at 10:51

If your Mac was a school, a Standard User would be equal to a student, an Administrator would be equal to a Teacher, and root would be equal to the Principal. You can add, move, and delete files without the system complaining much because you're the Boss.

Of course, this means you can screw things up royally. Be careful.

This is Apple's article on how to enable Root:

I hope that helps!

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heys i got stuck at step 9. i couldn't Choose Enable Root User from the Edit menu. because there is no edit menu at all.. – Pacerier May 1 '11 at 0:33

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