I have a work computer that has lots of certs and configuration on it that I would like to keep.

How do I remove all traces of a user on a Mac without formatting?

I've updated Mac OS by signing in with my account, but when trying to update the Mac OS apps only, as I've uninstalled everything but them, it prompts me for the password of the previous user. I'm signed in with my account in iCloud system preferences. No other accounts.

I haven't gone into the root structure and deleted all folders but I've deleted the user's files.

So I'm wanting to completely blow away any remnants of the user.

There is significant certificate and network configuration that I would rather leave in tact then format and start from scratch. Can this be resolved through terminal. I can kill the OS if needs be trying this and start from scratch but the process would be much longer. Rather give it a try.

Assistance appreciated


It sounds like the problem is that you have apps that were purchased under the old Apple ID. When you purchase an app, it's permanently linked with the Apple ID you made the purchase under. This is true even for free apps.

If this is what's going on, you'll need to delete those apps from the computer, and then repurchase/download them under the Apple ID that you want to use on that Mac going forward. For paid apps, this does mean you'll need to buy them again. When you purchase apps, you are purchasing them, and you're not allowed to pass them on to someone else; they need to buy their own apps. (Well, except for family sharing.)

  • '...when trying to update the Mac OS apps only, as I've uninstalled everything but them'. Already done this. – krhm Apr 12 at 0:44
  • Which specific apps? Those supplied as part of the basic OS (like iTunes and Safari) aren't tied to Apple IDs, so this doesn't apply to them. But anything that shows up as an app in the App Store -- including free Apple apps -- are tied to an Apple ID. This even applies to any apps that came bundled with the Mac; for instance, if your Mac came with Pages, you'll have been asked to "accept" that app under your Apple ID, and from then on it's permanently linked to that Apple ID. – Gordon Davisson Apr 12 at 2:19
  • Note that you can delete everything associated with a particular user by deleting their profile in System Preferences > Users & Groups. Authenticate, select their profile and click the minus button at bottom left. you will be given a choice of how to delete the profile. But like Gordon says apps that they put on the Mac don't belong to you and you have to delete them and then buy them again. – Steve Chambers Apr 12 at 23:12
  • I gave up and formatted which ended up being a bad idea as now no matter how I try and create a new partition, GUID, MBR or Apple it always gives the error: 'the disk doesnt use the GUID partition table scheme' – krhm Apr 12 at 23:44

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