Check tutorial of How to Change a User Home Folder Name in Mac OS
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Some advanced Mac users may want to switch users Home folder folder name. This is a fairly uncommon scenario which is usually only needed for very specific reasons, whether a new user account has been added to a Mac, accounts are merged, a user changes their name, and adding a new user account is not possible for some. reason, resolving unusual directory name conflicts, or for other specific reasons relevant only to advanced Mac users.
Do not try to change a user home map unless you have compelling reason to do so and you know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it. This is not an action to be taken lightly because a lot of things can go very wrong. This is only relevant for advanced Mac users.
Warning: Back up a Mac with Time Machine or your backup method of choice before doing this. If something goes wrong, the user account can be inaccessible, including all files, and other possible issues can arise as well. Don’t skip support up the Mac and user data before performing any of these actions.
How to Change user Home Directory names in Mac OS
The method we are going to show here works to change users home folder name in Mac OS and Mac OS X, including versions Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks and Mountain Lion.
- Back up the Mac before doing anything else, don’t skip this
- Log in to a different Admin user account, it must be different from the account folder being changed
- From the Mac OS Finder, go to / Users / directory and rename the folder of the user account you want to change, just like any other file / folder, and verify when prompted
- From the Apple menu choose “System Preferences” and then choose “Users & Groups”
- Click the lock icon and authenticate to access making changes to users
- Right-click on the user account you want to change Home folder for and choose “Advanced options”
- Look for the “Home Directory ”and edit the path to match the newly renamed directory in step 3, make sure the directory name and correct directory path match, otherwise the user account will not work at all
- Click “OK” and restart the Mac for the changes to take effect
- Log in to the user account whose user is home folder has been changed and make sure everything is accessible and working as expected, including customizations, preferences, settings, apps, file access, data access, photos, media, apps, permissions and any other relevant item
It is critical to ensure that everything in the modified user directory is accessible and working as intended. Don’t skip the verification of data, files and preferences, as things can go wrong and lead to problems.
Be aware that some unusual side effects can occur, including the loss of various user account customizations and settings, or even the inability to access certain files or data at times. For example, you may lose all Dock and Finder settings when you log out continuously, until you restore permissions to the user library folder with chown or your chosen method. In addition, users may lose access to certain files or folders if they refer to a folder that no longer exists because of the name change. These are just a few of the many things that can go sideways, which should further highlight why this is really only relevant to advanced Mac users and not just like that.
Note that in this example, we are only changing the name of the user folder, not moving the user’s location home directory, which is sometimes used to move a user’s files to another hard drive or volume. However, the task is similar.
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