Hide Specific User Account in Login Screens of Mac OS

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Mac users who have multiple user accounts on a single computer sometimes want a specific user account not to appear on the OS X login screens. This is quite common for system administrators who want to hide an administrator account that can be used for direct or remote troubleshooting, but it can also apply to other users for a variety of reasons. By hiding an account in this way, the account login will still exist if it is known and can still be accessed via remote login and screen shares, but it will not show up on the startup screens as a login option.

Note that this method is for hiding a specific user account from the login screen, which is applicable for Macs with multiple user accounts. If you simply don’t want to show all avatar icons when starting OS X, you can hide all usernames from the login window with an OS X preference setting, which will display a simple login form rather than any hint as to what user accounts are on the Mac.

If you are targeting a specified user account to hide, you should know the user account short name and have some comfort using the command line. To get started, launch the Terminal in OS X and have the short account name handy. The short name is almost always the same as the users home directory, the latter is what we actually use to hide and unhide the accounts.

Hide a specific user account in Mac OS X

Hide a user account from the Mac OS X login screen

This works in OS X Yosemite (10.10 and newer). The common syntax to use to hide an account is as follows, replacing ACCOUNTNAME with the user home directory of the account that is no longer displayed:

sudo dscl. create / Users / ACCOUNTNAME IsHidden 1

For example, if you wanted to hide the user account “compsmag” on a Mac with the specified user directory / Users / compsmag, the syntax would be:

sudo dscl. create / Users / compsmag IsHidden 1

Hiding a user account in OS X

Upon restart, you will notice that the target account is no longer visible in the avatar list. The account will also become invisible to the Fast User Switching menu and OS X general login and logout menu. Nevertheless, users who are aware of the account can continue to access via SSH, screen sharing, remote login, or even the GUI login panels, assuming they know it exists.

At startup, this is the login screen where the specified account would no longer appear on:

Hide a user account from the OS X login screen

Note that you can actually go ahead and hide the entire user directory so it isn’t visible, as well as the login name, essentially making the entire user account invisible (but still usable) to the Mac, except by someone who knows how to find it, or whether it exists to begin with. We will deal with that separately.

Make the user account visible for logging into OS X

Revealing the user account and going back to the default setting to display the specified user on login screens, windows, and toggle quick user accounts menu is also quite easy. Just replace the 1 with 0 and run the same command, again targeting the user account short name / folder name.

sudo dscl. create / Users / ACCOUNTNAME IsHidden 0

As before, restarting the Mac will again reveal the specified account on the login screen of OS X.

Aside from the obvious uses for a system administrator, there are other practical uses for this as well. You may want to avoid user confusion on a multi-user Mac, hide an admin account from being used, not show a rarely used new user account that is for a particular purpose, maintain some privacy by not disclosing a unique personal account, or maybe just Don’t show a global guest account that remains active but is not visible because it is rarely needed. Whatever your desired intention or reason, this works quite well and can be quickly reversed if necessary.

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How to Hide a Specific User Account from Login Screens of Mac OS X: FAQ

Tutorial Summary: How to Hide a Specific User Account from Login Screens of Mac OS X

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the How to Hide a Specific User Account from Login Screens of Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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