How to Change User Name on Mac Catalina

Changing your user name on Mac Catalina can be a useful step for various reasons. Whether you want to personalize your Mac experience or simply update your user name to reflect a new identity, it’s important to understand how to go about this process. In this blog post, we will explore the steps and methods for changing your user name on Mac Catalina. We will also discuss the pros and cons of each method and provide alternative solutions in case you encounter any issues. So, let’s dive in and learn how to change your user name on Mac Catalina.

Why You Need to Change Your User Name on Mac Catalina

  • Personalization: Changing your user name allows you to personalize your Mac and make it feel more tailored to your preferences.
  • Privacy: If you had previously used a username that revealed personal information, changing it can help protect your privacy.
  • Professionalism: Updating your user name to reflect your professional identity can be beneficial, especially if you use your Mac for work-related tasks.

Video Tutorial:

Part 1. Changing User Name Using System Preferences

Changing your user name using the System Preferences is the most straightforward method. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Open the Apple menu by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
2. Select "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu.
3. In the System Preferences window, click on "Users & Groups."
4. Authenticate yourself by clicking on the lock icon in the bottom-left corner of the window and entering your password.
5. In the left sidebar, click on your user account name.
6. Click on the lock icon again to make changes.
7. Double-click on your current user name to edit it.
8. Enter the new username in the text field.
9. Click the "OK" button to save the changes.

Pros:

ProsCons
1. Easy and straightforward process to change user name.1. May require authentication to make changes.
2. No advanced technical skills or knowledge required.2. Changing the user name does not automatically update the home directory name.
3. The new username is instantly applied across the system.3. Changing the user name might cause some linked applications to fail.

Part 2. Changing User Name Using Terminal

If you prefer using the command line, you can change your user name using Terminal. Here’s how:

1. Open Terminal from the Utilities folder within the Applications folder, or by using Spotlight search.
2. Type the following command and press Enter:
"`
sudo scutil –set UserNames "`
Replace `` with the desired new user name and `` with your current user name.
3. Enter your password when prompted.
4. Restart your Mac for the changes to take effect.

Pros:

ProsCons
1. Allows precise control over the renaming process.1. Requires using Terminal and executing commands.
2. Renames both the user account and the home directory.2. Incorrect usage of Terminal commands can cause unintended consequences.
3. Well-suited for users familiar with the command line interface.3. Making mistakes while using Terminal can potentially delete files or cause system instability.

Part 3. Changing User Name Using a Third-Party App

If you prefer a more intuitive graphical user interface for changing your user name, there are third-party apps available that can help simplify the process. Here’s a general outline of how this method works:

1. Research and download a reliable third-party app designed specifically for changing user names.
2. Install and launch the app on your Mac.
3. Follow the instructions provided by the app to change your user name.
4. Restart your Mac for the changes to take effect.

Pros:

ProsCons
1. Provides a user-friendly interface for changing user names.1. Requires downloading and installing a third-party app.
2. May offer additional functionality and customization options.2. Reliability and safety of third-party apps may vary.
3. Suitable for users who prefer a more guided and intuitive approach.3. Some third-party apps may have a cost associated with them.

Part 4. Changing User Name Using AppleID

If your current user name is linked to your Apple ID, changing your user name might not be possible without creating a new user account. However, you can create a new user account and link it to a different Apple ID. Here are the steps:

1. Create a new user account following the instructions provided by Apple.
2. Log in to the new user account.
3. Open System Preferences and go to "Users & Groups."
4. Select your old user account from the left sidebar.
5. Click on the minus (-) button to delete the account.
6. Choose the option to save the home folder as a disk image.
7. You can now link the new user account to a different Apple ID.

Pros:

ProsCons
1. Allows creating a completely new user account with a different Apple ID.1. Requires creating a new user account and transferring files and settings.
2. Provides the option to start fresh with a clean account.2. May require reconfiguring preferences and settings.
3. Useful if you want to dissociate your new user name from your current Apple ID.3. Data from the old user account needs to be manually transferred to the new account.

What to Do If You Can’t Change Your User Name

If you encounter issues while trying to change your user name using the methods mentioned above, here are three alternative solutions you can try:

1. Create a new user account: If the previous methods don’t work, creating a new user account and transferring your files and settings might be a viable solution. However, this approach requires more time and effort.

2. Contact Apple Support: If you’re unable to change your user name, reaching out to Apple Support can help you troubleshoot the problem. Their support team can provide guidance and assistance tailored to your specific situation.

3. Seek professional help: If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting the issue yourself, consulting a professional technician or Mac expert can be a wise choice. They have the expertise to diagnose and resolve complex user account-related issues.

Bonus Tips

Here are a few bonus tips to consider when changing your user name on Mac Catalina:

1. Backup your data: Before making any changes to your user account, it’s essential to create a backup of your important files and data. This ensures that you can restore your information if anything goes wrong during the process.

2. Update associated accounts and services: After changing your user name, remember to update your user name in any services or accounts linked to your Mac. This includes email accounts, social media accounts, and any other online services that use your old user name.

3. Be cautious with Terminal: When using Terminal to change your user name, exercise caution and double-check your commands before executing them. Incorrect commands can have severe consequences and potentially cause data loss or system instability.

The Bottom Line

Changing your user name on Mac Catalina can be done through various methods, including using System Preferences, Terminal, or third-party apps. Each method has its pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider your preferences and level of technical expertise before choosing the most suitable option. Additionally, if you encounter any difficulties, alternative solutions such as creating a new user account or seeking professional help are available. Remember to back up your data and update your associated accounts and services after changing your user name to ensure a smooth transition.

5 FAQs about Changing User Name on Mac Catalina

Q1: Can I change my user name without affecting my files and settings?

A: Yes, you can change your user name without losing your files and settings. However, it’s crucial to back up your data before making any changes to avoid unexpected data loss.

Q2: Can I change my user name more than once?

A: It is possible to change your user name multiple times, but it’s generally recommended to keep user name changes to a minimum to maintain consistency and avoid confusion.

Q3: Can I change my user name on Mac Catalina using the iCloud settings?

A: No, you cannot change your user name directly through the iCloud settings on Mac Catalina. You’ll need to use System Preferences, Terminal, or a third-party app to change your user name.

Q4: Will changing my user name affect my Apple ID?

A: Changing your user name does not directly affect your Apple ID. However, if your old user name is linked to your Apple ID, you might need to create a new user account and link it to a different Apple ID instead.

Q5: Do I need admin privileges to change my user name on Mac Catalina?

A: Yes, changing your user name requires admin privileges. You’ll need to authenticate yourself with an admin account and password to make changes to your user account.