In Mac OS X, how do I change the full name or the short name of my OS X account?

Note:
Many computer systems have an option for a full name and an account name. In Mac OS X, the full name (sometimes called the user name or display name) is usually different from your account name (sometimes called the short name). Changing your full name should have little effect on your computer's functionality. However, incorrectly changing the short name can have dramatic consequences, including locking you out of your files.

The full name is the line of text displayed under the login icon, most commonly the user's first and last name. The short name is the name that the computer uses to validate to resources on both the computer and external sources (e.g., websites and file servers).

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Changing the full name in Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and 10.10 (Yosemite)

Note:
To change the full name, you must have administrative access to your computer.
  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
  2. In "System Preferences", from the View menu, select Users & Groups.
  3. If the padlock icon in the bottom left corner of the preferences window is closed, click it. Authenticate with an administrative account.
  4. Right-click your account name, and in the contextual menu that opens, select Advanced Options....
  5. In the Advanced Options sheet, next to "Full name:", enter your name as you wish it to appear when logging into your account. Click OK.

Changing the full name in Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
  2. In "System Preferences", from the View menu, select Users & Groups.
  3. Click your account name. Under the Password tab, next to "Full Name:", enter your name as you wish it to appear when logging into your account. You may be prompted to enter your password. Press Enter to complete the change.

Changing the short name

Performing a short name change incorrectly can cause disconnects between your account and your account files by breaking the permissions between the two, and you won't be able to open any files or applications. If this happens, proceed no further and immediately contact Apple for further instructions.

A safer alternative is to create a new account with the short name you want, and begin using that. Copy all files from the old account to an external hard drive, and then move them to the new account from the external hard drive. For more, see In Mac OS X, how do I create and delete users?

If you still wish to change the short name of your account for IU printing or other purposes, see Apple Support's OS X: How to change your account name or home directory name.

This is document amod in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-10-16 00:00:00.

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