Change the full or the short name of your macOS account

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Many computer systems have an option for a full name and an account name. In macOS, 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 (for example, websites and file servers).

Change the full name

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.

Change 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 Create and delete users in macOS.

If you still wish to change the short name of your account for IU printing or other purposes, see Apple Support's Change the name of your macOS user account and home folder.

This is document amod in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-09-21 15:40:58.