Combine two+ Users Accounts on the same machine

Last modified: Jun 30, 2013 7:30 AM
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Combine two+ Users Accounts on the same machine into one.

Hello and welcome to my User Tip

A problem occurs when one uses Migration Assistant to bring a user account over from another machine or via TimeMachine or bootable clone. Instead of the files going into the active user account, it creates another account on the machine matching the ones migrated.

Users want their old files into the account newly created on the machine, or pick through what they want and delete the rest along with the old account. (advised)

One can't merge two or more accounts on the same machine, rather they can exchange files between accounts thus one can get all the user files and the other accounts deleted.

So I'll show you how to go about this.

Pick a User Account your going to keep, make sure it's a Admin account and if need to, log into another Admin account and make it so in System Preferences > accounts.

One logs out of their current account by using the Apple menu > Log out.

Next while in one of the accounts your later planing on removing, go to the Finder > Go > Computer and window opens.

Open the MacintoshHD partition, then the Users folder and the User Account you plan to keep, then the Public folder and then locate the DropBox folder for that User. Any files placed in there will change permissions and be accessible to that user when you log into it.

User uploaded file

It's that simple. 🙂

I would advise taking your time, exporting bookmarks, adddresbook contacts and email addresses, then when your really really sure, head to System Preferences in the Admin account and delete the other accounts.

Since dropping items into the DropBox copies them, I advise to take your time and delete the originals out of the soon to be deleted user account as not to fill your boot drive too much or the machine will fail to boot or operate.

Note: Using Migration Assistant will move user accounts to a new Mac, plus the programs in Applications folder, which is a global access folder for all accounts.

If you have programs stored in the User account folders (like self contained ones) and delete that user account, so will those programs residing in that user acount will be deleted. Copy them to Applications folder for all users to use, or via the methods above to use with only one user account.

Some programs must reside in Applications or have parts in OS X itself and when Migrating to a new machine, require to be updated or reinstalled.

Done. 😉