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what's the best way to wipe user info on OSX without doing a clean install of the OS

447 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2013 4:04 AM by chungster RSS
chungster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 15, 2013 10:16 AM

Hello,

 

I am going to give my old imac to my nephew so I want to delete myself as an Administrator and user (ie, remove all traces of my personal info).  However I DO NOT want to delete all the installed applications I have installed over the years as they are useful to him.

Should I just set up a new admin and delete mine or are there other things I can/should do to 'clean out' myself from the system?  (preferences, etc.)

 

Thank you!

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,035 points)

    Should I just set up a new admin and delete mine or are there other things I can/should do to 'clean out' myself from the system?  (preferences, etc.)

    Yes, that will do the trick. If you choose to do a Secure Erase then it will also remove any trace of you from the disk. But it will take a long time to complete.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    chungster wrote:

     

    Should I just set up a new admin and delete mine or are there other things I can/should do to 'clean out' myself from the system?  (preferences, etc.)

     

    Creating a new admin, logging into it and deleting the first admin (and other accounts) will work to remove your user files and such in those accounts. Nothing in the Applications or Utilites folder is touched.

     

    However if you installed programs into that user account (like into Documents, Pictures, Movies, etc) those programs will be deleted. So move them into the Applications folder.

     

    However I DO NOT want to delete all the installed applications I have installed over the years as they are useful to him.

     

    Any program installed using your personal identification will remain on the machine.

     

    For instance if you have Creative Suite registered to your name, it's going to remain. Also you really never totally get rid of your name off the machine if you initially registered with your real name when first setting up the machine.

     

    It's because Apple uses your name to name the computer, the network and so forth. The only way to get rid of yourself totally is to wipe the entire Macintosh HSD partition of OS X, programs and everything.

     

     

    So if's it realyl your nephew then that's family and your likely not to have a issue, but if your selling or giving the machine to a stranger, you might want to erase the entire drive.

     

    How do I securely delete data from the machine?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,035 points)

    Everything associated with your account is deleted. He may want your iTunes Library, but all the tracks you've purchased with your Apple ID he cannot use unless you give him your Apple ID and password. I would not recommend that. Let him create his own iTunes Library.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    chungster wrote:

     

    Will deleting my admin account delete all my saved passwords in the keychain? 

     

    Yes

     

     

    How about my old emails?  In addition to Mail, I used to use Thunderbird.  Are there any special places that I need to delete files from for those apps?

     

    Yes old emails are gone. No special places for Thunderbird, emails are kept in the User account folder.

     

     

     

    And finally, if he wants to keep my itunes music, can i just drag my itunes folder into his account prior to deleting my account?

     

    This is a copyright violation in most cases unless the music is free of that or the license allows it.

     

    You should deauthorize the iTunes account in the User accounts being deleted, copy protected iTMS content won't play on his account. iTMS music is not copy protected but there is a 5 machine/device limit.

     

    You can transfer music and other files to his account through the Finder > Computer > Macintosh HD > Users > His account > Public > Dropbox that will change the user permissions on the files.

     

    Any iTMS purchased content is digitally signed with your personal information embedded into the files themselves.

     

    If your nephew goes and P2P's your files, you could be held liable for copyright infringement.

     

    If the music files are cd rips, then there is a good chance they are not digitally signed, however Apple might have done something to the files in the background to assist the RIAA against piracy.

     

    There is a 5 device limit to iTMS content, so technically since he's family you can control that and it's included in the iTMS content license, but that doesn't apply to cd rips.

     

     

    He might not like your music anyway and then seek to share it to get more he does like. So it depends upon the skill level of your nephew if he will do that or not.

     

     

    Set up his account on the machine, maintain dual accounts until it's all set up, then log into his and delete your account.

     

     

    Copy protected apps with one machine licenses that "phone home" you will have to either delete or buy another license for the new machine if it's a Mac.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    chungster wrote:

     

    Thanks for the response.  So that 'first lastname's imac' will forever be embedded unless I do clean install?

     

    Yes, that and in other places. The only 100% way I know of is a complete erase of OS X.

     

     

    Anything is possible with software of course, but I'm not familar with any one that can ensure a computers name change without totally erasing OS X.

     

    Still if there was, that won't account for third party software storing one's name someplace.

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