Leopard Guest Accounts - Mac Tips Daily! #336

Click to Listen systempreferences.pngIn Mac OS X Leopard, Apple makes it very easy to let you temporarily share your mac with friends or family members visiting you. It comes with a built in Guest account that you can enable from the Accounts menu. The benefit of this is being able to let somebody use your machine to quickly browse the net, check their email, or other tasks. This keeps them from viewing your private info under your account. When they are done, the temporary home folder is removed and their privacy is secured as well.

How to do it:

1. Apple Menu -> System Preferences

mactips_336_0.png 2. Select Accounts mactips_336_1.png 3. Look in the lower left hand corner and verify that the padlock is unlocked. If it isn't, click on it and authenticate with you admin username and password. Once it's unlocked, select Guest Account. mactips_336_2.png 4. Be sure a checkmark is enabled on the option 'Allow guests to log into this computer'. Also on this screen, you can enable Parental Controls for thie guest account. The value of this is locking the limits down even further. For example, you can control what Applications a guest is allowed to run. Also, Unless it's a special case, I would disable the option 'Allow guests to connect to shared folders' . For someone that is just going to be hopping on and off quickly, they probably have no need to access a folder you are allowing sharing to. mactips_336_3.png 5. Once you are done, go ahead and click on the padlock to lock it. mactips_336_5.png Now the next time you get to the login screen of your Mac, you will have a Guest Account. Simply click on it to let your guest to login - no password required. When the user logs out of the account, all traces of that temporary Home folder are deleted, so their privacy is secured as well as yours. mactips_336_4.png