Mac Tips Daily! # 232 - Create a Test Account

Troubleshooting OS X can be quite complex. But one of the first things I like to try is seeing if the problem is system wide, or just happening on my user account. If you are having trouble with slow down, crashes, or any other problems, it might be associated with your user account. One of the first steps I take in diagnosing a problem is to see if it occurs in other accounts. I create a 'Test' account on all of my Macs, since it's a known good account, it gives me a baseline for comparison. Here is how to do it: 1. Open System Preferences System Preferences80X80 2. Click on Accounts. accounts 3. If the padlock is locked, click on it to open. Authenticate if you need to, with your Admin password. unlock authenticate 4. Click the '+' symbol, right above the padlock. This will allow us to create a new account. add new account 5. When the dialog box appears, for the name type in something like 'Test Account'. 6. Enter a 'Password', and click on 'Allow user to administer password'. 7. Click on 'Create Account' - Your new account will be created. new account dialog 8. Click on the 'Padlock' to lock System prefs back up, and then close the System Prefs window. padlock Now you have a brand new 'Fresh' account. I recommend you don't customize anything on this account -- leave it as it is. Simply use it for diagnosing any problems. To test, I recommend you log out of your current account, and then login to the new one. You can fast user switch, and be logged into both at once, but I like to isolate the accounts when I am testing. See what works best for you. Try and duplicate the problem you are having on your existing account. If you can't, it's a good indicator the problem is associated with you USER account, and not a system-wide problem with OS X. We will talk more about troubleshooting these problems in upcoming shows.