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If you’ve recently stopped sharing your Mac with others, then you should consider deleting unused user accounts on the machine. We’ll show you how to safely delete user accounts on macOS.

Before we begin, be sure to check if you have administrator privileges on the Mac. To verify this, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac’s desktop and open “System Preferences.”

How to Remove User Accounts in macOS

In macOS System Preferences, go to “Users & Groups.”

This will show all the user accounts on your Mac. Your account will appear at the top of the left pane and if you see “Admin” below your user name, you have administrator privileges.

The "Admin" text under your user name on macOS indicates that your user account has administrator privileges.

If you don’t see this, you can log in to any other account with admin privileges and go to the same “Users & Groups” page in System Preferences. Now click the lock icon in the bottom-left corner of the window.

Enter the password for this admin account. Click “Unlock” when you’re done. This will allow you to make changes to user accounts.

To make your account an administrator, click your user name in the left pane and check “Allow user to administer this computer.” Note that a restart is needed for these changes to take effect.

Check "Allow User To Administer This Computer" to grant administrator privileges to any user account.

Once you’ve ensured that it is an administrator, switch back to your account on the Mac and return to “Users & Groups” under “System Preferences.” Once again, click the lock icon in the bottom-left corner of this window, type your user account password, and click the blue “Unlock” button.

To delete a user account from the Mac device, select the correct user name in the left pane and then click the “-” (minus) button below “Login Options.”

Now is the time to decide whether you want to retain some of the data associated with the outgoing user account. You can choose to retain its home folder as a disk image in the “Users” folder of your Mac. To do this, click “Save The Home Folder In A Disk Image.”

If you’d rather not touch the contents of that user account, you can select “Don’t Change The Home Folder.” However, if you’re sure you want to get rid of all data from that user account, you can pick “Delete The Home Folder.”

Once you’ve made your choice, click the blue “Delete User” button to wrap up the process.

The user has now been removed from your Mac. If you also use Windows, you may want to know how to delete a user in Windows.

If you’re worried about losing your data, you should check out various ways to back up your Mac.

RELATED: The Best Ways to Back up Your Mac

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Pranay Parab has been a technology journalist for over 10 years, during which time he's written well over 500 tutorials, and covered everything from social media apps to enterprise software. Beyond How-To Geek, he's also written for Lifehacker and spearheaded the tutorials section at Gadgets 360, India's most popular technology blog.
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