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Mike
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8976
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I wXXXXX XXXXXe the name of my home folder. The instructions

Resolved Question:

I wXXXXX XXXXXe the name of my home folder. The instructions on Mac Help, eHow and macRumors don't work. Is there an easy way?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
No not really. Why do you want to do that?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Because I bought the mac from somone else, so my docs are all labelled with is name. I've tolerated htis for awhile, but I bought a new mac and want to migrate my stuff to the new computer but without his name.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Ok you can try to manually migrate just Documents or other files if that is what you want but if you choose the whole account it will come over but as that user's account.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I want my files on my new computer with my own name on them. I thought that changing the name of the home folder and then migrating "user" to the new mac would accomplish that, but I'm still not clear on whether it will or not, and if so, whether I can do it. My son will also continue to use the old mac and I'd like to change the name.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
You can but it is not so easy you should have created a new account when you got it, before putting any personal info in. Anyway.... what system is the old Mac running?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OSX 10.6.8
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Ok this is how you do that, as I said it is not so simple:

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1428
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I found that page already, as I said in my first message. I get through step 9 just fine but when I get to step 10, there is no field to Enter the root password.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Ok all you said was,"The instructions on Mac Help, eHow and macRumors don't work." that does not tell me much.

Step 10 is Disable the root user.??? If you are at that point then you already changed the username, correct?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, I changed the username.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Then don't worry about the Root User I leave it enabled all the time it won't hurt anything unless you login and do something as the root user that you should not..
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The files are still labelled with the home folder/previous owner's name. I just checked. Isn't this supposed to change?
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
So you mean if you go to Maintosh HD/Users the folder there is still the same name?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
This is the only way I know how to do it and in fact step 4 is:

Select the Home folder with the short name you want to change, and rename it just like you would rename any folder. Keep in mind that the shortname must be all lowercase, with no spaces, and only contain letters.


How could it have not changed if you did that? Step 4 is the one you are stuck on, right??? Not step 10?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I guess so. Now it's telling me "The name "billhanrahan" is already taken. Please choose a different name"
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Do you already have an account with that name?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Not before this afternoon. Apparently, I somehow changed the root before contacting you but didn't change something else that will change the home folder or some other folder name.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Are you logged into the root user account now?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Ok then which step are you stcuk on you are confusing me. Have you renamed the folder in step 4? When are you getting the error about the account name?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Either 5 or 6. When I use the Accounts pane in System Preferences, instead of letting me click "OK", it tells me "name is XXXXX XXXXX another user"
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The sidebar home folder icon says "root" though I put my name, billhanrahan, in. Also when I open, say, a word doc, it still says the previous owners name in the doc title. Also, the previous owner's name is XXXXX XXXXX one of the folders in the users folder, i.e., the old home folder name is XXXXX XXXXX a folder in the /Users folder.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Of course the username on the home folder is going to be the name of the account you are logged into which is Root. The username you see in Word has nothing to do with that just change it in Word preferences. It has nothing to do with the account name on the computer. Log out and try logging into the account which you changed.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
When I log back in as me ("billhanrahan") the home older still has the previous owner's name, and in the users folder it still has his name.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Ok please go over this again and tell me where you get stuck if you could not perform step 4 then let me know, when does it tell you the name is XXXXX XXXXX:

For Mac OS X 10.5 or later

  1. Enable the root user.
  2. Log in as root.
  3. Navigate to the /Users folder.
  4. Select the Home folder with the short name you want to change, and rename it just like you would rename any folder. Keep in mind that the shortname must be all lowercase, with no spaces, and only contain letters.
  5. Use the Accounts pane in System Preferences to create a new user with the Account name or Short Name that you used in the previous step.
  6. Click OK when "A folder in the Users folder already has the name 'account name'. Would you like to use that folder as the Home folder for this user account?" Note: This will correct the ownership of all files in the Home folder, and avoid permissions issues with the contents.
  7. Choose Log Out from the Apple menu.
  8. Log in as the newly created user. You should be able to access all of your original files (on the desktop, in Documents, and in the other folders of this Home).
  9. After verifying that your data is as expected, you can delete the original user account via the Accounts pane of System Preferences.
  10. Disable the root user.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Step 4: When I try to change the home folder "root" to "billhanrahan", it won't let me. It gives me only a window saying "The name 'billhanraha' is already taken. Please choose a different name."
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Not the Root home folder the account that you are trying to change????
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
  1. Navigate to the /Users folder.
  2. Select the Home folder with the short name you want to change ( NOT THE ROOT user)!!!!, and rename it just like you would rename any folder. Keep in mind that the shortname must be all lowercase, with no spaces, and only contain letters.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The home folder says "root". When I go to the /Users folder, it has a folder withthe previous owner's name with Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Library, etc in it.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
You want to change the previous owners folder...... what do you think we have been trying to do????
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I don't apprecitate your attitude.... what do you think I've been trying to tell you????? I can't change the folder's name, as I told you before. I click on it and it doesn't give me the option to change it. It gives me the options: Open, Move to Trash, Get Info, Compress, Burn to disc, Duplicate, Make alias, Copy, Clean Up Selection, Show view Options, Label, Folder Actions Setup.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Well I am sorry but first you told me you could not get past instruction 10 and now I don't really know what you have doing. Go to Get Info to change the name
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sorry, I did that and I log back in as billhanrahan and when I look at the home folder icon, it still says the previous owner's name.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
OK but you have to do it in the order of the instructions, if you can't change the name of the folder you should never have got past step 4, please go through it again and stop if you get stuck, then let me know. Don’t be afraid to let me know if you don’t understand something.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.
Mike and 5 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm gonna accept the answer because it mostly works. I went through all the steps, but when I log back in as myself, it gives me my name, and documents are not labelled with the previous owner's name, and in the /User's file Desktop, Documents, Downloads are in the folder billhanrahan, but the sidebar still has the previous owner's name next to the house (home folder) icon.