Changing Home Folder Name in Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by niter, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. niter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2003
    I have no idea how I ended up with the name I did in my Home Folder. It is driving me batty. How can I change it?
  2. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    The home folder should be your “short name” from when you set up your account on OS X. It’s not supposed to be changed, and doing so can really mess stuff up. It’s VERY risky, so consider yourself warned.

    You can probably just rename the folder, but the OS will still look in the old location for your home folder. To tell it you’re changing your home folder, go to System Preferences -> Accounts, unlock it if it’s locked (otherwise the next step won’t be possible), right-click on your account name, and click "Advanced Options…”

    There is a box there where you can choose your home directory. Direct that to the newly named one.

    If you can’t rename your home folder (I’ve never tried), create a new folder in /Users with the name you want, copy/move everything from your home folder into it, and then do the above to point the OS to the new folder.

    But once again, I wouldn’t recommend doing this.
  3. niter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2003

    Thank you. So pretty much I need to live with it or choose to reinstall everything. I did everything from a fresh install and have yet to move over documents and whatnot...It just is obnoxious that it grabbed this name from my email when it has nothing to do with my account!
  4. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    Well you could try changing it, you might not have any problems, but no guarantees. You don’t have to completely reinstall though, you could just create a new admin account and erase the old one. Especially since you haven’t moved everything over, that should make it even easier. When you’re setting up your account initially, there is a field for short name. It automatically fills with the first part of your e-mail address, but you can change it. Just make sure you make sure everything’s how you want it before you click “Continue” or “OK” or whatever it says.
  5. niter thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2003
    I actually just did that in the way that you mentioned, roughly. I figured since I had nothing to lose except time I fixed it.

    Thanks :)
  6. webraider macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2005
    I had the same problem. It was the way the set-up screen ran. I wound up with my email address as my home folder name. I fixed it IMMEDIATLY though. this is what I did. I created a NEW USER account and gave it full administrative abilities. Then I logged in as that user. I deleted my first account which deleted that old folder. (Make sure you have backed up everything in that folder first though). I then re-created that account as a new account with the name I wanted. I made sure it was also an administrator account. I then deleted the temporary admin account. Everything worked fine after I restored my back up to my new users folder. I don't know why re-naming the home folder is an issue and I also don't know why we can't name it something more personal. I sometimes wish Apple hadn't bought Next but that they had developed Copeland fully. I think, in theory, it was a much better OS conceptually.
  7. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    Who says you can't name it something personal? The only thing I don't understand is why it says you can only use lowercase letters. I always capitalize mine, and never have a problem with it.
  8. aviscardi macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2010
    Changing Shortname in Mac Snow Leopard

    Hi. I've had my mac notebook for almost 2 years and i was new to installation at the time so i wasn't aware of the shortname. I also had the problem where it applied my email address as the shortname and didn't realize you could change it before continuing on the process. Has anyone tried to change it on Snow Leopard afterwards. Also by creating a new user account with full admin privileges how can you move your documents over before deleting the old one. And is it just music, pictures , and documents folder that need to cross over.
  9. Steelers7510 macrumors 6502


    Jan 29, 2010
    Lake Tahoe
    ^^^^ That is the best and easiest way to do it in my opinion. As long as you have a time machine backup on an external HD you can always restore back to that if something does go wrong. Trust me the first time I set up a mac it tricked me into naming my home folder as my email address. It is a very common mistake I think.
  10. midniter, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

    midniter macrumors regular


    Feb 2, 2009
    I dont know which name u wana change in the home folder

Share This Page