How do I create a new user but keep data from existing

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by tommiy, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. tommiy macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2015
    Many Many moons ago i had a corrupted User profile and managed some way to create a new User and move my existing applications and data across to that user.

    I'm having some issue recently regarding the windowserver process on my mac going very high and I'm thinking potentially som thing is corrupt on my User profile. I've been unable to truely discover what is causing this and hence the last ditch attempt to try a new user profile.

    Can any one direct me to a mechanism of doing this? I've searched google land and here but with no real luck on what is the simplest method available. Hopefully some one has a nice method for doing this?

  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Here's how I would do it.

    You'll need an EXTERNAL drive of some sort.
    It needs to be large enough to hold the contents of your OLD user account.

    Now, do this:
    1. Copy the old user folder to the external drive.
    2. Go to "users & groups" and create a NEW administrative account.
    3. You can give it the name and password you need (I don't think the name can be exactly the same as the first account, you'll have to live with that, there IS a more involved way to keep the old name)
    4. Now, log out of the old account and log into the new account.

    I would spend a little time experimenting with the "new, clean" account BEFORE migrating stuff from the old account.

    Does the new account "clean up" your problems?
    Only you can provide that answer.

    If you want to start bringing stuff over, do this:
    1. Connect the drive with the old user account, but don't open it yet
    2. Click ONE time on the drive icon to select it, then type "command-i" (eye) to bring up the "get info" box
    3. At the bottom, click the lock icon and enter your NEW account password
    4. In "sharing and permissions", put a checkmark into "ignore ownership on this volume".
    5. Now you can close get info.

    Now, you must be aware of the things that you can copy, and the things that you CANNOT copy.

    You CANNOT copy the "first level of subfolders" named "movies" "music" "pictures" "documents", etc.
    These are MORE THAN "just folders", they are "symbolic links".
    I believe you'll have problems if you try to copy the folders "as is".

    You CAN copy things that are INSIDE OF these folders, such as
    - your iTunes music folder
    - the documents INSIDE of your documents folder
    - movies INSIDE of your movies folder
    - files INSIDE of your "library" folder
    - your "Photos library", etc.

    I would suggest that you move things VERY SLOWLY, not "all at once".
    This may take a few days.
    You want to "move a little", take some times to see how things go, then move more, etc.

    You need to keep WRITTEN NOTES to keep up with what has been moved, and what has not.

    A manual migration like this is an involved process, but it can be done.

    Again, create the new account, and just use it "bare bones" for while.
    If the problems you're having DO NOT go away with the new account, they're probably coming from "somewhere else".
  3. Blarnld macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2012
    As usual Fisherrman, your advise is stellar. One question though, when creating the NEW account and giving it a new name, can you use the OLD account password with it?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "One question though, when creating the NEW account and giving it a new name, can you use the OLD account password with it?"

    I would think that you could use the same password, as it's really the account name(s) that must be different.
    Not sure if the OS would object.
    I've never tried it, but I'll -guess- that it will work.
  5. tommiy thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2015
    Thanks unforunately it did not clean up my issues. I ended up doing a clean install and starting a fresh. Thanks for the advice I had high hopes. Took numerous hours to put it all back together.

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4 September 11, 2019