My macbook keeps changing me from an adminstrator to a standard user

cd1900

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2015
8
0
Hello. I received a macbook and am currently the administrator on it. Or at least I was until recently. You see, my macbook air is continuously changing my status from an administrator to a standard user. This has happened twice and I don't know how to prevent this from happening again. I've tried to use single user mode, terminal, and the entire internet. The only thing that works is when I remove the setup file and set the mac back to factory settings. It works but the status changes in minutes to all of my administrative accounts. However, it may be doing this after I conduct an action permitted only to administrators. Either way I don't know what causing this or how to prevent this from happening again. Please help!
 
Last edited:

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,341
2,737
Delaware
Which Macbook do you have?
Can you tell us what version of OS X you are running?
Last version of Yosemite is OS X 10.10.5... Is that what you have?
 

cd1900

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2015
8
0
My Processor is 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5. I have a Macbook Air. I think it should be noted that this macbook was administered to me by my school district, however they intended for me to be an administrator which is supported by the fact that I set up the Macbook air.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,341
2,737
Delaware
Does your school district have remote access to your MBAir?
Do you know (for certain) that your district technology office CANNOT possibly make changes to your account, without you knowing?

What is the action that you referred to, from your first post, that is "permitted only to administrators"?
You spoke of multiple admin accounts. How many have YOU created?
Do ALL of your admin accounts revert to standard accounts, and are they listed that way in your Users & Groups pref pane?
What event happens that makes you discover that your admin account is now a standard (non-admin) account.

One more question (with a follow-up question) - Do you ever enable your root user? Do you leave the root user enabled?
 

cd1900

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2015
8
0
Does your school district have remote access to your MBAir?
Do you know (for certain) that your district technology office CANNOT possibly make changes to your account, without you knowing?
It is impossible for them to do that. Besides it was their full intention for me to be and stay the administrator as they emphasized that I was the owner of this macbook air.
What is the action that you referred to, from your first post, that is "permitted only to administrators"?
You spoke of multiple admin accounts. How many have YOU created?
Do ALL of your admin accounts revert to standard accounts, and are they listed that way in your Users & Groups pref pane?
When I set up the macbook I created one administrator account as that was all that was necessary. After searching the internet for days I decided the only way to solve the problem was to remove the file that told the macbook that I set it up (I couldn't change my status or make a new admin account in single user mode). I used the new account to change my status and afterwards logged back into my account. I then changed something in settings (the administrative action). I changed, in security and privacy, what apps were allowed to be downloaded onto my mac from mac app store and identified publishers to anywhere. I then planned to change the amount of time my macbook stayed awake when I realized it didn't work. I went to the users and group preference pane and saw that both of my admin accounts were changed to standard user accounts.
One more question (with a follow-up question) - Do you ever enable your root user? Do you leave the root user enabled?
I have NEVER enabled the root account and if I did would not be foolish enough to leave it enabled. I am aware that the root acount is very dangerous to my mac.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,341
2,737
Delaware
Hello!
Here's another way to change your standard user to admin. This would be best used in the unlikely event that you don't have an admin user now - but it sounds like that is what you (don't) have :D
There's several possible methods, including the one that you used (deleting the file that tells the system that the new user setup has been completed.
This is the one that I use when needed. Please note that I have never had an admin account change spontaneously to a standard account. I won't say it can't happen. I just don't know how it can happen. I have fixed others that did have it - a couple of times over the last 10 years in a Mac IT support office and an active Mac service shop.

Anyway, here goes: (You may not need some of these simple steps, but I don't really know what is simple for you, and what is not, so please don't think I am talking down to you, eh? )

Restart, holding Command-R to boot to your recovery system.
You will get a screen giving you various choices, go to the Utilities menu, and open the Terminal.
Type resetpassword (all one word, no spaces), then press enter. The Reset Password window will appear.
Choose your hard drive volume, then choose System Administrator from the user account list.
Enter a password, then re-enter to verify.
Click Save. (this enables the root user :D )
Quit, then restart your Mac.
If you normally boot to a login window, choose the "Other" account. If you have an automatic login to your normal user, log out, then log in to the "Other" account that you see now.
user name is "root", then enter the password that you just created, and press enter.
You are now in the root user.
Go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups.
Select the account that you want to use, then change it to an Admin (Click the box "Allow this user to administer this computer"
Quit the Users & Groups pane, and the System Preferences.
Restart, and login as your normal user account.
(Final step, you used the Root user to make this change, so when you have done all, Disable the root account as the last step)
Suggestion - change the other account that you created to an admin user, too., so you have two separate admin accounts.
BE SURE to click the padlock in Users & Groups pane, so the settings there can't be accidentally changed, even by you!

So, full steps -
1. Enable the root user from your recovery system
2. Log in to root user account.
3. Make changes to other account/s
4. Log in to your now-admin account.
5. Disable the root user

Hope this helps you (and I apologize for the length of this tome :D )
 

cd1900

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2015
8
0
Thank You! Before I take advantage of my new status, from system preferences, how would I disable the root usr?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,341
2,737
Delaware
Launch Directory Utility. You can find that app in the /System/Library/CoreServices, then Applications.
So, in Directory Utility, click the padlock to allow you to change settings.
Then, in the Edit menu, Disable Root User.
And, that's it.
 
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