Potentially dumb (?) question about user accounts

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by elbirth, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    My MacBook Pro has been my first Mac computer. I've wanted to switch for a long time, but the Intel change gave me the push I needed.

    Anyway, I've had my MacBook Pro since the first batches were being shipped out, and since I had never setup a Mac before, I just ran through the setup and was on my way- easy enough. However, the account was of course an administrative account. Having had some experience with Linux, I know that when you create your root login, you'll want to create a general user account to regularly use and only use the admin account if necessary. Should I make an additional normal user account without admin privileges to use on a daily basis for added security, or am I fine using the admin account made during setup? When installing things I still get prompted for my password and such, but I'm wondering what other people have to say.

    I ask this now after a couple months because just today I finally sent mine in due to a load of issues I've been having, though I know some still don't seem to be solvable by Apple (extreme heat, small defects in the screen, buzzing screen, cpu whine, flaking paint under the keyboard, power loss after a few minutes of running on battery, and warping of the battery's casing). When I do get it back, I hope it's a new machine and not just mine "repaired"... but either way, I plan to do a reinstall of the OS and start fresh now that I've used the system enough to be much more in-the-know of how to do various things and what apps I want installed.
    Just looking for some input on if the general user account is a good (and necessary) move. I just don't want to end up in a situation where I have to switch users everytime I want to install something.
  2. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I've always used an admin account on OSX and nothing bad has happened. The OS makes you enter your admin password before making any system changes, so it's hard to accidentally do something stupid, unless you enter your password into any box that comes up
  3. elisha cuthbert macrumors 6502a

    elisha cuthbert

    Feb 25, 2006
    you can activate a root admin account through net info manager but i wouldnt recomend it because it is really only for the serious ****
  4. elbirth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    thanks for the input... pretty much confirms what my initial thoughts were, but since this is in fact my first time using a Mac as my own machine, I just wanted to see what others had to say on the matter.

    Now I just have to wait diligently until I get it back in my hands... having to go back to Windows for both work and everyday use, I feel so hindered without my keyboard shortcuts and various apps that make life easier.
  5. lonepilgrim macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2006
    I have mine set up with a separate user account for day to day stuff. Partly because I read that if you are working in an admin account, after you enter your password there is a five(?)-minute 'grace' period during which anything else, nasty or otherwise, can make use of the privileges to install itself. Isn't this how that recent worm/virus/whatever sneaked on to a couple of people's Macs? Anyway, this may be total FUD, but I think better safe than sorry, and so far there's really not much I haven't been able to do. You can still enter an admin password while logged into the standard account in order to authenticate installing apps, changing preferences, disk utility, etc.

    If you really need to switch into the other account for something (Onyx, etc.), you can use fast-user switching and it's ... well, fast.
  6. Kernow macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2005
    I changed my day-to-day account over to a regular user from an admin a while back after that image/virus scare, and haven't had any problems. As lonepilgrim says, you get prompted with an Admin password if you need to tinker with any settings which isn't really a hassle to enter.

    I see it just an extra layer of security to stop me doing something silly without intending to.
  7. UKnjb macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2005
    London, UK
    I also have a separate 'Daily' user account that has no administrative rights (cannot install apps, change settings, or run a variety of utilities). As kernow wrote, it provides an extra layer of security - maybe never needed, but it is reassuring to know that it is there. And also I have the 'root' disabled - only enabling it when it is needed. :)

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