User accounts question

wayland1985

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 16, 2008
523
7
My wife and I are looking into buying an iMac to share. Currently we both have our own laptops.

If we each have a separate user account in macOS, would it be like having two separate computers still?

IE: would my photos/music only show on my account? Or would they merge/share across both accounts?

And, seeing as we both have separate apple id’s, would we both be able to keep those IDs separate on each account also?
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,375
6,688
You will have two completely separate accounts, and yes, you would have "your music", and she would "have hers", etc.

Not sure about Apple IDs. Aren't they tied into hardware as well as software?
I'm thinking this would work, but again, I've never been involved in a situation like that.

But, let me ask:
Are the two laptops Macs?
Don't give them up even if you get a desktop!

Also, are you going to be "the administrator" of the new iMac?
Or, is she?
Or, are both of you going to use "administrative" accounts?
 

wayland1985

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 16, 2008
523
7
You will have two completely separate accounts, and yes, you would have "your music", and she would "have hers", etc.

Not sure about Apple IDs. Aren't they tied into hardware as well as software?
I'm thinking this would work, but again, I've never been involved in a situation like that.

But, let me ask:
Are the two laptops Macs?
Don't give them up even if you get a desktop!

Also, are you going to be "the administrator" of the new iMac?
Or, is she?
Or, are both of you going to use "administrative" accounts?
They’re both macs, but they’re 10 and 8 years old.... slow as can be!

I’m thinking I’ll take the administrative account: she has a tendency to download add-ons that slow her laptop down significantly.
 

Brian33

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2008
820
68
USA (Virginia)
My four-person family shares two Macs. We each have separate user accounts, and it all works fine. Each of us has a separate Apple ID. After logging into the Mac for one user, go to System Preferences and sign into that person's Apple ID. After logging out (or merely switching users via the menu bar) do so with the other Apple IDs. Each of the users maintains a separate iTunes library, Photos library, iCloud storage, etc. If you were to go to appleid.apple.com (I think that's the place), each Apple ID will be shown as "signed in" to the same Mac. The separate user accounts is what keeps everything straight. MacOS is a fine multi-user OS.

You do not need to move any applications out of the main /Applications folder. All user-specific stuff for an application is stored in the user's home folder Library folder.

It works great sharing a Mac -- unless you both need to use it at the same time!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,375
6,688
OP wrote (about the old laptops):
"They’re both macs, but they’re 10 and 8 years old.... slow as can be!"

If they're MacBook Pros, the 8-year-old one can be EASILY upgraded to an SSD which will make it MUCH faster. This is cheap and just about anyone can do it in about 15 minutes.
 
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