Learn to manage user accounts and parental controls in Snow Leopard!

Take Control of
Users & Accounts in Snow Leopard

Kirk McElhearn

If you’ve found yourself boggled by user accounts in Mac OS X, can’t figure out how to share files between them, or need to limit what others can do on your Mac—let Kirk McElhearn explain! You’ll learn about account types, what they can do, how you should set them up on your Mac, and details about Fast User Switching.

This product has been discontinued.

Mac expert Kirk McElhearn walks you through everything you need to know to understand and manage accounts on your Mac, even if the only person using the Mac is you. You’ll learn how to create the right types of accounts for the different people who use your Mac, why it’s often a good idea to set up at least two accounts, and how you can take advantage of the parental controls options. Kirk shows you how to set up a troubleshooting account, use Fast User Switching, share files among users, manage login and startup items, and more. Kirk also reveals tricks for sharing music and photos among multiple users on your Mac using iTunes and iPhoto.

Coupon savings! Snow Leopard’s parental controls can limit the content that a Mac user sees, but for still more control, a coupon in the ebook saves you 25% on Intego’s ContentBarrier X5 (normally $49.95, so you save about $12).

You’ll find the answers to these questions and more:

  • Why do I have I log in to my Macintosh?
  • Why do my files reside in the Users folder?
  • What is the purpose of an Administrator account?
  • How can I take advantage of the Guest account?
  • How do I limit time of day when my child can use the Mac?
  • Can I control who my child exchanges email with?
  • What’s the best way for users on my Mac to share files?
  • How can I customize the way my login window behaves?
  • How can I speed up the log in and log out process for everyone?
  • Can users on my Mac share my iTunes songs or iPhoto images?
  • What’s the difference between a login item and a startup item?
Kirk McElhearn

About Kirk McElhearn

Kirk McElhearn writes about Apple hardware and software, books, music, and more. As a Senior Contributor to Macworld for more than 15 years, he wrote hundreds of articles, including the Ask the iTunes Guy column. He is a regular contributor to The Mac Security Blog, the Literature & Latte blog, where he writes about their writing app Scrivener, and TidBITS, as well as several other websites and magazines. He is co-host of several podcasts, including The Next Track, a podcast about how people listen to music today, and Write Now with Scrivener. Visit his website Kirkville.

What’s New in This Edition

In terms of Mac OS X, there is little difference between this ebook and its predecessor, Take Control of Users & Accounts in Leopard, though I looked over the book carefully, checking for differences and retaking the screenshots so they would look just right for Snow Leopard. Further, Tonya Engst, my editor, read the entire manuscript to give it one more proofreading pass and to add a few current details, such as a brief mention of Apple’s new iDisk app.

The differences between this edition and the Tiger edition are large; see What’s New in Leopard and Snow Leopard for details.

The discussions near the end of the ebook about how to Share an iTunes Library and how to Share an iPhoto Library are revised to cover new library-sharing options in iTunes 9 and iPhoto ’09.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Working with Accounts Quick Start
  • About User Accounts
  • Types of Accounts
  • Choose an Account Strategy
  • Create and Delete Accounts
  • Set Parental Controls
  • Log in to and out of Accounts
  • Fast User Switching
  • Manage Login and Startup Items
  • Troubleshoot Startup and Login Items
  • Troubleshoot Preference Files
  • Share Files among Users
  • Appendix A: Share Digital Media Files
  • Learn More
  • About This Book
  • June 2011 -- We love this ebook, but we do not plan to update it for Lion. We are going to take a break and focus on different topics, and perhaps revisit this decision when the next big cat OS X release comes down the pipe.