Quick tip: How to enable the guest user account on your Mac

In this video, I show you how to enable your Mac’s guest user account, which is helpful for when one has visitors over, and you’d like to let them use your computer without having access to your stuff, as well as protecting them – when they log out, all data is erased.

The guest user account is also useful for helping to debug problems on a Mac. For example, if an application is acting strangely, logging into the guest account and running the application there is a simple way to see if the problem exists within your preferences.

  1. Open System Preferences – (via Apple menu or Spotlight)
  2. Go to Users and Groups
  3. click on the padlock on the bottom left, and enter your password to unlock the preferences
  4. Select the Guest User from the list of users
  5. Click “Allow guests to log into this computer”
  6. Select Login Options near the bottom left, and turn on Show Fast User Switching – this makes it easy to move back and forth between users.

Then take a minute to test the guest account. Go to the fast user switching menu on the right side of the menu bar, select Guest, and your mac will log into the guest account. You can test a few things then log back out.