Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a MacBook Pro which is attached to an AD domain. The user has a domain account which is Administrator, Managed and Mobile - the home directory is on the local machine.

The company is closing and the user is keeping the Mac, so I want to change the account to be a local account, or recreate a local account with the same name and change ownership.

When I remove the machine from the domain, I don't seem to be able to delete the user from the Accounts panel.

I presume I can remove them from the machine if I rejoin the domain, and then change ownership of the home directory with find; is there a cleaner way?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's a simpler way:

  1. Log in as a different, admin, user.
  2. Delete the account in question; select the option "Don't change the home folder"
  3. Go to /Users and rename the home folder from username+deleted to the original, desired, short name.
  4. Add a new local user with the same short name; you will be asked would you like to use the existing folder. Agree to this and it 'adopts' the previous folder, and fixes permissions. Nothing else to do.

Just tested this successfully on OS X 10.9

share|improve this answer

Create a new user account and move/copy the files from the old account to the new one. After they have been moved reset the ownership using chmod -R . I'm guessing there is a way using NetInfo that this account could be change but I wouldn't recommend it.

Ideally, you might just want to backup your data and reinstall all the software because you may not have ownership of some of the software (the company may have sold it off when they closed). :-)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.