I've two user accounts in my mac, One for me and other for my friend. When friend is using the MacBook and he needs some file from me, for that I've to login into my account and share the file by file sharing or USB data traveller. It takes time. What I want is, when my friend needs some file from my account, I should just double click on a folder in finder within my account under Users and finder ask my login id and password and grant me access on entering right password. How can I do so?

2 Answers 2


There are several options:

First, set up a shared folder on your account (or both if you need both way) so that every file you'll copy there will be visible from your friend account. You already have a public folder which can accomplish this. Next, you can enable fast user switch from Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Options. Doing so, you'll have login controls in the right side of the menu bar. You just need to login, copy the files in the public folder and logout.

Even faster, open the Terminal (Applications > Utility > Terminal), and type

su YourUsername

it will ask for password. Enter it, and you will be logged on the shell with your account. From here, browse the folders and find the files you need (cd foldername to enter a folder, cp filesource filedestination to copy). Then logout with exit. Example:

Mac:~ Jack$ su epistrephein
bash-3.2$ cd Downloads
bash-3.2$ cp picture6.jpg ~/Public/picture6.jpg
bash-3.2$ exit
Mac:~ Jack$
  • I had been doing the same suggested in first part of reply i.e. by fast user switch. But I wanted to prevent login/logout. I just wanted that there should be some option by which one user could open other user's folder (or his own folders from other user's account) by entering his password. What had been done by terminal, is the same I want but in GUI.
    – Pacman
    Feb 23, 2014 at 19:41
  • Dear epistrephein, The Terminal command method you mentioned above isn't working. When I try to access download folder by the command "cd Downloads", it says, "Permission Denied" even though I used the correct credentials.
    – Pacman
    Feb 26, 2014 at 19:50
  • Ah, yes. You'll still be in your own user's home folder. Type cd ~ first to switch to your current (the target) user's home folder.
    – SilverWolf
    Nov 16, 2017 at 19:47

Or share via Dropbox or a similar service

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