I see this Apple article on converting a local user account to a network user account: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5338

However, I'd like to do it in reverse. I'm comfortable with some of the steps, but for example this I'm not sure what the opposite is:

sudo scp -Epr /Users/username root@server.example.com:/Users/username

What are the steps required to convert a domain user to a local user on Yosemite?

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    scp is a program used to copy files over ssh. To copy files from the network to your local account, the command would be sudo scp -Epr root@server.example.com:/Users/username /Users/username – Bowen Oct 31 '14 at 22:54
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    What type of network account, and how is it set up? For instance, is it from an Active Directory domain, Open Directory, some other LDAP, etc? Is it a pure network account, or mobile (i.e. can you log into it even when it's not able to reach the domain servers)? Also, does it have a local home folder (i.e. stored on the client only), network home (stored only on a file server), or synchronized between both? – Gordon Davisson Oct 31 '14 at 23:01
  • Active Directory. It's supposed to be mobile, but that doesn't work (hence me changing this). I believe it's a local home folder only. – Crummy Oct 31 '14 at 23:06

The instructions below apply in a situation where the user had a "mobile" account that has already been synced to the client machine so that the local home directory contained all the data needed by the user.

  1. Log in the client machine as a local administrator. Make sure the user you are going to change is NOT logged in :-)
  2. Do a backup!!! (e.g. by running TimeMachine)
  3. From the Terminal, execute the id <user> command, where <user> is the name of the mobile user. Make a note of the User ID and primary group ID numbers.
  4. In System Preferences, delete the mobile account by selecting it and then clicking on the '-' button. Select the "Don't change the home folder" option. This will rename the user's home folder on the client to /Users/<user>\ (deleted).
  5. Add a new local account. The user name must be <user>. Specify a local password (i.e. not an iCloud one).
  6. Right-click on the new local account, "Advanced settings" will be shown. Set the user ID to the previous value.
  7. The new local account now has a new /Users/<user> home directory with the default subdirectories in it. From the terminal as administrator remove this new home directory and rename the old "deleted" home directory as follows:

    sudo rm -rf /Users/<user>
    sudo mv /Users/<user>\ (deleted) /Users/<user>
  8. (Optional): the default group for new users is Staff, gid=20. You may need to change this if necessary. Use the Directory Utility tool to add/edit local groups.
  • I also had to reboot the system after step 4. Otherwise the user was not fully deleted. – BTR Naidu Aug 27 '18 at 9:21

Sierra must have changed something because this did not work. The account attempts to log in, then there were a ton of messages asking for the admin password because the Library needed to be repaired. Then there was an error that a valid keychain could not be found (because the account did not have access to any of its own folders.) In the past, an ACL reset would fix that, but that's not possible with Sierra (or at least I haven't found a reliable way to do it.)

What I did instead was:

  1. From an admin account, delete the Mobile User account, but do not delete the home folder.
  2. From Terminal, rename the user's home folder to remove the "(Deleted)" tag. You can also rename it to anything you want at this point, such as "johnspartan" instead of "spartanj117"
  3. Create a new local account, using the same name as the account you just edited. Select "Use Existing Folder." (If you don't see the prompt, you mistyped something. Cancel and double-check the previous step.)
  4. Log out of the admin account, and log into the newly created account. All should be there, minus the Mobile account tag.
  • This worked perfectly for me in macOS Sierra – neu242 Jun 12 '17 at 13:17

Be careful! Both answers above have problems because in the end they do the same thing. At this point, the shorter four step procedure is better.

I cannot comment on the changes between Sierra and previous versions, but both suggestions have an issue with the UUID that is assigned accounts.

There are three numbers which identify a user on Macs, the first are the uid and gid mentioned on the longer procedure above, The longer procedure essentially manually recovers the uid/gid to the previous values, the in the second procedure the system will reassign the uid/gid combination on all files in the home directory for you. This is great if the only thing you are worried about on the server is the users files.

The problem is the third user identifier, which is used by most of the Server services to identify the user. Both procedures above assign a new UUID to the account, meaning that all services will need to be reconfigured from scratch. For mail, you need to delete the old network users and add the new local ones, but you will then lose all mail stored on the server for the user. Therefore, before proceeding, you need to move all mail to an on my Mac store or export it somehow, then make the user changes and move the mail back again. The same holds true for all other services provided by that server.


This script did the trick for me. https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/migrating-ad-mobile-accounts-to-local-user-accounts/

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    Welcome to Ask Different! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Glorfindel Jul 26 '17 at 14:23

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