I have joined (bound) a MacBook Pro to a Windows Active Directory environment. I've set it to prompt for name and password, rather than show a picture, being the network user is not a local user, and this is fine. However, I'd like it if the "Name" field remembered the last logged in user, rather than requiring both username and password to be entered each time.

Incidentally, sometimes when I start typing the username in the MacBook says "Network accounts are unavailable", for only a second - I guess while it is starting up WiFi? It makes me worry there is no equivalent of a "cached" user credential in OS X ... will the user be able to login when, say, on a plane?

I've never used a Mac joined to a Windows domain before.

Thanks, kindly.

1 Answer 1


Ok! I have learned something. I will leave this here in hope it helps others who experience the same issue.

When setting up the AD binding there was an option about "create mobile account at login" which I left off. I assumed it was like a Windows roaming user.

However, it seems if you don't turn this on, OS X won't create a home directory for the user, or a local account for them.

When you turn it on, and login again, it does. Having the home directory/local account means you can turn the icon login option back on (so they don't need to enter the username), it means you can make them an admin of the machine, it means they can login when offline, and various other things.

So, turning this on has essentially solved a number of puzzling and frustrating things.

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