I have an old MBP (running El Capitan) with the home folder name: firstlast (that's made up, but you get it). I just got a new computer, and during setup it suggested "firstlast" again as my home folder, and I hesitated, but moved forward with it. So, I have two different apple computers with the same home folder and user account name.

Today, on the new machine, I set up Filevault and used the iCould choice for the recovery key (which I know means I set up iCloud to be able to reset my computer password). I later changed my new computer password to a stronger one. Then I wanted to change the old computer password as well. When I turned on that computer, I got the ? blinking folder. After some work, I got it going, and when I tried to sign in, it wouldn't take the old password, but it took the one I set up for the OTHER, new computer. It seems that maybe iCloud changed it on the old computer in the background?? It's kind of freaky.

Anyway, my question is, do you think it will screw things up if I change the home folder name on my old computer to something else, like "flast" instead of "firstlast", so that the computers have different home folders? I feel like having two computers with the same home folder name is asking for trouble... (a bit of which I seemed to have today!)

1 Answer 1


I suspect that you were logged into iCloud on both machines, and that iCloud Drive (not the same thing as iCloud) was set to synch some of all of their contents including the Home folders.

There's nothing wrong with this; I've had two Macs (running different macOS versions) for decades with same-named home folders and content, synched via iCloud. I find it very convenient to have the same content immediately available on both machines: I don't have to remember what's where, or what name is a file that's on the machine in front of me.

I suggest you learn more about iCloud and iCloud Drive, what they do and how to set then up. Here is Apple's Support Page on iCloud, and here is Apple's Support Page for iCloud Drive.

  • Hi. Thanks for answering. I did not have iCloud Drive checked on the new computer, but was on the old one. I suspect that that's what did it when I used icloud for Filevault on the new computer. But I don't think it should have changed the password by itself. That's strange. But then, it's the same name for the user account. It's kind of confusing. But I'm glad to know that having the same-named home folders. I guess I'll just leave it alone.
    – jomama321
    Jun 14, 2022 at 16:10

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