/Users/Abby is the home folder of a user account that has been deleted. Check out the screenshot:

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While logged in as work (which is no longer an account I use for work, but I can't be bothered to change the name of the home folder), the files in /Users/Abby are do-not-enter.

I want to get into them to see if I've left any stuff behind, but I can't log in as Abby (since the user has been deleted).

While we're here, I'm not completely sure how I managed to delete this user account without deleting its home folder (or putting its home folder in a Deleted Users folder). This all seems... quite odd.

I did all this user deletin' and messin' around in Lion and have since upgraded to Mountain Lion.

  • 1
    The answers below are spot on, but I just wanted to answer your last question. When you delete a user you're asked what you would like to do with the Home folder, one option (the default I believe) being keep it in its current location.
    – hellothere
    Aug 14 '12 at 9:14

Here's a few different ways you can access the old user's files:

  • Recreate the deleted account, and log in with it:

    1. In System Preferences > Users & Groups, click the padlock icon and then the plus button to create a new user
    2. name the User "Abby" - the OS should ask you if you want to use the existing home folder - choose to do so
    3. from the Apple menu, choose "Log out"
    4. log in as "Abby" and you will have access to the old account again

  • Use the "System Administrator" account to access the files:

    1. navigate to the folder "/System/Library/CoreServices/" and open "Directory Utility.app"
    2. Click the padlock
    3. in the "Edit" menu, choose "Enable root user"
    4. from the Apple menu, choose "Log out"
    5. log in as "System Administrator" (or "root") and you will have access to the files in "/Users/Abby"

  • Change the permissions of the old home folder:

    1. Right-click the "/Users/Abby" folder and choose "Get Properties"
    2. Click the padlock at the very bottom of the "Get Info" window
    3. Click the "+" button at the very bottom of the "Get Info" window
    4. Select your current account from the users list
    5. Give your current user (at the very bottom of the "Get Info" window) to have "Read & Write" privs
    6. From the gear menu choose "make (me) the owner"
    7. From the gear menu choose "Apply to enclosed items..."

If you want information on how this occurred, I just answered a similar question yesterday

  • 1
    Another way to create the System Administrator (root) user is via Terminal: dsenableroot will ask you for the current user's password (if admin), and then for a new root password twice.
    – Matt
    Aug 14 '12 at 7:34
  • An excellent set of solutions. I got in via method #1 and am making it permanently mine via method #3. Thank you for your help!
    – hairboat
    Aug 14 '12 at 13:26
  • victoly! no problem
    – username
    Aug 14 '12 at 20:46

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