Do you share your Mac with your roommates or family members? If so, you surely don’t want others to read and edit your important files. However, Mac OS X comes with a multiuser environment, helping you prevent others’ access to your files. Also, the operating system provides privacy for each user’s files with passwords. Mac OS X takes swapping between users to a new level with the fast user switching feature. This feature is turned off by default. This tutorial will explain to you how to enable fast user switching on Mac. Continue reading.
From a security perspective, setting up multiple accounts is a great idea, even when sharing your system with people you trust. Each time when your Mac boots, wakes up from sleep or returns from being locked, you can choose which account to open. Despite the fact that it’s best to lock your Mac whenever you step away from it, sometimes that doesn’t happen. So, how are people supposed to find their own account if another account is still logged in? Well, the answer is quite simple: enable fast user switching in macOS.
Enable Fast User Switching on Mac
The Fast Switching icon is one of the built-in macOS menu bar icons and you should activate it on any system with multiple users. By default, this menu bar item displays the current user’s full name at the top-right side. It makes switching between accounts as easy as a walk in the park. All you need to do is click on the account you want to switch to and then enter the password. In case you don’t see this by default, follow the steps below to enable fast user switching on Mac:
- Navigate to System Preferences and then launch the Users & Groups panel
- In the Users & Groups panel, click on the Login Options As settings here will be grayed out or locked, so click on the Lock icon in the bottom-left corner and enter your password. Once done, turn on the ‘Show fast user switching menu as’ option
- By default, your menu bar displays the full name of the current user, but you can make use of the drop-down to show just the icon instead and save a little space on your menu bar
- Now, anyone who sits down at Mac can quickly access their profile. And it gets even better in case you have a Mac with Touch ID since you can then switch users with your fingerprints in a matter of seconds
For now, Touch ID is only provided for laptops, which aren’t likely to be shared by multiple people. Hopefully, this feature comes to the iMac and Mac Mini as it truly makes switching between multiple users flawless. Until then, make sure to enable fast user switching on Mac to avoid privacy risks.
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