Can I Merge Mac Os X User Accounts?


I just got a Power Book and used Migration Assistant to download all of the files from both my work computer AND my old iBook. The problem is, now I have two admin accounts on my Power Book -- the one from my work Mac and the one from my old iBook.

I have important files on each one, so I don't want to delete either account (and I don't seem to be able to delete them anyway because they're both labeled as "admin" and won't let me delete them).

1. Is there an easy way to merge the accounts, so that my files all merge into their respective folders? Meaning that, for example, both of my "Documents" folders would become one "Documents" folder with everything in it under just one account.

2. If there isn't an easy way, and I just have to drag all of my files from one account into a shared folder to then bring into the other account, how do I go about deleting this second "admin" account?

Thanks; you guys are awesome.


... uh huh .. uh huh; and, your version of MacOS X is?

Basically, you have one 'true' adminstrator' account. It is that admin. account that can delete the other (non-true) admin. account. And not, visa versa.

With MacOS X 10.4.x, via the 'System Preferences' 'Accounts' Utility - click on the pad lock (enter any needed information, in the annoying 'Authenticate' window, and click the 'OK' button). Now, click on the 'Admin' account listed under 'Other Accounts'. If you can select it, then the top most account is the true administrator, and not the one currently selected.

(If you performed the above steps, when logged in as the non-true administrator - when you attempt to select the 'Other Accounts' 'Admin' account, it will not be selectable.)

Now you know to move all the 'Documents' folder's contents (of the 'Other Accounts' 'Admin' to the 'Documents' folder of the top most (true) administrator.

Once all the files have been transfered, and you have returned to the 'System Preferences' 'Accounts' panel - click on the 'Other Accounts' 'Admin' account and then the '-' icon button, beneath the list. A sheel will appear, from which you will click on the 'Delete Immediately' button. You now have a single administrator account.

By the way, it is good MacOS X practice to have 'another' account (as an administrator), for troubleshooting purposes. I recommend that after you move all of the files of the non-true administrator's account to the true administrator's respective folders, to leave the non-true administrator's account intact.

The above information was based on using MacOS X 10.4.2; yet, also applies to MacOS X 10.3.x.


Staff member
I think _any_ admin account can delete the other admin account. Same permissions. It's not like one is above the other. But everything else, I think, you got right. :)


Thank you for your post fryke; you made me review the steps I performed and based my comments on.

I then realized - that I never logged out from the originally created administrator account. Once I did and then switched to another administrator's account, then - what you said was possible, was confirmed.

Thus, if one logs out of an administrator account - yes indeed, that administrator account can then be deleted via any other administrator account.