The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Creating a Troubleshooting Account On Your Mac

TMO Quick Tip - Creating a Troubleshooting Account On Your Mac

by , 7:30 AM EDT, July 26th, 2006

Sometimes things just don't work right on your Mac, and the cause of your problems isn't immediately obvious. For those situations, I recommend creating an extra user account just for troubleshooting. Here's how:

  • Launch System Preferences. You can find it by choosing Apple menu > System Preferences.
  • Click Accounts.
  • Click the plus button below the user list to add a new account.

  • Click the plus button to add a new user account to your Mac.
  • Fill in a user name, short name and password for the account.
  • Since this account is for diagnosing problems, go ahead and check Allow user to administer this computer. Now you can still perform administrator level tasks even if your primary administrator account is damaged.
  • Click the Create Account button.


Enter a user name, short name, and password when you create a new user account.

To switch from your primary user account to your troubleshooting account, choose Log Out from the Apple menu. Enter your troubleshooting account user name and password in the login pane, and then press Return to open your troubleshooting account.

You can use a troubleshooting account to see if application and system crashes occur outside of your primary user account. If so, then you most likely have a system-wide problem. If not, then the issue is hiding somewhere inside your primary account.

This is only one of many ways to use a troubleshooting account to diagnose problems on your Mac. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments for today's tip.


if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.

Recent Headlines - Updated October 25th

Fri,5:07 PM
New Uses For Old Power Macs
5:02 PM
Apple Pay is Soaring While Competitors Crash and Burn
1:47 PM
The Camera Lens Mug: $19.99
1:19 PM
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-10-24
11:10 AM
Apple, Nike Teaming Up on Wearable Tech Project
9:37 AM
Kickstarter Project: Mouse Guard LEGO Mini Figures
8:48 AM
OS X Yosemite: Handing Calls Off to Your iPhone
Thu,8:46 PM
Yosemite: How To Fix Safari’s Address Bar
7:32 PM
If Microsoft Made a Smart Watch…
5:45 PM
X-Doria Folio Case for iPhone 6: Awkward by Nature
5:30 PM
ACM 277: Apple Pay, Apple Designs, and iPad as a Laptop Replacement
4:34 PM
Learn Apple’s Swift Programming Language for $19
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!