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Switching Users

Many users can use the same computer. Their individual Mac OS X accounts allow them to keep their files completely private and to customize the operating system with their own preferences. Mac OS X manages these separate accounts by giving each user a unique user name and password. When a user selects an account and types a password (if necessary), Mac OS X starts with that user's configuration settings and network permissions. When you want to change users, you can logout, which closes all running applications, saves your settings, and signs you off the computer. Or, switch users, which quickly switches between users without having to logout, close applications, and save your current settings. With fast user switching (), the name of the current user appears in the status menu area, where you can quickly switch to a new user. If you leave your computer unattended for any period of time, you can set additional security logout options to protect your information.

Fast User Switching

Click the user name in the upper-right corner of the menu bar.

Click the user account to which you want to switch.

The name grayed out is the current user, and an orange check mark next to a name indicates that another is logged in.

If required, a Login window opens, requesting a password.

If necessary, type your password.

Click Log In.

The computer switches to the new user's desktop (like a box switching sides), which includes the user's home folder, mail, and personal settings.



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