An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Topic Options
#46013 - 08/16/17 09:36 AM Deleting an unwanted user account
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
In the process of setting up my new computer I initially created what I intended as a temporary ID until I could install the High Sierra beta and migrate my account data and settings from Time Machine. (To avoid potential conflicts and insure a clean system, I chose not to migrate applications etc.) Other than the unexpected conversion to APFS all went as planned. Once that was completed I logged onto the new copy of the old account and verified all was well then, as I had planned originally I went back and attempted to delete the original temporary account. To my surprise the temporary account could not be deleted. I have not run into this before and wondered...
  1. Is this Apple's response to the issue V1 talks about in this thread?
  2. Is this a new "feature" in High Sierra?
  3. Am I missing something?
  4. Is there a work around?
  5. Am I stuck with what I thought was going to be a temporary account? (If so I definitely need to strengthen the password and turn off synching with my iCloud account )
  6. Some of the above?
  7. All of the above?
  8. None of the above?
confused
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#46014 - 08/16/17 10:05 AM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
When you say "could not be deleted" is it because the account is greyed out and you can't select it and hit the "minus" in the "Users & Groups" preference pane sidebar? Or is it in the act of deleting you get an error or System message?

In the case of the former, based on the experience I just had with a client, the account you are using to perform the deletion is not an administrator account. In the case of the latter, what was the message?

Either could be the consequence of the issue V1 talks about that you reference. Create another "Test" account with admin privileges, log out, log in and see if you can delete the desired account from there. I know you (usually wink ) know what you are doing, so I am curious to hear what you have done.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

Top
#46015 - 08/16/17 11:25 AM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
AFAIK the only time it won't let you remove an admin is if it's the only (non-hidden) admin.

OTOH it WILL let you demote the only admin if you login as another user and authenticate as the admin (to unlock the padlock) and select the admin and uncheck them. (unless they've fixed that sometime recently)

I think it will still let the root user [-] the last normal admin account though.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#46017 - 08/16/17 05:53 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: Ira L]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Ira L
When you say "could not be deleted" is it because the account is greyed out and you can't select it and hit the "minus" in the "Users & Groups" preference pane sidebar? Or is it in the act of deleting you get an error or System message?
  • I am on an administative account
  • I can and did create another test admin account, booted from it and subsequently deleted the with no problem
  • I can and did change the undeletable account from an admin to a standard account
  • I can select the temporary account and even change its password but the minus sign is greyed out and cannot be selected
It just occurred to me there was one difference in the two accounts, the test account I was able to delete was linked to my Apple ID/iCloud account and the one I did delete wasn't. I will try that tomorrow.

Did I say this was annoying?
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#46018 - 08/16/17 10:44 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Did I say this was annoying?

This is beta-testing; it's FUN! grin
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

Top
#46019 - 08/17/17 06:12 AM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
This is beta-testing; it's FUN! grin
You got me grin
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#46020 - 08/17/17 11:57 AM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I can and did create another test admin account, booted from it and subsequently deleted the [???] with no problem


Wait—you're missing some key words in the above. Which account? So you were able to delete the problematic account but from a new test account?
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

Top
#46024 - 08/17/17 04:54 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I interpreted the lack of emojis in that post as saying that joemike was able to delete the newly created account, but not the original, problematic one.

Lessee...
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

Top
#46026 - 08/17/17 10:01 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I wonder if it would be worth your while to either re-import your account from Time Machine or try migrating it from another source?

Maybe a bad install is preventing the deletion of that account because macOS thinks it's your only admin account. (Have you tried deleting it while logged in to a test admin account?)


Edited by artie505 (08/18/17 07:00 AM)
Edit Reason: Expand
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

Top
#46027 - 08/18/17 09:12 AM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: artie505]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: artie505
I interpreted the lack of emojis in that post as saying that joemike was able to delete the newly created account, but not the original, problematic one.

Lessee...


So now I not only have to interpret the meaning of a specific emoji cool , but their presence or absence as well?! crazy
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.14.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

Top
#46028 - 08/18/17 03:23 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
Originally Posted By: artie505
I interpreted the lack of emojis in that post as saying that joemike was able to delete the newly created account, but not the original, problematic one.

Lessee...


So now I not only have to interpret the meaning of a specific emoji cool , but their presence or absence as well?! crazy

Interpreting silence (correctly or, as the case may be, incorrectly tongue ) is nothing new; lack of emojis when they may be expected is just a new type of silence. (Cat got your fingers? crazy )
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

Top
#46029 - 08/18/17 07:09 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: Ira L]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Sorry I didn’t get back on this before but my cable modem died an unexpected death strictly in accordance with MacGillicuddy’s corollary to Murphey’s Immutable law. But that is another story...
  1. I can create a new administrative account (call it account 3) but even with both account 3, and the admin account I want to keep (call it account 2) on the system neither of them can delete what was originally intended to be a temporary account (call it account 1).
  2. Even if I demote Account 1 to a standard account, neither account 2 or 3 can delete it.
  3. Account 2 has no problem deleting account 3.
  4. There are obviously other permutations that I could try but with my modem problems that occurred in the middle of converting to a “Mesh” network, which resulted in re-configuring my network cabinet, I haven’t had time, patience, or even inclination to rebuild my system. 🙅🏻‍♂️
That grey carpet on the floor used to be the hair on my head before I started tearing it out.

The network is working just in the nick of time before my wife took out a contract on me, but I still have a lot of stuff that isn’t on the network yet. Maybe by Sunday afternoon I can get back to the unwanted user account problem — I hope (pray? 🙏).
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#46033 - 08/19/17 06:32 AM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
MacManiac Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Resort to Terminal commands for account removal?
_________________________
Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

Top
#46036 - 08/21/17 07:19 AM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: MacManiac]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I tried Artie’s suggestion and it worked. laugh

Reinstalling is a pain in the nether regions of the anatomy but...
  • I got everything I wanted installed/re-installed and working properly
  • forced a Time Machine backup
  • booted from the Recovery Drive
  • erased the boot volume
  • reinstalled High Sierra
  • recovered everything but the undesired account from Time Machine.
I had tried to avoid this as it had taken 2 to 2.5 hours to do in the past, but given the speed of the MacBook Pro, the speed of my new Mesh WiFi network, and the Time Machine data set was only about three days deep, the entire process took around 45 minutes. shocked grin

Thanks Artie 👌
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#46038 - 08/21/17 11:26 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I tried Artie’s suggestion and it worked. laugh

cool

Actually, your nuke & pave was a clever step past me, because I was merely troubleshooting...wondering if reinstalling the desired account would restore it to full functionality.

Happy to have nudged you in the right direction, though. laugh
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

Top
#46573 - 10/06/17 12:43 PM Re: Deleting an unwanted user account [Re: joemikeb]
flocko Offline


Registered: 10/06/17
BAM!

Thank you joemikeb for having this exact issue before me. I had the same backstory (created a temp account for sake of updating my OS version prior to migrating -- then could never delete the temp account, in spite of the usual battery of tests).

Your solution worked perfectly for me.

For sake of copying your method, with a little embellishment for any noobs like myself who may have some questions:

I got everything I wanted installed/re-installed and working properly
forced a Time Machine backup
[unplugged the time machine backup and] booted from the Recovery Drive (use command-R when restarting to enter in recovery mode)
erased the boot volume (when in recovery mode, select disk utilities)
reinstalled High Sierra (an option from recovery mode)
recovered everything but the undesired account from Time Machine. (after high sierra installs the system reboots. it looks like a new mac. so one of the first options is mac migration. plug in the time machine drive and select it as the source of migration. mac migration will list the users separately, so simply de-select the undesired user and copy over everything else).

the whole process was really easy, so thank you everyone.

FWIW, my timing was a bit longer: about 2 hours to create the time machine backup (using an old drive), 1 min to erase the drive, about 1 hour to download and reinstall high sierra, and about 2 hours to restore the time machine backup. but it was mostly set-it-and-forget-it, so not a bit deal.

k

Top

Moderator:  alternaut, dkmarsh, joemikeb