Move mac user folder to external drive

Additionally, users may lose access to some files or folders if they are referencing a directory that no longer exists due to the name change.

Change Mac Home Directory Path

This is just a small sample of the many things that can go sideways, which further should emphasize why this is truly only relevant to advanced Mac users and not a casual undertaking. The task is similar, however. Enjoy this tip?

Your Home folder doesn't have to be on your startup drive

Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. I just did this, opened the advanced settings where you can change homefolder. Opened a terminal. Another method: Log in as admin.

Move Your Mac';s Home Folder to a New Location

In the dialog, choose to leave the home folder in place. Go to the Finder and rename the Home folder. Create a new user with the same name. The OS will ask if you want to use the existing folder as Home, say yes. Test permissions throughly. Except that I later found out a dropbox was confused and asked if I wanted to restore the The entries were still there, but the attachment-folder had been replaced with a new, empty one … I lost about pdf:s and the like.

They are very likely to be broken after the change! It seems weird having my home folder initials in lower case!

Keeping Mac OS and data on separate drives

No matter what I did with folder permissions, I could never rename the user folder. And yes, I had logged out of the account I wanted to change, and was logged in as an Admin on another account. Similar scenario here, I had to do this after migrating to a new Mac with Sierra where Migration Assistant doubled the users for some reason. Your home folder name will always be in lowercase… but the way your name is Displayed will be with Uppercase.

Move Your Mac's Home Folder to a New Location

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Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. To do this, you will need to perform two tasks: first move or copy the home folder itself to the desired location, and then update your account's directory entry to point to the new location. You should be able to move this folder while logged in to your account, but it's best practice to perform such operations from a separate administrative account.


Using the Finder, go to the Users folder and select your account's home folder. This usually appears as a small house when you are logged in though will appear as a standard folder from the new admin account , and will be the same name as your short username e. Next, select this folder and copy it by pressing Command-C.

Then go to the new destination location for the home folder. If this location is on your main boot drive, then press Option-Command-V to move the item, otherwise press Shift-Option-Command-V to invoke Apple's "Paste Exactly" feature, which will copy the folder but preserve all permissions settings. Then move the copied home folder to this location as you would otherwise do. An alternative to using the OS X graphical interface for this is to use the command line, which may be more convenient if you are logging in remotely or performing these steps when booted to Single User mode root Terminal access.

Therefore, in the above command, if you have entered everything up to the "NFSHomeDirectory" component, then you can enter a space and then drag the home folder to the Terminal window to complete its path. Both of the Terminal commands here use "sudo" which will require you enter your password for the first one, but not for subsequent "sudo" commands unless you wait more than 10 minutes between running them though a recently found bug allows changing dates to bypass this security feature.