If you have two user accounts on macOS and want to merge them into one, a simple solution would be to first back up the data of one account and then delete it. macOS doesn’t offer any simpler way to merge two accounts. Here we show you how to back up and archive the data of one account, move it over to the other account, and lastly, merge the two accounts together.
1. Export Your Data
The method we’ll use to merge both accounts relies on merging the local files present on the system. All the local files present in a user’s Home folder are saved in a disk image, which can be accessed on the new account. Since the local files do not include any app backups, you’ll need to export this data separately.
The first step before merging the two accounts it to export all of your basic data. This includes contacts, reminders, calendars, notes, Safari bookmarks, etc. If iCloud Sync is enabled on your device, your data should automatically be backed up to iCloud. This will help you easily access it on your other account by means of just turning on iCloud Sync.
If you don’t use iCloud Sync, you can choose to create an Apple ID and sync all data with it. If you do this, simply log in to the iCloud account on your other account, which will allow you to access your data.
You can also choose to export the data from the specific apps:
iCloud Drive – Open any iCloud Drive folder in Finder and copy any documents to a locally stored location.
Mail – Drag any downloaded messages from the online account to a local folder on your Mac.
Contacts / Calendars / Reminders – Use the Export feature (File -> Export) to extract this data.
Safari – Select “File -> Export Bookmarks.”
Notes – There is no built-in way of exporting the data, but you can use this free exporter to export your notes into a plain text format.
Photos – The only method to transfer your Photos library from one account to another is by syncing it through iCloud Photos.
Merging Two Accounts into One
This method will merge the data of both accounts into one by deleting the old account and saving its data in a disk image. Hence, it is recommended to make another backup of the data, either on Time Machine or on a local drive before proceeding. This is to ensure that you don’t lose any data unintentionally.
1. In the newer account (the one you want to keep), open System Preferences on your Mac.
2. Select “Users & Groups.” Once opened, click on the lock icon in the bottom-left corner and enter in your administrative password.
3. Select the user account you want to delete and merge with another.
4. Click on the minus icon at the bottom of the list.
5. macOS will ask you how to proceed. Select “Save the home folder in a disk image.”
Make sure you choose the Disk Image option. This will give you access to the files in it.
5. Click “Delete User” and confirm.
The second account will now be deleted. Now, when you open the Users directory (Finder -> Go -> Computer -> Macintosh HD -> Users), you’ll see a folder named “Deleted Users.” Within this folder, you’ll see a disk image with the name of the account you deleted.
When you double-click on the disk image to mount it, you’ll be able to access all the files that were present in the Home folder of the previous user account. Similarly, you can copy the files over or import the data in any app that offers to bring the material over.
You can choose to keep the disk image as it is or copy the data to any other drive as a backup. Now that you know how to merge accounts in macOS, you may also want to learn about enabling root access in macOS or how to delete files that won’t delete.
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