Disable the Guest User Account at Mac OS X Lion Login Screen

Oct 13, 2011 - 78 Comments

Guest User account in OS X 10.7.2

If you’ve installed Mac OS X 10.7.2 and rebooted or ended up at the lock screen, you may have noticed that a new “Guest User” account appears at the login screen.

This is not a full guest user account, if you select the Guest User option at login, the Mac will restart to a secured Safari-only version of the OS with access to the internet. So what’s the point of this? It turns out this is part of setting up iCloud in Mac OS X, specifically the “Find My Mac” feature. The Safari Guest User allows someone to get online so the Mac can be located, but prevents the Safari user from accessing your files and applications.

We’re going to highly recommend keeping the Guest User Safari account enabled so that if you happen to lose your Mac, or if it’s stolen, it could easily be tracked down. Nonetheless, here’s how to turn this off if you don’t need it for some reason.

How to disable that “Guest User” from appearing at the OS X 10.7.2 login screen

  • Open System Preferences
  • Click on “Security & Privacy”
  • Click the lock in the lower corner and type in your administrative password to unlock the control panel
  • Check the box next to “Disable restarting to Safari when screen is locked”

This prevents the Guest User account from being visible at the login screen both during reboot and at the login screen. Again, it’s highly recommended to keep this enabled for security purposes, but if your Mac is locked down with a security cable or you don’t have any use for Find My Mac, you could disable this and not feel too bad about it.

Disable the Safari Guest User Account in Mac OS X Lion

If you haven’t tried it yet, clicking on the Guest User account gives you this message:

This computer will restart to a secure, Safari-only system for the Guest user.

The reboot process is quick and opens directly to Safari, there is no access to anything else. No Finder, no preferences, nothing.

Thanks to Brad Caldwell for the questions and screenshot via Twitter, you can follow us there too.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

78 Comments

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  1. Jonny Roadley says:

    Um, I don’t get this option…

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  3. lee says:

    there isn’t this option for me?

    running: macbookair2011 lion 10.7.2

    • Mary Lewis says:

      Click on the Advanced options button. It looks a little different than the above, but you get the “Disable restarting to Safari when screen is locked” button.

  4. VR says:

    I also do not have that option.

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  6. Gianluca says:

    Thank you, it DID work for me! (MacBook Air 2011 10.7.2)

  7. Jason says:

    Thanks for the article but I don’t have this option. Did you photoshopped it? I have a disabled guest account which I can enable or delete at the user system pref though.

  8. [...] tip ci è stato inviato da Andrea Pizzolato (fonte OSXDaily) e partecipa a MyMacTips di ottobre. Hai dei buoni tip da proporci? Partecipa anche tu e vinci [...]

  9. aeli says:

    what i did was, system preference – users&groups – unlock – login option – display login windows as Name and password – lock, done.

  10. Ed says:

    Disabling the guest account in Users & Groups does not disable the Safari-only guest access from a locked screen.

  11. aone says:

    I don’t have this option neither. I have FireVault active. Maybe this is the reason?

  12. Joneil says:

    Wow! I thought it was pretty odd (and annoying) to have that guest account there but after reading this article I’m convinced to keep it. Thank you.

    • Manny says:

      i totally agree! i thought it was stupid to have a guest account when you disabled it in the first place, but now that i know its for security purposes it makes sense. i have mine locked down hard with a cable, it should be really tough to steal mine, but even if they are able to, that account will be useful. thanks for the article.

  13. [...] tip ci è stato inviato da Andrea Pizzolato (fonte OSXDaily) e partecipa a MyMacTips di ottobre. … Puoi seguire Gli Articoli pubblicati su [...]

  14. Mariosx says:

    And what if there is only the guest user icon available in the start up screen? I can’t see my admin icon, only the guest one… How do I get to log in my admin account?

  15. Rayz says:

    Thank you for explaining it. I also thought it was pretty annoying to have that guest account.

  16. [...] Disable the Guest User Account at Mac OS X 10.7.2 Lion Login Screen Disable the Guest User Account at Mac OS X 10.7.2 Lion Login Screen… Source: osxdaily.com [...]

  17. [...] vid min start av Mac-en. Som tur är kan man göra någonting åt det. Läs på den här länken: http://osxdaily.com/2011/10/13/disable-guest-user-account-mac-os-x-10-7-2-login-screen/ Share this:E-postLike this:GillaBli först att gilla denna post. Det här inlägget postades i [...]

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  19. Julian says:

    This just works

  20. Vincent Mulrooney says:

    Your explanation worked perfectly on my iMac and MacBook. Many thanks for your help.

    Vincent.

  21. [...] Ti succede questa cosa Disable the Guest User Account at Mac OS X 10.7.2 Lion Login Screen [...]

  22. sam says:

    thanks its work

  23. Misterdim says:

    Of course, enable “find my mac” in the icloud prefpane !

  24. [...] do it at your own risk, know how to reverse the change if you ever change your mind, and as the source article (from OS X Daily) advises, it’s better to keep the Guest User account around if there’s a chance your [...]

  25. Emmanuel says:

    Thanks!!! for some reason it was bothering me.

  26. Laurie says:

    Hi, not sure if this is supposed to happen, but I just logged into my guest account to see what was available, and even though it said safari only, I also had access to Mac OS Utilities such as Terminal, Net utility and one other.

    Pretty giving a guest access to terminal is bad!

    Config – 2011 MBA 13″ i7 running 10.7.2

  27. Georgie Moore says:

    brilliant, so annoying when i saw it this morning, thanks for the fix!

  28. KPOM says:

    FYI, you only get this is if you have “Find my Mac” enabled on iCloud. It isn’t a feature of 10.7.2 per se, just iCloud.

    I was wondering why this appeared, so thanks for the tip.

  29. João Braga says:

    Thank you SO much! It work for me! (MacBook Pro 2011 OS X Lion 10.7.2)

  30. Kad-Jay says:

    I have remove the guest user account but still i have others how can i remove that please advice me some one

    Macbook Pro 15″- i7- I OS X 10.7.2

  31. Manny says:

    man..thankss si much this was freaking me out.. it really wass.

  32. spoon says:

    i must be missing something. how do you use the login to find a mac if the mac is lost/stolen? i mean, i can’t log into my computer as a goes if the computer is gone. so how is this useful?

  33. CreditsWillBeFine says:

    This is silly, there is a guest account that is listed under users but it is not treated as user, that is it cannot be deleted. Placing this option onder security and general is just bad design. The first place you go to add/remove users is under users & groups and the only one that cannot be removed is guest…just silly design

  34. Rosa Acevedo says:

    I tried this and it worked, thank you!

    I thought it had to do with adding a guest user to share files with my pc but even when i disabled that guest user, Id still get the login screen with it…this worked right away.

  35. nelis says:

    So what if you select the guest option (like I did)
    and you’re not able to log in to my regular account? :-S

  36. [...] User Switching, and the name likely appears in the menu bar due to the Guest Login ability (which can be disabled separately), but if are only looking to remove the name from the menu bar here is [...]

  37. Corey Lynch says:

    Thank you so much for this article trying to get rid of it for ages, thanks really worked, no problem at all!!! :)

  38. MichaelB says:

    No, that’s simply retarded. If I lose my Mac, insurance will buy me a new one. “Guest” option disabled.

  39. mba2011 says:

    worked :) thanks. Macbook Air 10.8

  40. Sean says:

    I installed the 10.7.3 combo update and this feature wasn’t included. I feel disappointed.

  41. Jack says:

    I initially desired to remove the Guest from the login screen; however, after hearing that allowing a thief to help catch himself with this GUest account it stays :)

    Thank you for the info :)

  42. cristine says:

    thanks for this! it worked! :)

  43. beth says:

    I have 10.7.3 and that is not an option …what do I do now?

  44. Shelton says:

    Thank you. Worked perfectly! God bless :)

  45. Jonathan says:

    how do you convert back to our personal account? i can’t switch out of guest. :/

  46. Ivan Eduardo says:

    For 10.7.3
    Better try this
    System Preferences>Users&Groups>Unlock the lock(if necessary)>Click the Guest User>Uncheck all box>Then lock again and that’s it :) enjoy …

  47. Kevin Isham says:

    If you cannot find the “Disable restarting to Safari when screen is locked” option, click on the “Advanced” button and it will show up.

  48. Will says:

    This bothers me to a great extreme that it is not an option in plain view. I should not have to search the web to find out the last step to safe guard my Lion install.

  49. Ztrident says:

    After install update 10.7.4 I can’t login. Just only grey screen and Guest User . Yesterday I was in apple shop , they couldnt fix this problem. Offer ed me full formatting but all of my installed applications will gone!!!
    May be somebody here can help to resolve this problem? Thanks beforehand .
    MacBook 2008 December Uninody intel 500gb , 4 gb Ram

  50. Steve says:

    Thank you. I had NO idea why the Guest login was there, since I had disabled the guest account. This helps a lot! Due to your recommendation, I will go ahead and leave the Safari-only Guest login around. Thanks again!

  51. Stayson says:

    Worked a treat for me. I limit the kids accounts for internet access to 1.5 hours on a school day for homework use so its important they cannot just re-login as guest when their time is up. Yes I know – restricting acids internet access, I’m a monster :)

  52. modima65 says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the process in case I lose my Mac. What’s the use of Guest account? Will the thief login and say “Hello, bite me, I’m here!”? What’s the point? This feature is useless for me.

  53. Sir says:

    How I can disable guest user account at Mac OS X Lion? Only guest user account shows in my LogIn Screen. I can’t use my account(administrator?). . . .

  54. Zaid khan says:

    Thanks its Works:)

  55. Neal says:

    And how do I get out of the guest account if someone clicks on it and I am stuck in there? HELP!!! I am serious about this!

  56. Don says:

    in terminal:

    sudo defaults write “/Library/Preferences/com.apple.FindMyMac” HideRestartToSafari -bool TRUE

  57. Daniel Loh says:

    Thanks for the great article! I’m going to keep this feature. Thanks again!

  58. HELP says:

    WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU TURN OFF THE MAC WHILE IT IS RESTARTING??!?!?!

    HELP PLEASE

  59. Ace Kun says:

    Step One: (Apple)System Preference
    Step Two: (SYSTEM) Users and Groups
    Step Three: (Guest User) Disable

  60. [...] you can disable it, it’s best to leave enabled on all Macs, not only for the aforementioned temporary use [...]

  61. brittany says:

    how can i do this if i cant even go to system preferences ????? i can only go online nothing else

  62. Andy says:

    After lending my Macbook to a friend who’s house was robbed, it now boots into guest Safari only mode every time. I can boot in Safe Mode to get access to the admin account, but I can’t stop it from booting into guest. I tried the instructions above, but it still booted into guest safari only. Please help!

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