Disable the Guest User Account at Mac OS X Lion Login Screen
If you’ve installed a modern version of OS X 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 login screen
For modern versions of OS X, disabling Guest account is done as follows:
- Open System Preferences
- Go to “Users & Groups” and click the unlock icon
- Click on “Guest User”
- Uncheck the box for ‘Allow guests to log in to this computer’
That’s it, no more guest account on boot.
Disabling Guest User in OS X Lion, Mountain Lion
On earlier releases of OS X , guest account is a bit different, here’s how to turn that off:
- 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.
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.
This first started appearing after users installed Mac OS X 10.7.2, but Guest User has stuck around since then in all modern versions of OS X.