Running a Mac as admin or non-admin

As a longtime sysadmin…I always recommend giant admin as daily driver. I do make the extra sudoers file so daily driver can use terminal…but it’s trivial to input admin creds when needed.

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Alternative thought:

Use a non-admin or the Guest account when in public or non-secure wifi environment. You can sync your bookmarks in many browsers like Firefox, etc. and use the Users/Shared folder as a local “drop box” of sorts for documents.

Risk is greatly reduced this way. Just make sure you require password-immediately-after-sleep and a very short time-to-screensaver in case you have a habit of walking away from your laptop without closing the lid or manually locking.

When your name is called for that cup of jitter-juice, we can get a tad myopic :grinning:

I have my wife’s iMac set up so she uses a standard user account and I have a separate admin account which I only use to run updates. My wife is actually pretty careful but she doesn’t need admin rights for her email and internet surfing. The only problem with this approach is that I only use the admin account when I need to run an update, which generally means once every couple of months, and when I sign on, the Mac goes crazy updating all the things that need updates - it drives the cpu to 100% so I just walk away and wait 30 minutes or more to come back and run the update.

I would be interested in suggestions for “simplifying” my admin account so that I don’t have to wait as long for things to settle down. Her iMac is four years old, so a new Mac is coming soon, and fixing the configuration now will help. Like, how did


And you don’t technically need to use it for that. Any account can install updates (at least macOS and App Store updates). You are asked to type in an admin account’s name and password in order to authenticate the update and then it just works.

Logging in to a seldom-used account does often take a while due to software updates that need to sync/update per-user data. I don’t think there’s a way around that.