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How long does it take for a Mac to delete an account?

Answer

The process of closing an account does not delete the information automatically. Apple will first need to verify that the account deletion request is real before doing so. I’ve deleted quite a few accounts on several Macs, and it takes anywhere between 1 to 5 mins all depending on the usage of the computer. The more files there are on the harddrive belonging to the account the longer it takes to delete it.

Deleting A Single Account On A Mac

If you simply want to delete an individual user account on your Mac, then it could take anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes or more depending on how much stuff was in that user’s Library folder at the time of deletion. Here’s why… When you go into System Preferences and choose Users & Groups (or just launch the “Delete User…” command via the Apple menu), OS X will take a look at your Library folder and all sub-folders within it (such as Desktop Pictures, Downloads, Movies, Music, Documents, etc.) and find all the files and folders you have created or copied to that user’s account. Then it will remove the actual file from the disk, but only if it can also find a reference within your Library folder to that file (this is called “soft linking”). If OS X cannot find a soft link then it must physically remove the file from your hard drive in order to free up space for other things. When this happens, you may notice a delay of several seconds per file depending on how many individual items were present inside of that user’s Library folder at the time of deletion.

On the other hand, if no soft links are available, then OS X just removes every item from your disk without delay! I’d say this is great news because that means you won’t have to wait at all to get rid of your account. Unless you are deleting a system admin account, in which case OS X cannot do this for security reasons.


Deleting Multiple Accounts On A Mac At Once

If you are trying to delete multiple users accounts at the same time from System Preferences > Users & Groups, such as if you had a family member die and wanted to give away or sell their computer, then there’s a good chance that things could take quite a bit longer than expected. Why? Because when we’re talking about destroying more than one username, OS X must also go through each Library folder and find references to every single file created by an individual user. As it does this, it will then try to remove the actual item from your hard drive and delete the soft link. This process is delayed in much the same way as described above when dealing with single account deletion. So if you are deleting more than one user at once, then expect to wait longer than you would for just one single account.

Deleting A User Account From The Terminal

If you are so inclined to make a clone of your hard drive and subsequently copy that clone back to the original volume, then there are several commands you can use from the terminal (the “console”) to delete user accounts. However, instead of referencing each user account by name, you will have to specify certain digits or values unique to each one which we’ll get into in a moment. On the other hand, if you have deleted all accounts off of a Mac and want to reclaim their disk space, then simply deleting an administrator account will immediately free up that space for OS X. The reason I say this is because when an admin account is deleted, OS X deletes every item associated with every individual user account at once without having to search them out.

Examples of Terminal Commands For Deleting Mac User Accounts

The first thing we must do is make a copy of the disk in question, followed by restoring that clone to the original volume (this process will be explained more below). Once this is done we can then type the following commands from inside the “Terminal” app located within the Applications (Utilities) folder: Delete all accounts on user account 1 with a value of “1” replace “1” with an actual name if you have one: sudo dscl . -delete /Users/Shared/.AppleSetupDone 1 You can run these same commands in succession as many times as there are users on your system sudo dscl . -create /Users/Shared/.AppleSetupDone 1 sudo dscl . -append /Users/Shared/.AppleSetupDone UserName “username” sudo dscl . -create /Users/Shared/.AppleSetupDone 2 sudo dscl . -append /Users/Shared/.AppleSetupDone UserName “username” sudo dscl . -create /Users/Shared/.AppleSetupDone 3

If You Have Already Deleted A Mac User Account & Want To Recuperate That Disk Space

Now if you have already deleted a user account off of a computer and want to free up that disk space, then don’t fret! OS X will allow for the restoration of that space so long as only one user is logged into your system. This might sound strange but if you have your own personal computer, maybe a laptop, and run Mac OS X Lion 10.7 then this is how it works. Why? Because in order for a particular account to be deleted from the system, all other accounts must be logged out.

(NOTE: If you are using Snow Leopard or earlier versions of OS X, then this will not work.)

Please note that while the restoration process only requires one user to log off, others cannot actively use their computers because login items won’t work! Additonally you may also want to exclude network drives (such as an AirPort Time Capsule) during this time otherwise they won’t be available after restoring disk space unless you log into that computer too.

Restoring Disk Space By Deleting An Administrator Account

This is the same process for both Snow Leopard and Lion:

Go to  > System Preferences in Mac OS X Click on “Accounts” Unlock the padlock if it’s locked by clicking on the small lock icon & entering an admin user’s password Select a User account – this will immediately show you the amount of space previously allocated to this user which is highlighted in red Select another User Account – this will immediately highlight their disk space allocation in green Enter your system password when prompted This process can be repeated again, click on any user account except for “Admin”, then select Admin (there should only be one), enter your password & the space is already freed up for you to use!

Again, this process will only allow you to recover disk space after each account has been deleted. It will not be possible if you have a mix of active and inactive accounts logged into your computer because login items won’t work as stated above. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to continue on reading the instructions below & manually delete user accounts instead.

How long does it take for a Mac to delete an account?

The process of closing an account does not delete the information automatically. Apple will first need to verify that the account deletion request is real before doing so. I’ve deleted quite a few accounts on several Macs, and it takes anywhere between 1 to 5 mins all depending on the usage of the computer. The more files there are on the harddrive belonging to the account the longer it takes to delete it.

How long does it take to delete an user account on Mac?

One pass random erase would take about 9 hours, and one pass zero fill erase would take about 1 hour. One step that should be added to this list is to remove the incomplete DMG backup file of the individual’s account, created by the interrupted task.

Why does it take so long to delete a user on Mac?

If you get stuck while trying to delete a user account, there is a good chance that you are saving their home folder on disk image. Selection: Delete the Home Folder and press the trash icon or select Don’t Change the Home Folder if necessary.

How Long Does It Take To Delete A User Account From A Mac?

It depends. If you are simply deleting an individual user account, and not doing anything else like removing a hard drive with valuable data on it, then the process may be fairly quick or even instantaneous (depending on if there is residual cached account information still sitting around). On the other hand, if you are trying to delete multiple accounts from a single computer, while at the same time deleting other information that is taking valuable disk space, then you may find yourself waiting for a long time.

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