Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Mac won't load the Users & Groups preference pane: Fix

I had recently had a Mac on Lion unable to load the Users & Groups Preference Pane. 

 Like this:




My IT support had suggested reimaging the computer.  Reinstalling the Operating System, reloading the applications, and transferring back the User information from Time Machine Backup.

Well, after doing all of that, the problem reappeared immediately.  I scoured through Apple Support Communities and found this fix.  For some reason, some transparent users are showing up in your system.  They need to be deleted.  But since you cannot load Users & Groups... it becomes a problem.

Here is the solution / procedure.
Quit System Preferences.  
Launch Terminal.  (Applications/Utilities/Terminal)  

Copy & Paste these commands.

sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest
press enter
Terminal may ask for your Administrator Password, enter that.
sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest1
press enter
Terminal may ask for your Administrator Password, enter that.

Relaunch your System Preferences.  All should be back to normal.

UPDATE:
I recently had a colleague have this issue.  Through her experimentation, she continued with the above sudo commands.  She had 4 guest accounts.  If the above fix does not work, continue through the above commands, but changing it to add other numbers, like listed below.  If Terminal gives you a "no such path" error, just continue.  Thank you, Amalia Kingsbury, for letting me know.

sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest2
sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest3
sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest4