Create a spare user account to diagnosis problems with Mac
Since the launch of Mac OS X in 2001, Apple offered a multiple-user operating system, which means Mac users can create different user accounts for different uses. A spare user account will be used when you are trying to troubleshoot problems with your Mac or the applications on your machine. In that sense, a spare account is just an administrative account which can help you diagnosis problems on your Mac.
How to create a spare account on Mac
Creating an administrative spare account will allow you to access, copy, and delete files during the troubleshooting, thus you’d better create an administrative spare account rather than a standard one.
Step 1: Click on System Preferences in the Dock
Step 2: Click the “Accounts” or “Users &Groups” icon to launch the Accounts Preferences pane.
Step 3: Select the lock icon, and then you will need to enter the password for the currently existing account. Put in the password and then click “Ok”.
Step 4: Click on the “+” icon below the list of user accounts. The New Account sheet pops up.
Step 5: Choose “Administrator” among the account types in the dropdown menu.
Step 6: Enter the name for the spare account in “Name” or “Full Name” field.
Step 7: In the “Short Name” or “Account Name” field, enter a nickname or shorter version of the new username in the “Short Name” or “Account Name”.
Step 8: Enter a password for this account. In terms of the password, you’d better create a password that is easy to remember.
Step 9: Verify your password by entering your password again in the “Verify” field.
Step 10: Enter descriptive hints in the “Password Hint” field, which will helpful to remind you of your password. Note that this filed is just about the hints of your password, not the actual one.
Step 11: Click on the “Create Account” or “Create User”.
How a spare administrative account works to troubleshoot
It is easy to know that there might be corrupt preference files on your Mac when there are always application freezing and OS X stalling and displaying dreaded rainbow cursors. Yet it will be difficult for you to make sure which preference files are broken.
Preference files of OS X and applications usually store in different places, and can be found in the folder /Library/preferences/ and the /user/Library/Preferences/ folder. To identify the culprit, you may in to log out the user account and log in the spare account, which has clean and untouched preference files.
Step 1: Log in the spare account, and then launch the applications to see whether the problems occur, if not, you can judge that the preference files in the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder are broken.
If the problems with your OS X or applications still exist after you have logged in your spare account, preference files located in /Library/Preferences/ might be the corrupt ones.
Step 2: Once you have made sure which folder stores the broken preferences files, navigate to the target folder and then trash the corrupt preference files might be helpful to solve the OS X or application problems.