Resolving Mac crash due to renaming of the Home directory

Mac users who have made the mistake of renaming their computer name (the one that shows as my computer on the desktop) know what mayhem this simple act can kick-off. Typically, after you have renamed your computer, all of your previous program preferences are removed, along with all of your emails, music, etc. and all you end up with is an empty desktop – similar to the one that is there on a brand new Mac OS.

It also makes your Mac system refuse to boot the next time you start up the PC, or it might simply direct you to a generic temporary directory such as /tmp. The primary reason for all of this is that Mac runs on a Linux-like kernel where the computer name – in the administrator user account – as something sacred and not to be tampered with. Although there are no straight-cut resolutions to this problem, you can try the following.

First, try renaming your directory to the original name, and not move any of the files and programs. This should fix the issue. However, if it does not – you will have to snoop around the system to locate the file that has all of your preferences stored in it, and tweak it – as this is the file that all the programs link to in determining their preferences.

Typically, your renamed account is created in the Users folder, and you will find all of your previous preferences in that folder. And, this is something you will have to work with.

One simple way to avoid this problem in the future is to always use a user account with limited privileges for all your day-to-day work, and keep the administrator account only for major system changes. This is, in general, a good practice, no matter what OS you are using.