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Logging Out & In

If your computer is shared by multiple users, you may find it more convenient to log out when you're finished working. The Log Out command under the Apple menu (Figure 61) closes all applications and documents and closes your account on the computer. The computer remains running, making it quick and easy for the next person to log in and get right to work.


If you are your computer's only user, you'll probably never use the Log Out command. (I hardly ever do.)

To log out

  1. Choose Apple > Log Out (Figure 61), or press .

  2. A confirmation dialog like the one in Figure 65 appears. Click Log Out or press or . Your computer closes all applications and documents, then displays the Login Screen (Figure 66 or 67).

    Figure 65Figure 65 A dialog like this one confirms that you really do want to log out.

    Figure 66Figure 66 A typical Login Screen might list the


    As the Log Out confirmation dialog in Figure 65 explains, if you don't do anything in step 2, Mac OS X will automatically log out after two minutes.

To log in

  1. If a Login Screen like the one in Figure 66 appears, click the icon for your user account.

  2. Enter your password in the Password box that appears (Figure 68).

  3. Click Log In.


  1. If a Login Screen like the one in Figure 67 appears, enter your full or short account name in the Name box and your password in the Password box.

  2. Click Log In. Your Mac OS desktop appears, looking the same as it did when you logged out or shut down your computer.


  • The appearance of the Login Screen (Figures 66 and 67) varies depending on how the Accounts preference pane has been configured by the system administrator. Account options is an advanced topic, which is discussed in detail in Mac OS X Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide.

  • Your user name and short name are created when you use the Mac OS Setup Assistant to configure Mac OS X, as discussed in Chapter 1. You can use either name to log in. a user account.

  • Figure 68Figure 68 If a Password box does not appear in the initial Login Screen (Figure 67), it appears when you select a user account.

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