Mac OS X Snow Leopard guest account bug reportedly deletes user data

“Since Mac OS X 10.6 launched in late August, numerous reports online have detailed the issue, which is triggered by logging in and out of a guest account on a Snow Leopard machine. Upon logging back in to their regular account, users will find that it has been wiped of all data,” AppleInsider reports.

“The issue has prompted numerous threads on the Apple Support Discussions, with reports suggesting the issue cannot be reproduced with any exact certainty,” AppleInsider reports. “Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge the issue.”

AppleInsider, “A month ago, CNET detailed a potential fix for the issue, which is reportedly caused when users have had a guest account enabled for login prior to the install of Snow Leopard. The easiest way to avoid the issue is disabling the guest account.”

Full article here.


  1. This kind of thing is why I try to wait for a few point updates before installing a major OS upgrade. This appears to be especially true with all the under-the-hood optimizations and improvements in 10.6.

  2. This is why you back up folks. I also wonder what the ratio is of persons who do permissions repairs before they update their software. For those not familiar, always, always scan your permissions in disk utility before you update any and all software. ALWAYS!!!!!!

  3. @Jeff the Trader

    You aren’t kidding! I had that exact problem with Windows 7 when I connected it to a domain. It started treating all accounts as guest accounts and deleting everything when the user logged off.

  4. why would you want to keep data on a Guest account? I would think it always did this. If you are going to keep and data on account why not use a regular account?

    I really don’t see this as a bug, but as how it should work by default. Sort of like those accounts in college computer labs. You save nothing on the machine and its wiped clean once restarted.

  5. This affected me first hand. I had my iMac set up as a photo booth for guests at my wedding. It was a big hit…folks posed for about 200 photos. Once we got back from the honeymoon and tried viewing the photos…THEY WERE GONE! Not a terrible loss, but they sure would have been nice to have. C’mon Apple.

  6. @moe, you are not understanding the issue. I wipes the user’s account, not the guest account. This is a MAJOR bug!! One that if it was found on Windows 7, MDN would be all over it.

  7. Not so much an Apple problem. If this were a bug it would be far more wide spread. A lot of this comes down to users actions. My Dad always says the same things about Windows problems. If you are not cleaning up your system from time to time, you are going to have a major problem sooner or later….. granted, he has no choice but to keep his system cleaned up.

    Mutiple accounts are fine, but if you are even enabling guest accounts you have not been using computers long enough. Never enable a guest account…. EVER!!!!!

  8. >For those not familiar, always, always scan your permissions in disk utility before you update any and all software. ALWAYS!!!!!!<

    With six exclamation points, you’d think the statement made was of earth shattering importance. You do know what permissions do, don’t you? An errant permission here or there is not going to lead to data loss. Certain things might not work as they should, but it’s an easily fixable problem. Hardly critical.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.