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 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.

  2. @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.

  3. 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!!!!!

  4. >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.

  5. It’s my understanding that the recent OSX updates and upgrade run the repair permissions command as a part of the install package prior to actually beginning to write the update, so it’s really not necessary to run it manually anymore. I don’t think it was like this in the early days of OSX, but has been for the last few years…though I certainly could be wrong. Sorry, don’t have time to look it up right now. However, backing up prior to any OS upgrade is a no brainer. Though some have proved to have a lack of said brains…

  6. here’s how to “LOSE YOUR DATA”
    1. enable guest account ( disabled by default, by the way, despite rumors to the contrary)
    2. log into guest account using EXACT SAME NAME as your user account (why anyone would do this is beyond me, but there it is)
    3. do some dumb things while logged in- move things around in your “guest account” (which really is your user account, since you used the exact same name as a guest, but you didn’t realize this)
    4. log out – now, OSX DOES EXACTLY WHAT APPLE TELLS YOU IT WILL DO when you enabled the guest account- go look at the accounts prefpane. your “guest account” – which really was your user account, since you spoofed the OS – is “gone” – although there are ways to get it back, if you can copy/paste some simple terminal commands found easily on the net.

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