Snow Leopard Guest Accounts Issue: Files Being Deleted?

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According to Cnet, Apple has recognized the issue but describes it as “extremely rare.”

Several discussions have emerged on Apple’s Discussion Boards about a problem affecting a number of Snow Leopard users. The problem seems to originate from the Guest account feature in Snow Leopard, which is unexpectedly deleting user data.

The issue was initially spotted by Cnet/MacFixIt in early September, and subsequent reports, including one from 9to5Mac, have escalated concerns significantly.

Users affected by this issue report that the Guest account’s data wipe feature, which is designed to delete files left by guests, is mistakenly also erasing the home directories of the main user accounts, leading to significant data loss. One distressed user mentioned, “I hadn’t used my Guest Account since upgrading to Snow Leopard, and I accidentally clicked it instead of my user account this morning, only to discover that when I logged into my normal account ALL my files, settings, mail etc had been reset.”

Furthermore, he is not the only one experiencing this.

Although MacFixIt reports that it’s not widespread, several readers have echoed similar experiences in their comments. Our advice is straightforward: ensure your backups are up-to-date.


Linda is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful and engaging content to Apple enthusiasts. With a deep understanding of Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, Linda offers readers valuable tips, reviews, and news updates. His articles reflect a genuine love for technology and a commitment to keeping the Apple community informed. Linda’s clear and approachable writing style makes complex topics accessible, ensuring that every reader can stay up-to-date with the latest in the Apple world.