Mac Domain Login and Home Folder Issue

A small number of Middlebury College users are unable to login on domain-bound Macs. The login window returns this message: You are unable to login in to the user account 'JSMITH' at this time. Logging in to the account failed because an error occurred.

The issue is limited to users whose "Home Folder" attribute has been set in AD (to anything other than Local). There's very few users with this attribute set such, but a client-side fix will be in place anyways.

This is NOT an issue with our AD, rather a poor choice of default settings on Apple's side (not really a bug, just a poor choice, see fix below).

  • Helpdesk staff can login to the computer to fix the issue.
  • Open Applications => Utilities => Directory Utility => Click 'Services' (on top toolbar)
  • You may need to authenticate (lock button in lower left corner). Double-click "Active Directory", click "Show Advanced Options".
  • Under the "User Experience" tab, uncheck "Use UNC path from Active Directory"
  • OK => Apply => Logout. Issue should be fixed.


As a side note, several factors affect domain logins, both on Macs and PCs. For troubleshooting purposes, please peruse this nice, quick list: https://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Cannot_Login_To_Computer

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