How to recover a forgotten Mac password

If you use a Mac for personal purposes only, you may want to change your password because you suspect that someone might have stolen it. Select your account and click on the Change Password button. The keychain stores the login credentials for services such as Mail, various websites, and other things that may require usernames and passwords. You have basically two options: You can either wait for a while, hoping to remember your old password, or you can create a new keychain with your new password.

1. How to reset a password from the login screen

The first time you log in with your new admin password, a dialog box should appear, informing you about the situation. Click on the Create New Keychain button and follow the straightforward instructions. Since Mac OS X IT pros welcome this because it allows them to easily help less experienced users without having to resort to using more time-consuming Mac password reset methods.

The only caveat to using Apple ID to recover Mac password is that the feature is sometimes deactivated. He can use the computer he's never turned it off but has forgotten his password. To make matters worse, home is a long way away and can't get a hold of the original install disks which would make this a lot more easier.

It should apply to any version of OSX with a dedicated recovery partition though. Original version : The article that John links to suggests that you use the installer disc to repair a lost admin password, but since you mention that you're far from an installer disc, I will mention that there is an old Unix hack available. Edit : Just to clarify, once upon a time there was another answer here that linked to this Apple support page. I still think that's a useful page to have linked as part of this discussion, so I'm putting it into this answer. Also, I don't want anyone thinking I imagined another answer.

Boot the system into single-user mode. To do this, reboot and hold down Command and the 's' key at the same time. You're going to get a black screen and a lot of text. Don't freak out. Mount the root volume by entering this this command should be mentioned near the bottom of all the text you see as well :.

Edit : Read all the way to the end for an alternative approach here. Change your root user's password by entering passwd no 'o' and no 'r'. It will prompt you to enter a password twice. Remember this one. Change that user's password. Enter exit to drop the superuser status and powers. Enjoy your new password. Note that many modern Unix-like distros block this "reset the root user password without knowing the old one" hack, but I just did it on the Mac I'm at a brand new MacBook Pro. So, apparently, Mac hasn't blocked it. That's too bad in general, but perhaps good for you and your friend.

Forgot Mac Password? How to Reset Your Mac Password (with or without CD)

Edit : Some people have mentioned in the comments that you can skip resetting the root password and simply reset the user's password. If you do that, you can skip steps Just follow step 4 to boot into the GUI and you're done. This is a good alternative if that user was an administrator for the machine. However, if the user was not an admin for the machine, you should make sure to reset an admin's password as well or to reset a root password as I did above.

Now all I have to do is get reacquainted with OSX after being on the dark side for many years….. None of the above worked for me. The single user terminal never came up. What other option, no matter how wild, might work? The above trick works but you must enter into Single User Mode with the proper command sequence on boot, try again. Well appreciated for this method 2. Been fighting with a locked out MacBook Pro for months. After reboot the grey screen comes on as soon as the progress bar loads, the unit shuts down!

How To Unlock Mac Computers From Unknown Password Tutorial - ByPass Macbook Passwords

Help pls! I have followed your suggestions step by step and I am very grateful and very happy with your fantastic help. All works perfectly as before. Very big thank you for your great help. This worked for me! I hit it as it was restarting and it never worked, hehe. Silly me. Anyway, everything else worked like an absolute charm!

I hit they keys as it was restarting and it never worked. The 3rd action using the disc worked like a dream,thank you so much. I had tried all sorts before this. It says that. Thanks man steps worked for me , after boot and create new user account- it shows the desktop how can I reset the previous account?

I clicked on Users and groups and shows the other user as inactive please help.

Locked out of your Mac? How to bypass and reset your password to get back in - CNET

Thanks a lots for the tutorials. Plus after i typed it in a lot if lines said device is write locked. Worked well for me. All programs think its a fresh install like user. Also iTunes, iPhoto, everything gone. Any advise would be appreciated greatly. To top it off my son locked his iPad, which will not synce to mbp. Any help would be a life saver. I have FV2 codes for Everything worked wonderfully.

The only issue is that after I logged in with new password it asked about the updating the keychain with the old password. What to do? Never touched a MAC before to be honest. I went through this to create a new account and reset a password without a cd. It worked, but now my bookmarks are gone! I googled and did not see this mentioned anywhere. Can anybody help? I figured it out. My mac os I have no login password when I power up so I did not know it logged me in under an admin account. Bingo- my setup was all back! This worked for me in terms of it creating a whole new account on the Mac.

But omg now there are certain things missing — Like Safari the Internet browser. Would anyone please be able to help me with this? I would be so greatful if anyone could offer advice on how I might be able to fix this. Thank you!!! This completely worked! I almost missed that the tutorial said that. This is a great guide but I think that the language in the steps can cause a bit of confusion. When my system turned on again nothing had changed. The second time around I did the following in single user mode: 1.

I created my admin account and then granted admin for my old account. This method worked for me. It worked! Any suggestions please? It worked marvelous! My MacBook told me that no such file or directory exists. Please help. I followed these steps and am transferring files from my old mac. The firewire cable is still connected and everything. Hi i have followed the instructions to the letter, as soon as i click to create a user account, it suddenly pauses after 1 — 2 seconds then repeats the whole brand new set-up cycle again with video and everything.

I now effectively have a macbook air that is in a permanent loop! This is useful indeed. And it is also a huge big humongous security flaw….. Thanks Much. Worked for me just like butter. Thanks again. I did this and now I get the spinning circle, no sound and it eventually shuts down. I have some very sentimental pictures on there, can anyone help??

Hi Thanks for the tip — it certainly works. Unfortunately, you fail to point out that it also wipes the computer of all files and settings, so I have lost a whole load of work and all my email and contact settings too. Thanks for that. Perhaps you should consider this sort of thing before giving advice — however effective it may be. But it does work, and it did NOT wipe out al the settings or files! Those are still stored on the computer under the original user name that i forgot the password to, so you should re-check that Marc!

I typed in every thing correctly and it rebooted. Then as its powering up, it had a loading looking bar. Thanks so much for this help! So, I forgot my password a few days ago and followed the above steps in order to get back into my computer. They worked, and I can now access my account again; however, a lot of the apps no longer work, like photobooth or ms word. Does anyone know what I might have done and if there is any way to fix it?

Thank you so much, I was able to reset my password! How do I delete the new user I created and leave my old one? When I start up my computer it boots up to the new user which is no big issue…. I just have to log out and back into the old user account. Do I type in the commands. I did what it said and it did work. However now the new user which is also an admin pops up first. It also shows that my new account is the main admin and my previous was the other account now.

How do I get rid of the new account so I can just deal with my old account now? I tried this on my iMac OS v The display on screen is completely black nothing shows at all, nor do any lights start up. Do you have any idea why this has occurred? Oh sweet baby Jesus, it worked!!! Thank your ever so much for helping me. You have no idea how much of a lifesaver you are.

I will always be grateful for your help. You are a genius xxx. Life saver. Account imports fine, but password is dead as a doornail. Thank you for saving access to my Macbook. One Wookie is very happy, and we were able to retrieve the plans to the Death Star. Hi — did anyone resolve the problem with the keyboard not responding?

It would really help to have an answer for this issue. Got the set up wizard part done, however system preferences and a number of other applications on the dock appear as question marks and do not open. Can anyone help me fix this? This worked awesome!!! Thank you. My father really should have paid more attention when setting this up at the Apple store! What do I do???

You saved my life! And my macbook air. Followed the steps thru Stage 2. I created a new user account. But instead of logging on, it goes right back to the beginning of the account setup. I setup an account over and over again without going anywhere. If someone has an idea of what may be wrong, please let me know.

From another admin account. I followed the instructions to reset my Mac password without a CD, when I get to the final step to reset the password of the administrator it takes me through the process then comes up with the message reset password failed. Holly F…ing Crap… I could kiss you silly right now. I can believe I got this to work!!!


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Thank you soooo much!!! My landlord found a mac book pro in the middle of the road this morning, and thanks to this post, I was able to bypass the main log in screen in an attempt to find out who owned the laptop. Access to the laptop provided a name found on a photo; a Google name search lead to a YouTube video, which in turn lead to a former employer. I completed the first step. I got the wizard screen as you would on the very first start up.

I tried restarting the Mac and repeating step 1. Were you able to fix this problem? I just get the PONG! Please, help. Thank you VERY much!! Tried to use the install disk and when ask to select a disk the only disk it showed was the install CD, no Mac HD was listed. So I used the rm. AppleSetupDone method and it worked great! Please friends I really need help I just brought a new MacBook Air 13inch and my password doesnt work Im locked out on the Login screen…the main first screen just after you wake it up.

To everyone who asked this question: Will it wipe out my hard drive? Read through the threads! The answer is NO! I was able to change password with no problems following instructions. After 15 minutes I manually powered down and tried to reboot. I ended up unplugging the unit from the wall and waiting for awhile, then plugged back in and booted up.

I got past the grey screen and was able to finish the rest of the guide successfully. Just holding it did not work. Furthermore for me just mount -auw worked. You can also make a usb drive into a copy of the disc if you have an air. Borrow a friends computer to make it. This tip worked great. I acquired a Mac from someone but had no CDs with it and was able to erase everything from the previous owner and start from scratch. I am at the moment still not able to solve this problem. I forgot my initial admin password and have successfully set up a new admin with another name and a password i remember.

However, my system is set up so that i automatically log in to the admin account whose password i forgot which is useful cuz it has all my stuff. Is there a way to change my original admin password via the admin rights of the second admin i made? Is there a way around this??? I acquired my machine from an out of business ISP. But the screen is now just blue after the rs and it seems like nothing is ever going to happen here, so my question is, how do i solve this problem and is it dangerous to do a new restart after i did it once and pressed C?

Had to do this because I bought a corporate used Macbook off Ebay that included no disk or password…worked like a charm…and I know nothing of script. No, neither method will erase any files except for the NOCD method which deletes a single file. This is not a normally used file by the user. If I restart my MacBook, because I forgot my password,will all of my pictures and downloads like skype and quicktime be lost? Will I have to re-download all this? I do have the CD so it can be easily done. I need help! Every time I press a key all you hear is a sound. I tried following the instructions on resetting password without a cd and it got me to the point of setting the Mac like when it was new.

The only problem is it just keeps on going back to registration over and over again. Not sure if this will work but go into Single User Mode again, do these commands. I will appreciate your swift response. You are awesome. It worked in just as little as five minutes. Worked like a charm on osx lion MacBook Air! AppleSetupDone was deleted before rebooting. Why the change to the Terminal method?

Probably for increased security now that recovery […]. You totally saved my butt. Well-written instructions. No its will not delete anything. Worked for me like a charm. Follow the instructions carefully. How do I now access them with my new Admin account? You saved me and my Mac!!! After long hols I even forgot that I had changed my password…. Instructions are so clear even for a non techy savvy like me :- thx again! AppleSetupDone In my case it did not remove the file. So I entered: su You will see the prompt changing to something else. AppleSetupDone and it should delete the file.

Make sure to check if the file is deleted before typing in reboot. This is how one can break into Linux too. Nice to see someone found a way to do that trick on Mac. I already sucessfully reset the password, but when i open mail dan safari, the system ask for old login keychain. How can I solve this? Some people should just stick with making an appointment and going to the Genius Bar.

Does it cost money? Shutdown mac, Turned back on and Login screen appeared. Attempted to login…. No go. Changed passwords, restarted system, attempted login, No GO. STILL cant login to any user account. Did some research and tried Resetting Login Keychain. Still not able to login after restart. Still not able to login. Installed to a new Administraor Account and restarted the system.

I have been sitting on this bloody machine for 4days straight now trying to gain access to it without having to change the password through SUM everytime I login, and It seems that no matter what I do.. The mac just reboots with the old Account login settings once I shut it down and try to restart with a new login. AppleSetupDone and rm. I have even tried enabeling the Automatic login and restarting.

2. How to use Terminal in Recovery Partition

Nothing is working. Does anyone have any suggestions of how I can fix this problem, without having the Discs to restore Factory settings? I get the apple, the spinning round circle, and then blue. Then grey with a big black square in the centre, only for a moment. Then blue again. Then grey, then blue… and it stays on blue. Tried to restart though and same problem occured again. Any help hugely appreciated. Tried stage 1 after that nothing happened. Please help soon. I am surprised a person can get a shell or command prompt without being prompted for user name and password. Seeing the machine loads certain files in a specific order with file names, system files used in the boot would have to remain named correctly, the best thing to do is create your own file system and conversion where you boot and everything you look at is in a way unzipped as you browse.

You could really make things confusing by encrypting the directory structure and any type of registry, where when it is decrypted it get placed in a temporary ram disk or temporary store on hd so then you stay compatible, with all but detour anyone with a common knowledge of the directory structure, they then will have to attempt to recognize the hd fragmentation in comparison to other drives they have studied….

How to do this not sure, I am still working on distributed session and user management with php considering a high level of information encryption so I figure by the time I get to studying file systems and hard drives more in depth I will be a weary old man who has forgotten why he started, so if you encrypt files that are the same throughout installations, make sure they look like one big clump with a hundred different files un-determinable, like save ten bytes in Florida, ten bytes in Minnesota, 10 bytes in California, ecetera.

So yes your right it is almost impossible. I appreciate the help, but after using the no cd method it booted up as if I was setting up the new user account. Thing is, it asks me what language to use. I select English, but it just reloads back to the same language screen over and over.

I tried safe boot, it just gray screens with the wheel running forever. Any suggestions? What should I type next? If I use the option 2 with the disk, will I lose the files I have on my computer? If this is the case, you can use methods to reset a forgotten Mac password to get around the user login […]. Question 1: This has no effect on the information on the hard-drive does it? This wont whipe the harddrive clean will it?

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Question 2: Once shes created her new account, i dont think the information from the original one will be there…how would you access it? Or am i wrong entirely? What do you mean by profile? Do you mean Short Name? Also, how would I separate each profile name, would use a comma? Your code worked for me, but I have a problem. It was the only code that actually got some where. Once I was able to use your code it went back to the same login in screen that I am trying to get away from.

Thanks a lot this thing help me alot but i have one question. Does using the above simply create a new user account? By that I mean that browser history and passwords would not be accessed? Also what about if particular folders were password protected, could they be accessed?? If someone can get physical access to your machine, they can get in no matter the platform. Encryption is the solution. Filevault is OS X only. Apple did recently hire a heavy-duty security guy. I agree with other posts. People say Mircosoft has bad security thinking, but this is redicilous.

I have forgotten my firmware password on MacBook Air. Do you know the work around please? I just tried it out on my mac I bought straight from the apple store, Lion and all, and it worked perfectly. Pretty paranoid now! That password is big joke if that can change so easily! Apple should inform more of this to basic users so they could protect data and files much better! Cmd-s boot in SUM 2. Thanks for saving my bacon.


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  7. What a relief to know there are people out there who are not as thick-headed as I am! Agree this is the easiest and best. BUT got caught on number 5. You need to put passwd shortname — not shortname passwd as I read the instruction at first. Followed directions and hit reboot, now I just get a grey screen and the circle of death, any fixes for that????

    Just typing in lines of apparent nonsense to me does not help new users. You need to say exactly what and where to do things. In other words, you need to annotate each number of your instructions, as if a third-grader who never saw a computer before was trying to follow them. This applies to everyone giving advice here. You are familiar with Apple products, so you assume others are.

    Can I just click on some command to delete all emails from my phone at once?

    Thanx for any advice. Back to the password reset. I heard that you had to change the amount of ram in the computer. For example if there is 2 GB of ram, take one out, then turn the computer on and the Firmware Password would be gone. Then you would put the ram back in. Is what you said an easier way of doing it? Also, could you please be more specific in the process of resetting the cmos. How long do you have to unplug the machine for? Also, do you plug the machine back in then hold the power button or do you do it while it is unplugged then plug it back in to turn it on.

    Also, I am doing all of this on a recent generation iMac. Please help me out; I would very highly appreciate it. I have an old Imac I set up for my wife and the PW was lost. I found this artical while looking for better instructions. I used the Command-S trick. This worked slick, Thanks! What next?? I get the same thing. Did you get it figured out? Simple really, simply Fustrating for such a simple thing lol. OK I got same problem. If you would of read carefully then you knew that the answer would be NO — because it deletes your user so it deletes all the files on it too.

    The steps here do not erase the original account. Go through the steps mentioned above and create a new user and it will have admin rights. After logging in as the new user, the old user acct still exists. Reset the password on that acct and you can log in and all the data will be intact. Let me restate something, just to be clear: These steps do not erase any data from the Mac.

    All data will be safe. Hi I did the above and I am able to get into account but it seems to now have lots of software missing, like advanced photoshop type of software I had here before…can u help please why this is? I even called Apple, and the only advise they could give me, was to take it to an Apple store. These instructions worked perfectly and saved a lot of time!!!

    Thanks so much!!! Help please!!! Sorry if i insult you as i currently think you may be new to mac. Are you hitting the power button then command S or just command S? I do not see anything where I can check the filesystem or mount the drive as writable after I click command S. For best practice, follow the instructions to do this from your phone. This does work to reset a Mac password, you must follow the instructions. This is for advanced users. If you are a newcomer to the computer world, call the official Apple Support that came with your Mac. Yes, but what keyboard are you using that still has an Apple logo on it?

    Must be retro Mac! Wow, just tried it, and it worked like a charm. I did this and was about to click reboot when my computer shut off. Now it will not turn on or connect to the charger. BTW should add my thanks to whoever posted this, forgot my manners. Would be screwed without this tip. Thank You. Much appreciated. Im now getting the welcome intro. This method of the second account is fantastic!!!! After step 1 on the instructions without the disc, my computer would get past the apple symbol and the loading circle.

    What do i doooo!!!!!! I hit reboot the comp restarts, the grey screen with apple icon appears for about 5 secs… but then -everything shuts down! When I restart, the same thing keeps happening. What gives???? I just locked my mac using find my mac app through i cloud and put my mac on 4 digit passcode now i can unlock my mac how can i do it?? Hope it helps :. I did the re-start and set-up following the second method command prompt. That will create an empty file to indicate setup wizard to stop running, but without an account it will do no good. I am having the same problem as Dayn.

    I go through all the steps of the Welcome Wizard and after the final step the Wizard starts all over again. Help please! The above would not work for me as I could not get the reset window to appear after the 3 failed attempts. The user being the administrator as well and the main password for the computer, Mavericks OS.