Forgot Password on Mac


You are unsure of or have forgotten the password on your Mac. It may have been changed by someone else.


Follow the situation that applies to you:

You can login but sometimes get prompted for a password which you never set

When the password prompt comes up asking you to put it in, try just clicking OK without entering a password. Mac computers ask for passwords when needed even if one is not set. If that fails proceed to the steps below.

You can’t login as yourself but can log on as another Admin user

  1. Logon as the admin user.
  2. Click the Apple in the top left corner and click System Preferences.
  3. Click on Accounts.
  4. If the padlock is locked, click on it and enter the admin password for the account you are logged in as.
  5. Click on the account which you need to login to (left side of the screen).
  6. Click on the Reset Password… button (right side of the screen) and follow the instructions.

You can’t login as yourself or another Admin user

Choose a method:

Install Disc

  1. Boot from the Mac OS X Install Disc:
    1. Insert the disc.
    2. Shut down the computer.
    3. Turn it on again whilst holding down the C key. You can let go when you see a spinning dial.
  2. Click through the menus until you after you’ve accepted a license agreement.
  3. At the top, click Utilities, then Reset Password.
  4. In the Reset Password window, click on your main hard drive.
  5. In the dropdown below, make sure your username is selected.
  6. Below that, enter a new password twice (or leave it blank).
  7. Click the Save button.
  8. Press cmd + Q to quit the Reset Password application.
  9. Press cmd + Q to quit the Mac OS X Installer.
  10. You will then be prompted to select an option. Click the Startup Disk button.
  11. Click on your main hard drive and click the Restart button.

Single User Mode

  1. Turn on the Mac whilst holding down cmd + S.
  2. Once the text has finished scrolling, press Enter and you will see root#.
  3. Type mount -uw / and press Enter.
  4. If you are a Lion User, type the following and press Enter:
    launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
    The command is case sensitive and you can use the Tab key when typing to autocomplete some parts.
  5. Type passwd <username> and press Enter. Replace <username> with the actual name and make sure it has no spaces.
  6. Type in a password and press Enter. It will not display any characters you type on the screen.
  7. Retype the password and press Enter.
  8. Type reboot and press Enter.

Lion Recovery Partition

  1. Turn on the Mac whilst holding down cmd + R. You can let go once you see a spinning dial. You will then see the “Mac OS X Utilities” screen.

  2. On the top menu, click Utilities, then click Terminal.
  3. Type resetpassword and press Enter.
  4. Click on your main hard drive and you will be able to select a user and enter a password.
  5. Once done, click Save.
  6. Press cmd + Q to quit the Reset Password application.
  7. Press cmd + Q again to quit the Terminal.
  8. Press cmd + Q one more time and click the Restart button.

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