How To Reset The Admin Password In Mac OS X

So you have finally gotten yourself in this situation! You have a Mac in front of you and you have forgotten the admin password. You don’t have the cd either. What we do we do now? Well, as it turns out, there is a simple procedure to reset the admin password:  

  • Restart the macbook. When it shuts down and comes back up, you should boot into recovery mode by holding down the key combination command-R (you may have to hold it down for a few seconds). Release the keys when you see a blank gray screen with a spinning dial.
  • When the Mac OS X Utilities screen appears, select Utilities ▹ Terminal from the menu bar. The usual terminal should pop up.
  • In the Terminal window, enter “resetpassword” and press return. A “Reset Password” window opens.
  • Select your boot volume if not already selected (usually Macintosh HD). Select your username from the menu labeled Select the user account if not already selected. Follow the prompts to reset the password. Pretty straightforward!
  • Now you have to restart it again. Select  ▹ Restart from the menu bar.
  • You should now be able to log in with the new password, but you won’t be able to unlock the Keychain. During startup, it will ask if you want to create a new keychain for this account. It’s a good idea to create a new keychain because there is no way to recover it if you have forgotten the password (which is usually the same as your login password). Keychain usually contains sensitive information, which is why they don’t allow you do anything without the password. You can also create or reset the keychain in your Keychain Access application. It can be found in Applications -> Utilities.


4 thoughts on “How To Reset The Admin Password In Mac OS X

  1. Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform?
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  2. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first
    comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.

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  3. There are multiple commands to reset Mac admin password that you can use depending upon the situation. For example resetting password in 10.4-10.5 is simple by typing the following command :
    sh /etc/rc
    passwd shortusername

    And to reset password in Mac OS X 10.6-10.10 use the following command in single user mode
    launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
    dscl . -passwd /Users/shortusername
    Also you can use recovery modeto reset mac admin password in any Mac OS X running 10.7 to 10.12
    Simply open terminal in recovery mode and type resetpassword

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