How To Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password

It happens to most of us – forgetting passwords. You generate a new password and yet forget to save it at a secure place. Just because you forgot one password, you create a new one, and voila, forget the second one too. There are many reasons for forgetting a password. Having more than one email id and loads of accounts is an example of how one generally forgets the passwords.

Reset the Password On your Mac OS X Computer

System Rescue CD or Ubuntu Live CD will need just a couple of minutes to reset the password for your Windows PC. Fortunately, the OS X has some helpful tricks up the sleeve that will help you reset your forgotten password.

Use the Install Disk

The OS X Installation Disk is one of the methods that you can use to retrieve the password. Put it in the drive and get set.

How To Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password

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Once you boot with the disc, you will be prompted to select the language. The OS X will then prepare the installation environment. Next up, choose “Reset Password” from the “Utilities” menu.

How To Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password

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In the next step, you will require to select the volume with your account that you need to alter the password for. Select an account from the menu and create a new password. It would be worthwhile to use a password hint if you want to use.

How To Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password

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You may even need to change the Access Control Lists (ACLs) as you changed your password.  Once you are done with this, you will need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Boot Into Single User Mode

The second method is perhaps easier to get back the forgotten password. For this you will have to boot into Single User Mode. Apart from this, you will also have to remove a file, which informs the OS X that a first time boot setup has finished. For rebooting into Single User Mode, you will have to press and hold down the Command and S keys as your computer reboots.

Once you have booted completely, you will have to mount the volume that you will require to get into. It can be mounted as “/”. The following command can do the trick for you:

sudo mount -uw /

Now you will have to remove the file that informs the OS X that the setup is complete. For that, use the following command:

rm -rf /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

Now, reboot with the “Reboot” command.

Check Out the Procedure

Once you are done with the above steps, it is time to check if you have done things in the correct order. When you boot, it will be as if you are booting for the first time (after installation). After going through the welcome screen, you will be prompted to confirm about data migration. Select “Do not transfer my information now” and proceed.

Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password

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Press Command + Q keys to get past the remaining prompts. Create a new administrator account.

How To Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password

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Proceed with your desired information until you reach the “Thank You” screen. Go to “System Preferences” and then to “Accounts”.

How To Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password

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Choose the account for which you want to reset the password. Use the password hint, if you wish.



Rekha Samavedula