Apple’s new operating system put a high emphasis on information protection, so it comes with added security measures. Password, being the heart of macOS security, makes it difficult for anyone to access your precious sensitive data. Such that, forgetting it can be a real disaster because it will lock out of your computer.
You’ve come to the right place to reset a forgotten password. For your security, we’ll ask you a few questions to verify that you’re the owner of this account. This launches the Reset Password screen, which asks you to select an admin user you know the password for. Just click on the 'Forgot all password' link. The next screen will list all user accounts on your Mac. Just click the Set Password button next to the account you want to reset the password for. Launch your Mac into the single user mode. First of all prepare to password reset the old accounts. In some macOS versions, you can use your Apple ID to reset your login password. On the login screen, keep entering a password until you see a message saying that you can reset your password using Apple ID. If you can't see the message after three attempts, your account isn't set up to allow resetting with Apple. Or, if you have a different account on the Mac that you know the password to, you can recover your Mac admin password by following these steps: Click on the Apple logo in the top left of the tools bar and click Log Out. Select the alternative account and enter the password. Open System Preferences Users.
Many would agree that getting locked out of your Mac is not always a fun experience. It will prevent you from installing apps, making changes in System Preferences, accessing your files, and sometimes, deleting key files on your Mac. So, what do you do if you forgot the password for Mac?
What to Do If You’re Locked Out of Your Mac?
So you forgot your Mac’s password? There is no need to panic. Sometimes, it happens without your wish – for instance, if you have been using your Apple Watch or iPhone to unlock your Mac, or if you bought your computer secondhand and you have no clue about the old password. And in any case, you can still regain access to your Mac.
Thankfully, macOS comes with built-in tools to help you reset your password in Mac when you are in a situation like this. In this post, we will share tips on how to reset your password in Mac.
Some of these tips require preventive measures to be taken beforehand, while others may only apply if you have linked your Apple ID to your admin account. Regardless of your situation, just know that there is a way to get back into your Mac.
But before we look into that, you need to tidy up your computer. Forgotten passwords are usually a consequence of using a cluttered Mac. For this reason, you need to clean up your Mac to allow the new password to log you into a tidy and organized system. Use a robust tool like TweakBit MacRepair to organize your digital folders, remove junk on your Mac, and improve your memory.
How to Reset Your Mac User Account Password?
To regain access to your Mac, use any of the following methods to reset your password:
Method #1: Get a Password Hint
Before attempting any password recovery trick, check if the password hint can ignite your memory. In this case, the password hint is a phrase relating to your password that you entered when you first set it up.
To trigger the hint, make three incorrect attempts:
- Go to System Preferences.
- Select Users & Groups.
- Tap on the Lock icon in the bottom-left corner.
- Now, press the Return key three times.
- After the third attempt, your password hint will appear below the Password field. Hopefully, it will create a eureka moment, making you recall the forgotten password.
Note that the hint may not show up. The reason is that your computer wasn’t set up to display password hints in the Login Options. But this issue should not bother you too much since there are other ways to reset your password.
Method #2: Use Another Admin Account to Reset the Password
If you have more than one admin account set up on your Mac – for instance, if you share your Mac with another person – you can use one of them to reset your password. Here is how to do it:
- Log into your other admin account.
- Now, open System Preferences and select Users & Groups.
- Click on the Lock icon to change the settings.
- Enter your username and password once again.
- In the left sidebar, choose the admin account you are locked out of, and then tap on the Reset Password button.
- Enter your new password twice. You should also create a hint because it will come in handy if you ever forget the password.
- Click Change password.
- That’s it. You can now log out of your other admin account and then log back into your Mac using the newly created password.
Method #3: Use Recovery Mode to Reset the Password
If you haven’t enabled the FileVault feature, there is even a more straightforward way to reset your password on your Mac: use Recovery Mode. Here is the process:
- Turn off your Mac.
- Press the Power button to turn it on back, then press the Command + R shortcut.
- Hold down the keys until the Apple logo appears. The process may take a while, but you will see a progress bar informing you that your device is booting into Recovery Mode.
- With your Mac in Recovery Mode, head to the menu bar and click Utilities > Terminal.
- Now, run the following command to launch the Reset Password Utility: resetpassword.
- After that, close the Terminal window to access the Reset Password tool.
- Choose the account you want to reset from the list of user accounts. To reset the password for your account, you need to create a new password for all users.
- Now, enter your new password plus a password hint.
- Click Save > OK.
- Restart your Mac and log in using the new password.
Reset Password For User Macbook Pro
Method #4: Use Your Apple ID
After entering a wrong password a couple of times, macOS usually gives you an option to reset your password using your Apple ID. Alternatively, you can also tap on the question mark icon beside the password field to trigger the same process.
After keying in your Apple ID and password, you will get an alert letting you know that a new keychain that has your password will be generated. When the alert pops up, click OK and follow the rest of the prompts to create a new password. While your old keychain will remain locked, it will still be saved on your computer. So, you can unlock it if you ever remember the old password.
Note that this trick will only work if you have linked your user account with your Apple ID. Also, you shouldn’t have FileVault enabled.
Method #5: Use Target Disk Mode
If you can’t use any of the above password-resetting methods, your other alternative is to use Target Disk Mode. It will recover some data from your problematic Mac. In other words, you can access the hard disk of your Mac from another Mac.
To activate Target Disk Mode, follow the steps below:
- Shut down your computer.
- Now, connect the Mac to another Mac via a Thunderbolt cable. Sadly, this trick doesn’t work with USB.
- Turn on your Mac and hold down the T key as it boots.
- With your Mac in Target Disk Mode, you should be able to access it as a hard drive on your other Mac.
Can't Remember Mac Administrator Password
Last-Ditch Effort: Reinstall macOS
If you have FileVault enabled, and you can’t regain access to your account, your only remaining option is to reinstall macOS because you will not have access to any file on your computer. Hopefully, you have backup copies of these files because you cannot access without your password.
Reduce Incidences of Lost Password
Before you get locked out of your Mac, set up an Apple ID. This way, you have a backup way of getting into your Mac if you ever forget your account password. If possible, create more than one user account on your Mac. Also, change your user account password to something unique, but easy to remember.
On a related note, you can also manage all your passwords using the built-in password manager – Keychain Access. This way, you don’t have to remember them every time you log into your Mac. But, like in the case with passwords, you may also fail to access your Keychain due to various reasons. If that is the case, consult this guide to resolve the issue.
In this era of digital information, data protection is no longer a luxury. Some Mac users may prefer working without the need to log in, but this situation may put you in trouble, especially when you are required to maintain strict confidentiality. This security measure is inevitable for organizations these days, but not so good if you forgot the password for Mac.
Of course, it is always a good idea to remember your passwords and PIN codes. But if you find yourself locked out of your Mac, you don’t have to fret because you now know how to get back in. You can use any of the above methods to regain access to your Mac. But if all else fails, consider reporting the incident to Apple.
Do you have other worries about resetting or changing your Mac’s password? Share them in the comments.
Reset Password For User Mac Password
So, you’re trying to use your Mac, but you can’t get past the login screen because you don’t remember your password. First, you should make sure that the Caps Lock isn’t on, because passwords are case sensitive. Then, you should try using your password hint by clicking on the question mark in the password field. But if you still can’t log in, don’t contact Apple Support yet. Here’s how to reset your admin password on a Mac, even if you forgot your admin password.
How to Reset Admin Password on Mac
The easiest way to reset your admin password is to enter recovery mode. Here’s how to do that:
- Restart your Mac. You can only access the recovery mode while the laptop is booting up, which is why you need to restart it.
- While it is restarting, press and hold the Command + R keys until you see the Apple logo. If you see the login screen, you will have to restart and repeat this step again until you get to Recovery Mode.
- Go to the Apple Menu at the top and click Utilities. This will open a drop-down menu.
- Then click Terminal.
- Type “resetpassword” in the terminal window. Don’t use any space in between the words.
- Then hit Enter. This will open the Reset Password Assistant screen.
- Type your password and a hint.
Note: If you have several user accounts or an older Mac, you will have to select “forgot all passwords,” then select the user account you want to reset the password for. Finally, you will have to click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner and select Restart from the drop-down menu.
- Finally, click Restart. Once you get to the Login screen, select the admin user you just reset the password for and type your new password. Click Enter.
How to Reset your Password Using you Apple ID
If you try to log in several times, you will see a pop-up message asking if you want to reset your password with your Apple ID. Follow these steps to continue:
- Click the arrow to use your Apple ID.
- Enter your Apple ID and password.
- Then hit Enter. Right after this, you will be asked to restart your computer.
- Click Restart to continue.
- Log in with your new password.
If you can get to your desktop, then you have successfully reset or changed your password.
Reset Password For User Account
How to Reset your PasswordUsing Another Admin Account
If your Mac has more than one users, and youknow the login credentials to another one of the accounts, you can use thataccount to log in and reset your password. Here’s how:
Reset Password For Postgres User Mac
- Log in to another admin account.
- Go to System Preferences. You can find this in your Applications folder.
- Next, click Users & Group.
- Click on the padlock in the bottom-left corner of the window. You will have to enter the username and password of that user again.
- Select the user you want to reset the password for, then click Reset Password.
- Fill in the necessary fields and hit Enter.
- Then log out of the current user account. This will bring you to the Login screen.
- Log in to the account you just changed the password for.
If you’re still having problems, and you want to install or reinstall macOS in your computer to wipe it clean and give it a fresh OS, check out our previous article here.