What do you do when you forget your OS X password... Boot up the OS X installation CD, which if you are like me you lost or misplaced (and will find next month some time.) This is a quick way to change your password in no time.

Alert... Allarme... Tpebora... :   
Be warned this involves Darwin ( OS X's Unix side). That said if you follow these you will be fine.

1. If the Mac is running, Restart it

2. Hold the Apple/Command Key + S after you hear the chime.

3. When you get text prompt enter these commands:

"mount -uw /" now press enter

4. Next type this command:

"rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone" now press enter

5. Next the last command:

"shutdown -h now"

6. Now when you boot the computer back up you will get the New User Setup. Follow the steps and you will get a new Administrator user account. 

7. Log in to the account. To change the password, just goto System Preferences> Accounts. 

8. Now select the account you want to change the password to. Click Change password and Enter your the new password. 

9.  To delete the account you just created, Select the account and press the minus.

10. Now you can log in to your account with the new password.

 
You are now Done and can enjoy your Mac again.
Frank
4/6/2011 07:05:48 pm

Hi Richard,

Great article you have here! Just one question before I go ahead and do this. If I follow your steps exactly is there any chance I may wipe any previous data on the Mac? All I want to do is change the password so I can log in as an admin, but I am afraid I may do something wrong and lose something. Is there any chance this may occur?

Thanks,

Frank

Reply
luke
4/27/2011 01:18:10 am

thanks for the advice Richard, but the commands you gave me didnt seem to work on my computer? they said No cuh file or directory?

Reply
4/30/2011 02:14:00 pm

Hello All,

Luke, Generally the No Such file or directory is because of capitalization. I am not sure why you got the error, but if you are on a Mac the files are there :-) .

And to Frank, There is no risk to your machine if you follow these directions to the T. But if you stray away from my instruction while you are in single user mode (DOS-like prompt) you could do real damage to your computer. There is one command that will delete every unprotected file (most of them) on your hard drive.

Sorry for the delayed response, I work as a IT contractor, so I do not have alot of free time...

Good day to All,
Richard Lynn Carpenter

Reply
Neo
11/27/2011 08:27:31 pm

does this create a separate account? and leave the other admin account there?

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11/27/2011 09:43:46 pm

It creates a completely new and separate account with admin privileges. It will not effect of your current accounts at all.

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Joe
1/17/2012 05:06:30 am

Does this work with OS X Lion, the new update? And will you be able to see the password on the other account before you change it?

Reply
1/17/2012 12:09:26 pm

Yes, It will work with OS X Lion with one slight change, you have to hold Shift + Command + S to access the prompt. Also no you will never actually see the password, It just gives you privileges to change it.

Also I have a easier way to change it here:
http://richardcarpenter.weebly.com/1/post/2011/11/changing-a-mac-osx-user-password-without-the-disc-the-easy-less-cool-way.html

Also a Video I did explaining it more:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-4vk6SO3ZQ

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1/26/2012 07:40:32 pm

THX for info

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1/28/2012 12:43:35 pm

THX for info

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3/10/2012 09:44:51 pm

Good article bro

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3/22/2012 07:19:36 pm

Nice one info, thx

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3/28/2012 01:37:00 am

Good article dude

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7/13/2012 03:05:45 am

Great info, thx

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7/30/2012 10:31:04 am

sir,
i bought a macbook pro from one of my morroco°s freind its i5 2.53, 500 hard model is a1286 i used it but after two weaks its blocked with passward its six digit password, when i open mac its its comes first, please guide me what i do i bought it due to some cheap, in 725 euros but its blocked now please help me what its problem, i gone to the apple store but they said they can not open it, only when the real owner can then its possible to open, can i find the real owner, or i put is in the dustbin, please guide me i worry, 725 euros is big money for me
thanks
huss

Reply
7/30/2012 04:38:30 pm

Ok, you are using someone original owners account? I would recommend making a new account, under System Preferences and then Accounts. If you can not do that, use the instruction above to make a new admin account.

You never have to find the original owner, even Macs are not that secure.

Reply
steve
9/7/2012 05:47:59 pm

Hey, I tried following the steps but it keeps saying no command found after I type, any advice?

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Richard Carpenter
9/7/2012 06:11:17 pm

After which command is it say this?

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9/24/2012 03:19:02 pm

good post

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Abbie
10/17/2012 09:32:43 pm

Hi Richard, I have the same problem, but my IMac not respond with cmd+shift+s, and anyway appear the same window and ask me the PIN, can yo help me please?

Reply
Ayy
11/2/2012 08:01:57 pm

@Abbie, did you manage to resolve this issue with your mac?

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SaturnRising
11/12/2012 04:00:35 pm

This is HOT material! Unlimited resolutions.

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almare26
7/8/2013 01:18:51 am

Bought a used Mac Mini and it was password locked. With your help I was able to reset the password. Thanks!

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pzam
10/8/2013 12:28:52 am

It freaking worked!!!

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Kunle
6/13/2014 05:19:39 am

Hi Richard. I accidentally locked my MacBook Air while trying on my password. I've seen your video. I just want to know if your instructions apply to the latest OSX.
Thanks

Reply
Tony
8/9/2014 02:21:52 pm

The tutorial didn't work for my MacBook Air. Command S just sends me back to the log in screen. And command R sends me to another screen with a padlock and what looks like another password.

Reply
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10/24/2016 11:56:10 am

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