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.
 


Comments

Frank
04/06/2011 14:05

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
04/26/2011 20:18

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
04/30/2011 09:14

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 15:27

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

Reply
11/27/2011 16:43

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

Reply
Joe
01/17/2012 00:06

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
01/17/2012 07:09

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

Reply
01/26/2012 14:40

THX for info

Reply
01/28/2012 07:43

THX for info

Reply
03/10/2012 16:44

Good article bro

Reply

Nice one info, thx

Reply
03/27/2012 20:37

Good article dude

Reply
07/12/2012 22:05

Great info, thx

Reply
07/30/2012 05:31

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
07/30/2012 11:38

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
09/07/2012 12:47

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

Reply
Richard Carpenter
09/07/2012 13:11

After which command is it say this?

Reply
09/24/2012 10:19

good post

Reply
Abbie
10/17/2012 16:32

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
11/02/2012 15:01

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

Reply
SaturnRising
11/12/2012 11:00

This is HOT material! Unlimited resolutions.

Reply
almare26
07/07/2013 20:18

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

Reply
pzam
10/07/2013 19:28

It freaking worked!!!

Reply
Kunle
06/13/2014 00:19

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



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