How do you change password on a Macbook

Posted on 2011-09-26
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a mac book and i need to change the password as the current one i do not know. It was change and dont remember to what and now i am locked out.

How do i change or remove current password thanks.
Question by:Thekiddotus
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Accepted Solution

Owen Rubin earned 500 total points
ID: 36601986
IF (big IF) auto login is turned off, one way is to boot the computer from the install DVD.  From Apple's website:

To reset the administrator password using the Mac OS X disc:

   1).  Insert the Mac OS X Install disc and restart the computer.
   2).  When you hear the startup tone, hold down the C key until you see the spinning gear.
   3).  When the Installer appears, choose Utilities > Reset Password.
    4). Follow the onscreen instructions to change the password.
   5).  Quit the Installer and restart your computer while holding down the mouse button to eject the disc.

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Expert Comment

by:Owen Rubin
ID: 36602001
Oh, and one more thing after you log back in:

Be sure to change your login password in Keychain Access to match your new password. You can find the keychain in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder.

Author Comment

ID: 36602257
And if you dont have the Disk what is the way to reset with out it ?
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Expert Comment

by:Sigurdur Armannsson
ID: 36602384
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Expert Comment

by:Owen Rubin
ID: 36602426
Probably the best way then is to make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple store, where they have the DVD, and can help you reset the password.

Word of caution: You will need to be able to prove that the machine is yours and not stolen, since the password is there to protect stolen machines as well as unauthorized access.

However, you can try this trick (which I found here:, but be careful, as you could screw up the drive as well:

PART 1) Boot into Single User Mode and remove a setup file:
* Restart the Mac holding down the Command+S keys, this will take you into Single User Mode and it’s Terminal interface

    *You’ll need to check the filesystem first to make sure it is OK. At the command promot type:
          fsck -fy
    * Next, you must mount the root drive as writeable so that changes will save. At the command prompt type:
         mount -uw /
    * Now, type the following command at the prompt exactly, followed by the enter key:
        rm /var/db/.applesetupdone

    That removes the file ".applesrtupdone", which tricks the computer into running the initial set up as if the computer were new. So, after removing the applesetupdone file, you need to reboot, type ‘reboot’ and hit enter. When you reboot, you will be walked through the new user set up.

PART 2) Create a New User Account upon System Boot:

You still have not changed the password, now you will just create a new user account as if you just got a new Mac:

    * Upon reboot, you will be presented with the traditional “Welcome Wizard” start-up screen just like a new Mac.
    * Follow the welcome wizard and create a new administrator user accountmaking the account name different from the account whose password you want to recover DO NOT create the same name as before, as this could wipe out all your files and documents and preferences.
    * Continue on and boot into Mac OS X with this newly created user account, this new user account is an Administrator and has administrative access

PART 3) Reset the Forgot Password via System Preferences
* Now you just need to reset the forgotten password on the user account you used before. But because you are now logged in as an administrator of the computer, you can do that:

    * Once you are in with the new account you made, click on the Apple logo and select “System Preferences”
    * Click on “Accounts”
    * Click on the Lock icon in the lower left corner of the “Accounts” preference window and enter the newly created user credentials.
    * On the left side user panel, select the old user account containing the forgotten password.
    * With the user of the forgotten password account selected, click on the “Reset Password” button
    * Enter a new password for that user. This time, add a good hint so you don’t forget it again!
    * Close System Preferences and reboot the Mac
You should now be able to login to the previously inaccessible user account using the newly reset password!

All user files and settings are maintained as before the password was forgotten


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