Ages ago my boyfriend put a password on his Mac to stop his flatmate going on it, unfortunately that didn’t work because it’s different to Windows and it doesn’t stop you using it. But it does stop him from updating his iTunes and things, and he can’t remember his password at all. If he took it to the Apple shop, do you think they’d be able to get rid of it, providing he can prove it’s his (which I’m sure he can)? —by Libby E
go to System Preferences > Accounts > from your account place a tick on Allow user to administer this computer IF the lock icon is open, otherwise you will need the admin user name and password to unlock it. If you don’t, then you will need to change the admin password with the Install Disks.
Changing your administrator password
To change the administrator password, you must know the current administrator password. If you’re logged in as the administrator, open Account preferences and click the Change Password button.
If you don’t remember the password and automatic login is turned off, you can reset the administrator password using the Mac OS X User Install disc.
IMPORTANT: Because a user with the Mac OS X install disc can gain unrestricted access to your computer, you should keep the disc in a safe place.
To reset the administrator password using the Mac OS X disc:
Insert the Mac OS X Install disc and restart the computer.
When you hear the startup tone, hold down the C key until you see the spinning gear.
When the Installer appears, choose Utilities > Reset Password.
Follow the onscreen instructions to change the password.
Quit the Installer and restart your computer while holding down the mouse button to eject the disc.
Be sure to change your login password in Keychain Access to match your new password.
We needed to reset the password on a Leopard system, but we didn’t have the OS X install DVD available. After a few minutes of playing around, I came up with this solution:
- Boot into single user mode (press Command-S at power on)
- Type fsck -fy
- Type mount -uw /
- Type launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.DirectoryServices.plist
- Type dscl . -passwd /Users/username password, replacing username with the targeted user and password with the desired password.
This allows you to reset the password in single user mode without booting from the install media.
For everyone about to comment about this massive security hole, please don’t do so. We ran a similar hint at the time of the OS X 10.0 release, and you can read the comments there for some of the give and take on the security issue. The bottom line is that someone with physical access has full access to your machine, regardless of whether or not they happened to bring a boot DVD with them. If you’re truly worried about such things, then you’ll want to use a combination of File Vault, a firmware password, and a case lock to minimize the chances that your machine is accessed.