People have a lot of passwords they have to remember; so it’s only natural that once in a while you will forget one. Did you forget password on your Macbook, iMac, or Macbook Pro? If you should happen to ever forget your OS X login account password, you can either try to recover it or else reset it completely. You’ll be happy to know that there are safety procedures available to recover and reset your passwords. This article will show you how to reset your password on any Mac running Mac OS X.
1. For Mac OS X 10.1.5 ~ 10.2.8
1.1 Reset Any Password Except Administer Account
1.1.1 For Mac OS X 10.1.5 or earlier
For any account passwords with the exception of the administrator account, you can reset them from within OS X. First, login with the administrator account and navigate to system preferences from the apple menu. Next, choose users from the view menu. Be sure that the lock in the lower left hand corner is unlocked. If it is not, click it to unlock. Now, select the username whose password that you want to change. Click edit user. Enter a new password in both the password and verify password fields and click save.
1.1.2 For Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.2.8
For any account passwords with the exception of the administrator account, you can reset them from within OS X. First, login with the administrator account and navigate to system preferences from the apple menu. Next, choose the accounts icon. Be sure that the lock in the lower left hand corner is unlocked. If it is not, click it to unlock. You may be required to type in your admin password.
Now, select the username whose password that you want to change. Click the Reset Password button (Mac OS X 10.4) or the Change Password button (Mac OS X 10.5). It should now ask you to type in and verify your new password. Click the reset password button and click OK if a box pops up verifying change to your keychain.
1.2 Reset The Password To The Administrator Account
If you have lost the password to the original administrator account, than you will need an OS X disk to reset the password. More than likely it will be “install disk 1″ that should have came with your computer when you purchased it.
Insert the disk into the drive and restart the computer. As soon as you hear the chime when your computer is booting up, hold down the “C” key. If the “C” key does not boot from the disk, than try holding down the “option” key instead.
Once you have booted from disk, the OS X installer window should be on screen. Go ahead and click continue in the first box that pops up. Next, look at the toolbar located at the very top of the screen. You will see numerous options. Choose either installer menu, or the apple menu (depending on which OS disk version you are using). Under one of the top menus, you should find an option to reset your password. After you have selected reset password, it will ask you to select your hard drive. Select the hard drive and select your administer account name from the dropdown menu. Enter your new password, verify and click reset.
2. For Mac OS X v10.3 or later
2.1 Resetting User Password
Provided that you are using a fairly recent installment of Mac OS X, specifically v10.3 or later, you can follow the following instructions to reset your user password, which is what most people commonly forget.
- Log into the administrator account on the computer – If you don’t know that password, then you’ll need to skip down to the next section on resetting the computer administrator password, which is a bit more involved.
- Open System Preferences (silver icon with gears) from the Apple Menu, dock, or the Applications folder.
- Select Accounts.
- Click the little lock button in the bottom-left hand corner.
- Then select your user account with the forgotten password.
- Click Change Password and enter your new password and a hint to help you remember in case you forget again.
That does it! You can then restart your computer (or just logoff and switch users) and login using your new password. Preferably, you should choose a password at least 7 characters long, including one number or symbol. It should be easy to remember so you don’t have to write it down, and of course don’t give it to anyone. These are all basic guidelines for any passwords you use.
2.2 Resetting an Administrator Password
Resetting an administrator password, as you might imagine, involves more effort than changing a forgotten user password on a Macbook Pro. Here are the procedures to change your administrator password if you can’t remember it:
- Start the Macbook(Pro) with the original Mac OS X install disc. You can do this by inserting the disc, restarting the computer, and then holding the “C” key down while the Mac is starting up.
- Under the Utilities Menu on the Installer page, choose “Reset Password”
- Select your hard drive and then your administrator account (not “system administrator [root])
- Enter the new password and hint, then click save, as pictured below.
- Then quit the installer and restart the computer
There are some other options to reset your passwords. There are programs available that offer password recovery protection. Sometimes these apps have to be installed on the computer before you lose your password and others just help you recover lost password. The problem is that there are some programs sold online that advertise themselves as “password” or “file” recovery software that are, in fact, filled with spyware and adware. So, you have to be careful. I would stick to the instructions that I’ve included above.
Another option is to take the computer to a computer repair shop, and they may be able to help you reset the password. Some computer repair stores, especially in big box chains like Best Buy and Staples, may be reluctant to do this for legal reasons, since some people who steal computers also look for similar services. Plus, they are going to charge you for the service.
While it’s always a pain to forget a password, it’s not the end of the world – you can get your files back. They’re not lost forever.
Apple Support – http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1274 (including second picture)
Post address: http://www.macpassword.com/what-can-you-do-if-you-forgot-macbook-password.html