If you're signed in to your Mac with your Apple ID account, you might be able to use it to reset your administrator password. Otherwise, you can use your Mac's recovery mode to open the password reset utility. You will also have the option to reset the password using another administrator account on the computer. If you know your password, you can change it from the menu Users and Groups.
Method 1 of 4: Use Apple ID
Step 1. Try entering the wrong password three times
If you chose this security setting when you set up your account, you should be able to use your Apple ID to reset your password. This will only work if this option is enabled.
- If you can access your Mac, you could enable this setting by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting System Preferences. Then click on the option Users and Groups and select your account. Click on the padlock button to unlock the setting, then on Allow user to reset password with Apple ID.
Step 2. Click the link to reset the password
This link will appear after you enter three wrong passwords in a row. If it does not appear, it means that you had not activated this feature for your account and that you will have to choose another method from this article.
Step 3. Enter your Apple ID password
To reset your administrator password, you must enter your Apple ID password. This is the Apple ID associated with your Mac user account.
Step 4. Create a new administrator password
Once you enter your Apple ID password, you will be asked to create a new administrator password. To create it, you must enter it twice.
Step 5. Use the new password after restarting
Once you have created a new administrator password, you will need to restart the computer. When restarting, enter the new password you just created.
Step 6. Create a new session keychain
By logging in with your new password, you may receive a message saying that access to your keychain is not possible. In fact, your keychain is only secured by your original administrator password and for security reasons you cannot access it with the new password. You will therefore need to create a new keychain for your passwords.
Method 2 of 4: Use recovery mode
Step 1. Restart your computer
If you can't change your password with Apple ID, you may be able to reset it using recovery mode. You must access it when you start your computer.
Step 2. Long press ⌘ Command + R
You will need to press these buttons as soon as you hear the beep, and until you see the loading bar appear. This will boot your Mac into recovery mode. It may take some time to load.
Step 3. Click on the Utilities menu, then select Terminal
The menu Services is in the bar at the top of the screen.
Step 4. Enter resetpassword and press Return
The password reset utility will then open.
Step 5. Select your hard drive
If your Mac has more than one hard drive, you need to choose the one that contains your operating system. Usually it is called "Macintosh HD".
Step 6. Select the user account
Select your user account for which you want to change the password from the drop-down menu.
Step 7. Create a new administrator password
Enter your new administrator password twice to create it.
Step 8. Enter a reminder phrase for your password
This reminder phrase will optionally appear if you have trouble signing in.
Step 9. Click Save
This will save your new password. This will take effect when you restart your computer.
Step 10. Select Mac Utilities → Quit Mac Utilities
When prompted in the Apple menu, choose to restart with your new password.
Step 11. Log in with the new password
Once you have restarted, select your user account and log in with your new password.
Method 3 of 4: Use a different administrator account
Step 1. Log in with the secondary administrator account
You need a second account with administrator privileges, as well as its administrator password.
If you're signed in to your account, sign out, and then select the other administrator account
Step 2. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu
System settings will open.
Step 3. Select Users and Groups
All users on your computer will be displayed.
Step 4. Click on the padlock at the bottom of the window
This will allow you to make changes in the settings of Users and Groups. You will be prompted for the administrator password for the account you are using again.
Step 5. Select your original account
You will find it in the left menu. You will see your account settings appear.
Step 6. Click the Reset Password button
This will allow you to create a new password for this account.
Step 7. Create a new administrator password
You will need to enter the password for your first account twice in order to confirm it. Click on change the password in order to save it.
Step 8. Log out and sign in to your first account
You will be able to use the password you just created.
Step 9. Create a new session keychain
When you log in with your new password, you are prompted to update your session keychain password or create a new one. You will not be able to update the password if you do not know the old one. You will therefore need to create a new keychain.
Method 4 of 4: Change a password you know
Step 1. Select System Preferences
After selecting this option from the Apple menu, System Settings will open. This method only allows you to change a password if the original password is known. If you don't remember, use one of the other methods in this article.
Step 2. Select Users and Groups
This will allow you to change the settings for the users of your computer.
Step 3. Enter your current password
After clicking on the padlock in the lower left corner and entering your password, you will be able to make changes in the settings.
Step 4. Click Change Password
A new window in which you can change your password will appear after you have clicked on your user account.
Step 5. Enter your old password in the first field
This is the password you are currently using.
Step 6. Create a new password
You will need to enter it twice to confirm it. Click on change the password in order to save it.
Step 7. Add a reminder phrase (optional)
You could add a reminder phrase for your password, which will appear if you have trouble remembering it. The use of this feature is recommended, so you will not face the problem of resetting your password again if you ever forget it.
Step 8. Use your new password
The password will take effect immediately, you can use it whenever you are asked for it.
- Write down your password in a discreet place (for example on the inside cover of your favorite book) to reduce the risk of forgetting it.
- If you've turned on FileVault, you won't be able to unlock the Password Reset utility without the verification code given to you when you set up FileVault. If you do not have this information, you will not be able to recover your files.