How to reset the user password in OS X Lion and newer OS X releases

Last modified: Mar 8, 2021 6:51 PM
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30 20 likes 180,910 views Last modified Mar 8, 2021 6:51 PM

Some users want or have to change their user password. Although this was an easy process in Mac OS X Snow Leopard and older, there are a few things you have to know if you want to do it in any OS X version later than Lion (10.7).

There are two ways to reset the user password in OS X Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks:

If you can log in your user account and you remember your password:

You can only follow these steps if you still remember your password:

  1. Boot your Mac and go to System Preferences -> Users and Groups.
  2. You should see all the user accounts in the sidebar. Choose the user you want to change the password to and select Change Password.... You will be asked for your password.

User uploaded file

If you cannot:

Sometimes it is not possible to log in your user if you forgot its password. In that case, you are forced to reset the password through OS X Recovery.

  1. Press Command and R keys while your Mac is starting up and hold those keys until you see the Apple icon. If you have a Mac with Internet Recovery, read -> If your Mac has got a wireless keyboard, press them when you hear the startup sound.
  2. Once you see the "OS X Utilities" window, go to Utilities -> Terminal, and type:


Press your user and type your password. Finally, reboot, and you will have changed the user password successfully.

This doesn't work for FileVault. If you forget your password with FileVault, you lost your data. Note that you can create a Recovery USB drive too ->

If you used OS X Recovery to reset your password, you may be unable to use your old keychain after following those steps. Unfortunately, you will have to create a new keychain -> If your Mac keeps asking for the login keychain password - Apple Support