Forgot Your Account Password
For Snow Leopard and earlier
For Lion/Mountain Lion
Boot to the Recovery HD:
Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND and R keys until the menu screen appears. Alternatively, restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the OPTION key until the boot manager screen appears. Select the Recovery HD and click on the downward pointing arrow button.
When the menubar appears select Terminal from the Utilities menu.
Enter resetpassword at the prompt and press RETURN. Follow
instructions in the dialog window that will appear.
Or see Reset a Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Password and
If you are unable to boot from an installer DVD:
(these will only work on Leopard or earlier)
1. Boot to Safe Mode by restarting and after the chime press and hold down
the COMMAND-S keys until a black screen with white type appears.
2. At the prompt, type the following commands pressing return after each
If you do not receive a "Filesystem OK" message then repeat this command
until you do. If after seven tries you still do not receive a "Filesystem OK"
message, then the system is corrupted and needs to be reinstalled.
mount -uw /
mv local.nidb local.old
shutdown -r now
The second-to-last command above will cause OS X to think that the operating system is newly installed, and when the new owner starts up the computer it will send him/her to the startup wizard where he/she can start a new user without reinstalling.
This last method does not actually change a password. It simply removes the user accounts and lets you create an initial admin account as if the computer were new out of the box.
Reset Admin Password Using The Terminal
You can reset the password by printing out (or writing down) and carefully following these steps.
First, find the short name of the admin user on the machine. The easiest way of doing this is by looking at what the directory is called in the Users folder.
Now, start in Single-user Mode. It should boot into a command line.
Enter these exact lines. Press RETURN after each.
mount -uw /
ifconfig lo0 up
netinfod -s local
Now you'll need that short name. Enter "passwd", a space, and the short name of the admin. For example, if the admin was rather prosaically called "imadmin", you would enter "passwd imadmin".
The computer will now prompt you to change the password for "lmadmin" (or whatever the short name was). Go ahead and enter a new password.
and the machine will reboot. The admin password should now be changed.
Yes, thanks, Kappy!
The MacYourself link gave me great advice to reset the password from Terminal. Worked great!
Tricking your Mac into creating a new user account
1. Power on or restart your Mac (should work for any Mac OS X system).
2. At the chime (or grey screen if your chime is turned off), hold down Command+S on your keyboard to enter single-user mode.
3. This step is optional, but it’s a good idea because it checks the consistency of the hard disk before moving on. At the prompt, type fsck -fy and press Enter/Return. Wait for the checks to complete before going to the next step.
4. Type mount -uw / and press Enter.
5. Type rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone and press Enter.
6. Type shutdown -h now and press Enter.
The third method of resetting your Mac’s password requires some additional explanation. Rather than simply changing the password like the previous two methods do, this one fools the operating system into believing it has never been started before. This means when you restart the machine, it will take you through the entire setup & registration process all over again. Do not worry, all of your pre-existing data is still available. Just continue with this process and do not choose the option to transfer or migrate information to the Mac.
Once you’re done, log in with your new admin account and go to System Preferences > Accounts. You may have to click on the lock icon in the lower-left corner before making changes here. You should see your original user account(s) in the left column. Try clicking on one of them to convert it to a standard user account (uncheck “Allow user to administer this computer”) and change the password. You should be able to successfully log in to that account now and access all of your files and programs. If you want, you can log back in with your new admin account and re-check the “Allow user to administer this computer” option in System Preferences to grant admin privileges to the original user again.
That should cover it! As always, remember messing with single-user mode and Terminal is risky and may lead to trouble if you make mistakes. Considering you’re already locked out of the computer, though, you’ll probably be willing to take your chances at this point.
One last thing… if you have a Keychain Access password, you will probably need to reset that as well. You can do this by selecting “login” under Keychains on the left and choosing Delete from the Edit menu. You’ll lose everything in the Keychain, but you’ll now be able to start fresh and add new ones.
Message was edited by: amirrahim
none of these options seem to work on my system. iMac4,1, OSX Tiger. The computer doesn't respond to any startup keystrokes. It might hang for a few extra seconds while I hold the keys but it innevitably boots as per usual. I've started paying with 'target disk mode'... can I migrate an older macbook system onto the imac without the imac password?
1)shut down the macbook.
2) press power button and within 2 seconds press apple logo (command) button + s together
3)wait for some time 10 seconds until the screen becomes full of numbers and text on black screen.
4)you will get something like root#
5) then type (please note that there is space between some words)
mount -uw /
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.DirectoryServices.plist
ls /Users ( ie first letter is small letter of 'L' )
dscl . -passwd /Users/username password (ie replace username with the username which needs the password to be changed and then space and type the new password)
macbook will restart, then type the new password and press enter then click set new keychain password, finished you have set the new password. None of your data is affected.