1 Reply Latest reply: Jun 27, 2013 8:02 PM by Linc Davis
Tayleormade Level 1 Level 1

How can I get my iMac (late 2009) to startup in recovery mode? I'd like to reinstall the operating system. I've loaded a backup from time capsule in which I've forgotten the login password.

iMac, iOS 6.1.4
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    First, make sure caps lock is not on.

    You must back up all data before continuing, unless you've already done so. If you need to back up but can't log in, ask for instructions.

    If the user account is associated with an Apple ID, and you know the Apple ID password, then maybe the Apple ID can be used to reset your user account password.

    Otherwise*, boot into Recovery mode. When the OS X Utilities screen appears, select

    Utilities Terminal

    from the menu bar. In the Terminal window, type this:


    Press the tab key. The partial command you typed will automatically be completed to this:


    Press return. A Reset Password window opens.

    Select your boot volume ("Macintosh HD," unless you gave it a different name) if not already selected.

    Select your username from the menu labeled Select the user account if not already selected.

    Follow the prompts to reset the password. It's safest to choose a password that includes only the characters a-z, A-Z, and 0-9.



    from the menu bar.

    You should now be able to log in with the new password, but your Keychain will be reset (empty.) If you've forgotten the Keychain password (which is ordinarily the same as your login password), there's no way to recover it.

    *Note: If you've activated FileVault, this procedure doesn't apply. Follow instead the instructions on this page:

    If you forget the password and FileVault is on