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Question: Startup Security Utility won't Unlock

This is a followup question and answer to another post at iMac Pro startup woes. These apple discussions won't let me revive the old thread, so hopefully this makes the google cache and helps some others.


Basically any attempts to turn on the firmware password through macOS System Restore > Utilities > Startup Security utility failed at the password prompt for the administrator with a message of "Recovery is trying to change system settings" enter password. I found a solution and will post it in a reply here.

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Any attempts at guessing the password to unlock Startup Security utility for me failed. However with mounting the drive which hosted the OS first (and unlocking the filevault on it), I was able to get into Startup Security Utility.


The solution is to open System Restore > Utilities > Disk Utility first, click on the drive that hosts the primary OS, click mount. I had filevault enabled, and it prompted me for the macos admin password (I used the one to normally login to my user account). The drive mounted, I exited disk utility, then retried Utilities > Startup Security Utility. Success!

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Jul 18, 2018 6:53 PM in response to JoshHibschman In response to JoshHibschman

Any attempts at guessing the password to unlock Startup Security utility for me failed. However with mounting the drive which hosted the OS first (and unlocking the filevault on it), I was able to get into Startup Security Utility.


The solution is to open System Restore > Utilities > Disk Utility first, click on the drive that hosts the primary OS, click mount. I had filevault enabled, and it prompted me for the macos admin password (I used the one to normally login to my user account). The drive mounted, I exited disk utility, then retried Utilities > Startup Security Utility. Success!

Jul 18, 2018 6:53 PM

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Question: Startup Security Utility won't Unlock