GUIDE: How to Reset Your Mac Password

So, you freshly changed your long-time Mac password. Good job.

However, the next day, you woke up without having any clue what it was. You might not have been sober last night, but the events surrounding it are now in the past. Resetting your password is now an imperative and you should be focusing your energy in doing so. It happened to me once (I was locked out of my Mac for a week), and we’re sure there’s a chance that it will happen to you as well.

Fortunately, you can definitely reset your Mac password – and yes, we know you’re reading this through a mobile phone. Moreover, you don’t have to go to the nearest Apple service center to do this- you can get this done at home. So, let’s take a look at these solutions before you resort to more drastic and desperate measures.

First, try to double check

If your password isn’t working, here are a few things you need to check out first:

  • Check if the Caps Lock key is glowing green or has been pressed. You might be typing in the wrong case, which might why your password is wrong – or maybe you typed it that way when you encoded your password.
  • Try logging in without a password – it might work. After which you may then change your password.
  • When the password field shows a question mark, click it to display a hint. This might give you an idea about what your password is.
  • Try logging in with the Apple ID password you use to login to iCloud.

If all of these do not work, then the next step is to perform the following:

Use your Apple ID to reset your password

However, take note that this is only applicable to certain OS X versions.

When you encounter the log in screen, enter the wrong password until you see a dialog box that you can reset your password using your Apple ID. If this does not appear within three attempts, your account is not allowed to restart your password using your Apple ID.

  • There will be an arrow which will appear adjacent to the Apple ID message. After which, you will need to follow a set of onscreen instructions.
  • After that, you will then be able to enter your new Apple ID and create a new password.
  • Log in and create a new password chain.

Reset your password using another admin account

mac password - admin

Usually, there is another admin account on your Mac, and if you didn’t forget what its log in details are, here’s what you can do:

  • Login with the name and password of the other admin account.
  • Go to System Preferences > Apple menu > Users and Groups
  • Click the lock on the bottom left corner of the box.
  • Enter the admin name and password.
  • After which, select your username (the one you forgot the password to) from the list of users.
  • Click the reset button and then follow the onscreen instructions to create a new password.

Reset Mac Password in El Capitan

If you had the misfortune of forgetting your password after installing El Capitan, you will have to do the following:

  • Restart your device in recovery mode. To do this, hold down the combination of Command + R when booting up your Mac.
  • Go to Utilities, then click on Terminal. When the recovery mode starts, you will be presented with several options to reinstall OS X and open Disk Utility. Ignore these and click on Utilities on the menu bar and then Terminal.
  • Type the code “resetpassword”. After which, follow the prompts and instructions on screen to enter a new password.
  • You will then need to start a new keychain. You will need to re-enter all of your automatically saved passwords (and probably lose some in the process), but that’s a problem for another day. At least you won’t be locked out of your Mac.

To avoid such occurrences, be sure to save your Mac password on your mobile phone. Write it on a piece of paper and put it inside a pillowcase. There are also other tips you would want to check out as recommended by Apple.

Have any of these tips worked for you? Be sure to tell us in the comments!

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