Forgot Mac Administrator Password? How to Reset Mac Password

Apr 1, 2020 16:43. Posted by to Tutorials

Forgotting Mac administrator password is not uncommon when you recently changed the password or never used this devcie for a long time. Most of Mac users are familiar with the frustration of having forgotten Mac login password and being locked out of the device. Thankfully, Apple has provided several ways to reset Mac password, and there are also other tricks to help you get into Mac to access your valuable data. This article outlines four of the easiest ways to reset Mac password if you ever forgot it.


All the mentioned methods in this post support: MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, iMac and iMac Pro.

Method 1: Use Password Hint to Find Mac Password

Password hint is a remind to the password you have used for login and it comes to great help when you could not remember the password. This is the easiest way to reset Mac password when you forgot Mac login password. However, the password hint should be set beforehand. If you enabled password hints in system settings like the screenshot shown in below, then it will be a great help to find the correct password. If not, then move to next setion.


password hint mac


When the password hints option was turned on, you will see it at login screen, something like the following snapshot. It displays a pre-defined text you set it previously. Read the text carefully, take a deep breath and find out what it means to you. If the password hints text was not popped up during login, it indicates it is not enabled yet. Thus, you need to use other tricks to reset Mac password.


password hint mac login


Method 2: Use Another Admin Account to Reset Mac Password

You can set up multiple user accounts on a Mac with different roles. Typically, there are three types of accounts for Mac based OS: administrator (root), standard and guest. If you still had the admin password, then you can easily reset password for other accounts.


Step 1: Login with an administrator account on Mac.


Step 2: Go to System Preference -> Users & Groups.


Step 3: You will see a list of accounts displayed on the left side. Select an account name and click "Change Password" tab. A new window will pop up and you can set a new password for that account from there.


change mac password


Method 3: Reset Mac Password with Apple ID

Apple ID is the most important asset you should take care of when using Apple's product. There are numerous services and features being connected to it and resetting password is one of them. This method works when you've set up an Apple ID on Mac, which most of us typically do. Once you enter the associated Apple ID credentials, all you need to do is follow the steps on-screen to reset the login password for that Mac. Here's the process in steps:


Step 1: Click the Apple icon on the top left of your screen and select Restart. You can also hold down the Power button for this, but make sure you choose Restart when the option appears. If you accidentally turn it off, just power it up again.


Step 2: When you see the password field for your login, you should be able to see "?" symbol. Click it and then on the arrow that appears. You should be able to see the text: "reset it using your Apple ID".


Step 3: Enter your credentials and then simply do what the system shows on the screen to reset the login password.


reset mac password with apple id


In case you haven't set a password hint and haven't associated an Apple ID with the computer, you can try next approach.

Method 4: Reset Mac Administrator Password in Recovery Mode

When all else fails, you can still reset Mac password using what is called the Recovery Mode. It's a bit of a roundabout method because it requires a Terminal command and it's not that straightforward. Nevertheless, it might be the only way to safely reset your Mac password.


Step 1: The first step is to power off your Mac and restart it. As explained in the previous method (Method 2), you can either hold down the Power key and hit Restart or use the Apple icon.


Step 2: When the computer restarts, hold down the Command key and the R key at the same time. Don't release them until you see the startup bar showing that the system is loading.


Step 3: When you release the Command + R, you'll see Disk Utility. Click on it and then on Continue. You can now open an instance of Terminal by going through Utilities menu.


macos recovery mode


Step 5: Type in "resetpassword" without the quotes and hit the Return key. Choose your HDD and then the user account for which you want to reset the password.


Step 6: You can now specify a new login password and create a new hint question or statement. When you hit Next to save the credential.


mac password reset tool


Step 7: Power down and restart the computer. You should be able to access your Mac with the new password.

Method 5: Reset Mac Password with Kon-Boot Software

Though we have listed 4 free methods to reset Mac password, there is no guarantee that it would be 100% working for your case as Apple updates its security mechanism frequently. At this secion, we recommend using Kon-Boot as a backup solution if the above methods failed at the same time.


Kon-Boot is a premium software aimed to bypass Windows password as well as for Mac. It utilizes a different approach to unlock the Mac without the need for a password. From its official statement, we can know that it just skip the login screen with applying the underlying bug in macOS kernal. In addition, it can also create a new root account for login. After that, you can use this account to reset other account password as we described in Method 2.


Step 1: Purchase a license key ( $50) from Kon-Boot online store. Currently, it only supports PayPal.


Step 2: You will see a confirmation email that contains the download link after purchase. Download the Zip file and you will a ISO file when decompressing the archive.


Step 3: Burn the ISO file to an USB pen drive and boot Mac from that USB. This brings up the Kon-Boot menu in less than one minute.


Step 4: Press zero (0) key to use the bypass mode, which will go to desktop directly. If you want to create a new admin account, then press one (1) key for account creation.


kon-boot menu


Bottom Line:

There are at least five different ways you can follow to reset Mac password when you forgot the password. The downside to having the fourth option is that anyone can use Recovery Mode to access your system. To prevent that from happening, we recommend that you enable FileVault, which essentially encrypts hard drive so if someone does get access to your Mac, the data is useless to them. What is does is generate a recovery key that you can not lose. It's similar to the password but it decrypts your disk every time you access the drive. It's a great security feature, but if you forget recovery key as well as password, there's no way to get your data back.


Alternatively, if your data is not confidential or private, you can consider backing up your data to iCloud or another secure cloud service. That way, even if you lose the data on your computer, you still have a backup to restore from. Stay safe!


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