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How to gain access after you lost your password

It is possible that you have lost your password or changed your keyboard language input and cannot access your Mac anymore. In this case there are several options. First of all, check if your keyboard is still working properly by connecting an external keyboard to your Mac. If your external keyboard is working, chance are that you Macs keyboard is defect. If you still encounter problems with your external keyboard, we can continue to reset your Macs password.

Do one of the following:

  1. Reboot your Mac while holding down the Command key and R. Keep holding the key combination until the loading bar appears.
  2. Once in the Recovery Mode, select Terminal from the Utilities menu.

If things just got a bit too geeky for you, don’t be alarmed. If you follow the next few steps, you’ll recover your lost admin password in no time.

  1. Type “resetpassword” in the Terminal window and hit enter.

A welcoming graphical window will appear, allowing you to reset your admin password in a familiar way.

  1. Select the storage device that contains the operating system.
  2. Select the admin account.
  3. Click on the Change Password button.
  4. Enter a new password as well as a new password hint.
  5. Save and restart from the main menu.
  6. Ordered List ItemLog in with your new admin password.

If this doesn't work try the next thing:

  1. Restart your Mac and hold down Command-S at the boot chimes.
  2. Ordered List ItemWhen you see the command prompt, enter the following command to put the boot drive into read and write mode:

mount -uw

  1. Now run the following command to load Open Directory (Apple’s account directory service in OS X):
 launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
  1. Reset the password for your user account by entering the following command (replace “username” with the short name of the desired account)
 passwd username

If this doesn't work you could try one last thing:

  1. Reboot into Recovery mode or Internet Recovery by holding Command-R at startup.
  2. Choose Terminal in the Utilities menu.
  3. Enter resetpassword (all one word, and lowercase) in the Terminal window and press Return.
  4. Select your boot drive in the utility that appears.
  5. Choose your user account from the pop-up menu.
  6. Click the button to reset the account’s password and supply a new one when prompted.

If you use FileVault encryption with your Mac, the password reset utility will not show your boot drive until you first unlock it with Disk Utility. To do this, open Disk Utility where you will see your drive grayed out in the list of devices. Select it and click the Unlock toolbar button and then, after supplying your password to unlock the drive, you can select your disk in the password reset utility.


Your ArtIT Team


lost_mac_password.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/13 13:03 by chris