Tips & Tricks

Mac Issues


Mac Glossary

Used Macs

Fun Stuff

More Tips

Changing or Resetting an Account Password

Learn how to change or reset an account password in Mac OS X, including the original administrator account password. You might need to do this, for example, if someone forgot their password.

Resetting a user's password - Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 or later

Use Accounts preferences to reset an account password.

1. Log in with an administrator account. Tip: If you don't know the password of any administrator accounts, see "Resetting the original administrator account password" below.
2. From the Apple menu choose System Preferences.
3. From the View menu choose Accounts.
4. Click the lock button if it appears locked.
5. Select the username whose password you want to change.
6. Click the Reset Password button (Mac OS X 10.4 only).
7. Enter a new password in both the Password and Verify fields, and hint.
8. Click the Reset Password button (Mac OS X 10.4 only).
9. If a dialog box appears with the message "Your Keychain password will be changed to your new account password," click OK.

Important: Passwords for administrator accounts should not be blank.

Resetting the original administrator account password

Follow these steps to reset a password when there is only one administrator account on the computer, or if the original administrator account (of several) needs a password reset. "Original" administrator account refers to the one that was created immediately after installing Mac OS X. If the original administrator password is known, the original administrator user may reset the passwords of other administrator accounts using the steps described above.

1. Start up from a Mac OS X Install CD (one whose version is closest the the version of Mac OS X installed). You should first disable Open Firmware password protection, if it is enabled. Hold the C key as the computer starts.
2. Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu (or Utilities menu in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger). Tip: If you don't see this menu or menu choice, you're probably not started from the CD yet.
3. Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
4. Set the user name of your original administrator account.

Important: Do not select "System Administrator (root)". This is actually a reference to the root user. Do not confuse it with a normal administrator account.
5. Enter a new password.
6. Click Save.

If this does not solve your dilemma, contact Miss Mac 454-7253.

Back to Top





Used Macs

Apple and the Apple logo are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc
Miss Mac is not employed by Apple Computer, Inc., however is an authorized business agent of Apple Computer, Inc.