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What Do You Do If You Forgot Your Mac’s Password?


what to do if you forget mac password

Being a Mac power user is impossible without knowing how to handle password issues like a pro. Forgetting or losing an Apple ID or Mac administrator password is especially devastating for Mac beginners. Mac users have to take preventative measures to ensure the sensitive user data is kept safe. Read this brief password recovery 101 to restore the important Mac passwords with minimal losses.

How to Change Your Mac’s Password if You Forgot It?

In case you forget your Mac’s administrator password, you can still reset it if you don't find it anywhere. Here’s what to do:

  • Reboot your Mac as usual.
  • If you have forgotten your Mac’s password, type in a wrong combination three times.
  • After that, your Mac will offer a password recovery procedure using your Apple ID.
  • Select Reset Password to initiate password recovery.
  • Type in your Apple ID and password when requested.
  • If the Apple ID login details you have provided are correct, follow the onscreen password recovery instructions.

In case you don’t remember Apple ID credentials as well, it’s possible to recover them too using a designated web page (you'll find a detailed description of the process below in this article).

How to Retrieve MacBook Pro Admin Password?

Users of 13’’ and 15’’ MacBook Pro devices made in 2016 or later can use Touch ID to log in to their user account. One can find the Touch ID located at the top of Mac’s keyboard on the right side of the Touch Bar. If you set up Touch ID on your MacBook, use your fingerprint instead of typing in the password when requested for it.

In case you don’t remember your Mac’s administrator password: Simply follow the steps below.

  • Switch off your Mac, then switch it on pressing down the Command-S key combination.
  • As soon as you see a blinking command prompt, type in the fsck –fy command, then press Enter (Return). The command will run a disk check.
  • Wait approximately 5 minutes until you see the blinking prompt again. Next, type in mount –uw and press Enter (Return).
  • After that, launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.opendirectoryd.plist, then press Enter (Return).
  • Next, enter ls /Users and press Enter (Return).
  • Enter passwd /Users/username password (provide your current username and type in a new password).
  • Enter reboot and press Enter (Return).

After the MacBook boots, enter the new administrator password and continue working on your computer.

How to Reset Apple ID Mac Password?

It is possible to retrieve your Apple ID password with the help of appleid.apple.com website. If you know the Apple ID, click on Reset Your Password to reset Apple ID password using a link received in an email.

In case you don’t remember your Apple ID, use the Find your Apple ID link. After that, the system will request your first name, last name, and up to 4 recently used email accounts to identify your Apple ID.

Using up to 4 different emails improves the chance of Apple ID recovery. If this doesn’t help, address Apple Support for answers.

It might be worth checking if you’re already signed in with your Apple ID on another device or using it for any of the following services.

On your iOS device:

Check the services in Settings and under the Settings -> [username].

  • iTunes & App Store;
  • iCloud;
  • Messages -> Send & Receive;
  • FaceTime;
  • Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

On your Mac or Windows PC:

  • In the Apple menu, go to System Preferences -> click iCloud.
  • Launch Mail, go to Mail -> Preferences -> click Accounts.
  • Launch Calendar, select Calendar -> Preferences -> click Accounts.
  • Launch FaceTime, select FaceTime -> Preferences -> click Settings.
  • Launch Messages, select Messages -> Preferences -> click Accounts.

reset password

What to Do If Your Apple ID Isn’t Linked to Your Mac OS User Account?

In a situation when none of your Mac OS X user accounts is linked to your Apple ID, using the above recovery method is impossible. However, there is a way to reset a user’s password using the system preferences. But only if you still have access to your Mac’s administrator account. Here’s what to do:

  • Log in as an administrator to your Mac.
  • In the Apple menu -> go to System Preferences -> View -> Users & Groups
  • Next, click the lock icon (if visible) at the bottom of the screen. Type in your administrator password once more.
  • Pick the user account in the left sidebar, then select Reset/Change Password.
  • Type in the new password -> Change.

changing mac password

What to Do If Your Mac Won’t Accept the Correct Password?

In particular cases, a Mac won’t accept the correct password. To identify what’s causing such a strange behavior, check a few things:

  • See if your Caps Lock is on.
  • See if your Mac’s keyboard layout hasn’t been switched. If yes, follow the below steps to fix this issue:

In the Apple Menu, go to System Preferences -> Language & Text -> Input Sources -> Choose the needed input languages -> Select the input menu in the menu bar (the flag icon) -> Select the correct input source, then try entering your password again.

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