Change your Mac’s Password
Mac Tip #305/05-Sept-2007
We wanted to watch some DVDs…, said my client,
so we took the old Powerbook to the bach1. But we couldn’t use it because we couldn’t remember the password. How can we change the Mac’s password?
It’s surprisingly easy to change a Mac’s forgotten password: you just need a CD or DVD that can start up the machine and that has the right Utilities software on it.
The best bet is the System CD that came with the machine. If you can’t find that then you need the CD for a version of Mac OS X that can start up and run on that machine, for example a copy of Tiger that you’ve bought for the machine.
Insert the CD and restart the computer. The Mac should start up from the CD. Double click the Mac OS X installer. Go to the Utilities menu and choose Reset Password.
Reset Password window appears. Select the icon for the internal hard drive and then choose the user name whose password you want to reset.
Enter the new password, then click Save. Click OK to dismiss the alert that appears. Quit the installer and restart the machine.
For full instructions, and some additional information about FileVault, Keychain Access, automatic login, and other quirks, visit the official Apple page — Mac OS X: Changing or resetting an account password.
1 A bach (pronounced batch) is a New Zealand holiday home.