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How to reset admin password on Mac OS X

Published on December 14, 2010
mac password reset

If you have just bought a MacBook or iMac from a garage sale or inherited one from a family member and realized that they didn't give you the admin password, or you're just forgetful, this is how you reset the password.

Using a Mac OS install disk

mac os install disk

  • Turn on your Mac and boot from the install CD.
  • If you're using Mac OS X 10.6, navigate to
    Utilities > Password Reset
    and create a new admin password.
  • If you're using Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5, navigate to
    Utilities > Reset Password
    and create a new admin password.
  • If you're using Mac OS X 10.3, navigate to
    Installer > Password
    and create a new admin password.

apple keyboard

Without a Mac OS install disk

If you don't have an installer CD, it's still easy to reset the admin password.

  • Turn on your Mac and boot in single-user mode by pressing Apple+S.
  • Once it boots into single-user mode, you have to mount the hard disk in write mode, delete the .AppleSetupDone file under /var/db/ (note the dot before the filename because it's hidden) and reboot. Prior to this, we'll check the hard disk consistency with fsck So, type this:
/sbin/fsck -y
/sbin/mount -uaw
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
reboot

Let me know how it goes. You can always contact me on email.

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Published on December 14, 2010

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