to commonly asked questions.

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Scotty, I forgot my admin password. How do I change it.


If you’ve forgotten your admin password and you’re the only admin on the computer (which most people reading this are) then in 10.8 and 10.9 you’ll need to boot into recovery mode.

  1. Turn the computer off.
  2. Holding down the option key, turn the computer back on.
  3. You’ll be presented with two icons of hard drives. Using the arrow keys, select the one that says “recovery”.
  4. Next, under utilities in the menu bar choose terminal.
  5. Type resetpassword. (all one word)
  6. You’ll now see a new application, the Password Reset Utility, that allows you to select the user you’d like to change the password for.
  7. Enter the new password (twice) and save those changes.
  8. Shut down the computer.
  9. Holding the option key once again, turn the computer back on and now select Macintosh HD as the startup drive.
  10. Done.

Keep in mind that you’ll be prompted at some point that your keychain needs some attention. My best advice is to select to “make a new keychain” and you’ll need to re-enter several passwords as you use your computer normally. Email, iCloud, etc... Your computer will let you know. See, by changing your admin password, you are no longer allowed to access your passwords stored in the keychain program. This makes perfect sense if you think about it. Otherwise, I could steal your computer, change the admin password in recovery mode, then log back in to you and open keychain to get all your other passwords. So the inconvenience you experience because you forgot your admin password is better than the pain you would feel if someone stole access to your entire digital life.

Here’s a tutorial of the same procedure with pictures.
This image is a theme.plist hack