Lost Administrative Password

Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 05:35 PM – Tips and Hints

There are so many things you can not do on your Mac without your administrative password – like sign on when you are logged off, install software, unlock anything that is locked, add or delete accounts – little things like that.

You think you will never forget that all important password. But what happens if you do. Or if your spouse dies suddenly and all your financial records are on his or her Mac and you don’t know how to access them. Or you purchased a second-hand Mac and can’t get into it.

Well, you can very easily create a new admin password if you have the installer OS X disc that came with your Mac. If you don’t you can try and borrow a set, or look on ebay for a set. They have to match perfectly. Disks for a PowerBook G4 will not work on an iBook G4.

Just to make it harder for thieves, don’t store your system disks with your Mac.

Important note: Your Keychain entries will be lost following this procedure. If you are able to do so, open each entry, make sure the password info shows, and print out a copy so that you don’t lose that precious information while you are creating a new password.

Here are the steps:

Get your original Mac OS X Installer disc and insert in the CD-ROM drive.

Restart your Mac, holding down the “C” key.

Go to the Installer menu and choose “Reset Password”. When the dialog window opens, choose which disk you want to access and type in a new user name and password. Make sure you choose the account you need to rescue, not the root account. Depending on your current operating system, you may only be asked to enter the password. Click the Save button.

Quit the Reset Password dialog and quit the Installer program. Your computer will restart and you should be all set.


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