Change/Reset Mac Admin Password without Disk

2 Easy Ways to Reset/Change Admin Password without the Disk on Mac OS X

Jun. 3, 2015 10:13 am / Posted by Michael Eric to Mac Tips
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"I just bought a used Macbook from GainSaver, and it asks for administrator password when I install things. I have tried all passwords that I know but it doesn't work. What can I do? Please Help!!!"

Oops! Can't remember admin password Mac or completely have no idea? Resetting Mac admin password won't be difficult at all if you have the system disk that came with the computer. But if you forgot the login password as well as you have no the OS X disk, thins will more troublesome. But it is still not as difficult as you imagined. Rest assured. The 2 tricks introduced in this article will guide you how to reset/change OS X admin password without system CD.

Note: For Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP admin and standard user password, you can turn to "How to Reset Windows Login Password".

Way 1. Create a Second Administrator Account

Before resetting admin password on Mac without disk, you need to boot your Mac into single user mode.

  • Restarting your Mac.
  • Hold down Command and S keys simultaneously when you hear the start up chime. Don't release them unless you see the little gear icon on the screen.
  • Then you will see the black-and-white screen. You can type the following command.
    mount –um /
    rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    shutdown –h now

Then you need to go through the process of setting up a new administrator account. After finishing this, you can login with this new account and get into System Preferences to change Mac admin password without the disk.

Way 2. Admin Password Reset on Mac via Single User Mode

This method is a little bit different from the above one. At first, you need to follow the steps introduced in way 1 to boot your Mac into Single User mode, and then reset your forgotten password directly. No need to create a new admin account.

After get into the Single User mode (black-and-white screen), type following content:

mount –uw /
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
ls /Users
dscl . –password /Users/username password

For example, if your admin account is "lilybass" and you want to change its password to "123456", you need to replace "username" with "lilybass" and "password" with "123456". Then "dscl . –password /Users/username password" will be read as "dscl . –password /Users/lilybass 123456".

These two tricks are used to reset Mac admin password without disk mountain lion, Mavericks, Yosemite and other OS X. For some OS X, you need to replace "Command" key with "Apple" key when booting into Single User mode. You can easily figure it out with the keys of your Macbook.

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