Resetting Mac Administrator Password: A Comprehensive Guide (2023)

In the realm of Mac administration, encountering a forgotten administrator password is not uncommon. Fear not, as we present you with a detailed guide on resetting your Mac administrator password, ensuring seamless access to your system. Whether you're utilizing another administrator account, leveraging your Apple ID, or delving into the Recovery HD partition, we've got you covered.

Using an Existing Administrator Account

When equipped with a secondary administrator account, the password reset process becomes straightforward. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the second administrator account.
  2. Launch System Preferences and navigate to Users & Groups.
  3. Click the lock icon, enter your administrator password.
  4. In the left pane, select the target administrator account.
  5. Click the Reset Password button in the right pane.
  6. Enter and verify the new password, providing an optional hint.
  7. Click Change Password to initiate the reset.

Remember, this method generates a new keychain file, ensuring the security of your login information.

Utilizing Your Apple ID

Thanks to OS X Lion, the Apple ID integration offers a convenient password reset option. Here's how:

  1. Incorrectly enter your password thrice at the login screen.
  2. Click the right-facing button next to "Reset it using your Apple ID."
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  4. After receiving and entering the authentication code, set a new password.
  5. Restart your Mac to apply the changes.

A cautionary note: resetting the password creates a new keychain file, prompting you to re-enter passwords for various services.

Resetting Password via the Recovery HD Partition

For newer Macs, the Recovery HD partition provides a robust password reset feature. Follow these steps:

  1. Restart the Mac while holding Command+R to enter macOS Recovery.
  2. Select Utilities > Terminal to open a Terminal window.
  3. Type resetpassword and press Return to access the Reset Password screen.
  4. Choose "I forgot my password" and enter the Apple ID password.
  5. Enter the new password and optional hint.
  6. Restart your Mac to complete the process.

First Login With New Password

Upon logging in with the new password, address the login keychain issue:

  1. Click "Update Keychain Password" if you remember the old password.
  2. Opt for creating a new keychain or continue logging in without changes.

While recreating login information may seem inconvenient, it ensures heightened security, preventing unauthorized access.

Avoiding Keychain Login Issues

To mitigate keychain-related challenges, consider using third-party password management tools like 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane, or mSecure. These solutions offer secure storage for login information, accessible via a separate password.

Pro Tips to Enhance Security

  1. Ensure the Caps Lock key is inactive when entering your password.
  2. Regularly update and manage your password vault with a reliable password manager.


How do I change my admin name on my Mac? Navigate to Apple icon > System Preferences > Users & Groups. Select the lock icon, enter your admin password, hold the Control key, choose the account, go to Advanced Options, set the new account name, and restart your Mac.

How do I delete an admin account on my Mac? Log in as an admin, go to Apple icon > System Settings > Users & Groups. Select the info icon next to the account, choose Delete Account, and select the Home folder option before deleting.

In conclusion, this comprehensive guide equips you with diverse methods to reset your Mac administrator password, ensuring not only accessibility but also reinforcing the security of your valuable information. Embrace these steps, safeguard your credentials, and navigate the digital realm with confidence.

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Last Updated: 03/11/2023

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