Reset a Forgot OS X Mavericks / Mountain Lion Password Using an Apple ID
Forgetting a user account password can be a major frustration, but fortunately there are a some simple and secure ways to recover and reset them. One of the best ways is to use an Apple ID, which allows a user to reset an OS X login password by using the same Apple ID that is used for the App Store, iTunes, iCloud, and Apple Support. This works in all new versions of Mac OS X, including OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and OS X Mavericks, and is extremely fast and easy, making it a preferential choice for most users rather than going the command line route of resetting a OS X password with the passwordreset tool, or by creating a new user account.
The best thing about this password reset method is that it’s extremely fast, and so long as you have internet access you’ll be using the Mac again in literally about a minute, minimizing any potential inconveniences of losing passwords.
Resetting a Lost OS X Password Using an Apple ID
Understand the caveats before beginning: this method only works if you set an Apple ID to tie with the OS X user account, the Mac must have internet access to use this feature, and this option won’t be available for some users with FileVault protection enabled. Also note that this leads to the creation of a new keychain, but the old keychain will remain intact if you do recall the old password sometime down the road, which you can then unlock later.
- After incorrectly entering a user password three times at the Mac login screen, a message appears saying “If you forgot your password, you can reset it using your Apple ID”, click the arrow button to bring up a “Reset Password” dialog
- Enter the Apple ID login information that is tied to the OS X user account and click “Reset Password”
- Click “OK” to confirm the new keychain creation
- Enter and verify a new password, fill out the password hint field, and again click on “Reset Password”
- Click “Continue Log In” to login as the user account with the reset password
The Mac will boot directly into the user account, with the new password set.
If there is no Apple ID attached to the user account, use the passwordreset tool or new user trick, and the more complex methods from Mac OS X continue to work as well with just about every version of OS X. Though the latter is certainly a more technical approach, it always works and does not require internet access to use, making it invaluable for many situations when the Apple ID or reset tool are not applicable.