Reset a Lost Password in Mac OS X with a Boot Disk
If you have forgotten or lost your password in Mac OS X, you can reset a password by booting from a Mac OS X install disk.
This works with any version of Mac OS X where you have a Mac OS X Installer CD or DVD.
- Insert the Mac OS X install disk into your drive, reboot the machine, and hold down the “C” key to boot from the disk.
- Once booted, select your language preference then pull down the ‘Utilities’ menu to “Password Reset” or “Reset Password” (wording is different depending on which version of Mac OS X you’re booting with).
- Select the disk which the password needs to be reset on, select the Username, and then enter a new password.
- Reboot as usual, and your Mac OS X password will be reset!
If you don’t have a CD or DVD handy you can still reset your forgot Mac password using a slightly more complex process involving the Terminal.
Remember this specific method of resetting a forgotten password on the Mac is only relevant to Mac OS X versions that were installed by DVD or CD, which tends to be older Mac OS X releases only. Remember that modern versions of Mac OS are installed through the Mac App Store, and thus their methods of resetting a forgotten password or lost password are different than what is described here.