How to Stop Using an iCloud Password to Unlock a Mac

May 23, 2015 - 15 Comments

Stop using an iCloud password for Mac login

When a user sets up a new Mac, there is a helpful option to use an iCloud ID and Apple ID to login and unlock the Mac. Users can also choose at any time to have their iCloud ID as their login for OS X too. While this is undoubtedly a helpful feature and it can keep things simpler, requiring only a single password to remember, and making it easier to recover and reset a lost password on their computer, it can also have disadvantages for some situations. Additionally, some users prefer to use different passwords for different purposes for security reasons.

Whatever the reason, if you opted to use an iCloud password to login to a Mac when setting up OS X, you can later choose to disassociate the iCloud login and use a separate unique local login password on that Mac again.

If you have a tendency to forget login details and passwords, you probably won’t want to do this, and keeping the passwords unified may be a better choice for you. Otherwise this is a matter of personal preference.

How to Stop Using an iCloud Password to Login to a Mac

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
  2. Choose “Users & Groups” and select the primary Mac login that you want to disassociate the iCloud password and use a unique separate password for
  3. Click the “Change Password” button next to the user name
  4. At the prompt “Do you want to change your iCloud password, or stop using your iCloud password to unlock this Mac and create a separate password?” – choose “Use Separate Password…”
  5. Set and confirm the new password and close out of System Preferences when finished

Now when the user is logging into Mac OS X, a separate account password will be used rather than the iCloud and Apple ID account password. This setting is specific to individual user accounts.

Of course if you forgot your Apple ID password and login details you’ll need to handle that first, since you need the Apple ID password to disassociate the login from the Mac.

Like most other things, this can be reversed if you decide to change your mind, and it’s just a matter of heading back into the preferences to reconfigure the iCloud password for logging in again to OS X.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Security, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jaden says:

    yes, same problem as Phil…

    “An error occurred while disabling Apple ID login. Please try again later.”


  2. Phil Go says:

    I used these exact instructions with the objective of: stop using my ICLOUD password to unlock my Mac. It always comes back with: “An error occurred while disabling Apple ID login. Please try again later” Help !

  3. devin says:

    I just setup 2 factor auth so I can trust apple cloud more

  4. Devin says:

    I have a new 2015 macbook pro, during setup I checked a box “Allow icloud password to reset computer password” but later realized I’d rather not trust the security of apple’s cloud… can’t find out how to undo this… Changing password doesn’t give me a prompt (my mac and icloud password are already different)

    I want to be connected to icloud so I can use find my mac

    but dont want to let icloud reset my macs password

  5. benoitc says:

    this doesn’t work on latest machos. Any idea how to do it?

  6. Grace Asantewaa says:

    Please my MacBook Pro is rejecting my valid password . How do I log in ?

  7. Michael Onoja says:

    Please i forgot my icloud ID and password for my ipad device, how do i recover it because i cant seem to open my device

  8. Spam says:

    You may be having trouble loggin in because you are on mobile?

  9. Mark Ross says:

    It may be that the phone you have was stolen from another person. I’m not saying that YOU stole the phone, just that somewhere along the line the phone may have been ‘liberated’ from its rightful owner.

    Again, your best bet is to contact Apple to clear this up.

  10. Ali says:

    Please I bought an Iphone , unluckily it has an account . Please help me to open my phone note that my phone comes from USA but I live in Jordan in middl east.

    • jesper says:

      hmm then you are in trouble
      you need to have
      the password for the phone
      or you have to visit an apple store to get it open

  11. Robert says:

    If you want to avoid connecting to Apple, either iCloud or Apple Store, whenever you use your Mac then using an iCloud login/password should be avoided. My iPd routinely pops up a login to connect to the Apple Store and I routinely reject it. Same with my Mac, which even asks “are you sure you want to skip logging into the Apple Store”. Apple may be late to the advertising party but, in my opinion, is spying and tracking any time it can.

  12. Luis Rocha says:

    I had to do this to be able to configure the VPN server on my machine. Somehow having this enabled prevents it from working.

  13. John Jieiy says:

    Author you say “…it can also have disadvantages for some situations…” But you don’t mention any disadvantages.

    • Sean Gonzales says:

      If the Mac doesn’t have internet, it won’t work

      If you don’t want to use iCloud, it wouldn’t work

      If you want to have more security, this doesn’t offer it

      If you want to keep passwords separate

      Many reasons, some could be called disadvantages, up to you really.

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