The panic that strikes the moment your Mac declares that you have been locked out due to entering the wrong password multiple times, is haunting. Apple understands that it is a personal hell to forget the password and be locked, but the next you come across something like this, you don’t have to worry. Thanks to Apple’s macOS, which includes a built-in tool that can help you reset your password very easily.
There are various tools you can use to get back into your locked Mac machine, but the one you choose depends on whether or not you have linked your Apple ID to your user account on your Mac. This is usually done during the initial setup of a Mac. In case you didn’t, that is fine, as you still have another option to reset your account password. Keep reading this article to regain control over your Mac computer.
Use Your Apple ID to Reset Your Password
The chances are that you have linked your Apple ID to your user account on your Mac. If that is the case, then resetting your password will be a cakewalk for you. The moment you enter the wrong password for the third time, you will be prompted to reset the password using your Apple ID, but only if it has been linked to your account. In case, your device doesn’t prompt you for the same that means your account hasn’t been linked to your Apple ID. If this is so, then use the method described below.
Follow the prompts to create a new password after entering your Apple ID email address and password (the wrong one). Once your password has been changed, you’ll see a new login keychain (this is what macOS uses to store your passwords).
Use an Admin Account
If one of your family members with whom you share your Mac has forgotten his/her password, then probably, you can help them to reset the password. All you need is access to an Admin user account. Presumably, the person who set up the Mac has an admin account. If not, then you can try by logging into your account and navigating to System Preferences followed by Users & Groups to obtain the list of all the user accounts linked to your Mac. On this screen, if you can find an option named “Admin” below the user name, kudos! You can reset user passwords. Now, to finally reset the password using an Admin account, follow the process mentioned below:
Step 1: On the same Users & Groups screen, hit the lock icon to enter your admin name and password.
Step 2: In the list that appears, click on the user you need to reset the password for.
Step 3: Now, click on the button named Reset Password and follow the prompts.
This should successfully reset the password for the additional user who had forgotten it.
Use Recovery Mode to Reset Your Password
Booting your Mac into Recovery Mode gives you access to the password reset tool. Here is how to do this:
Step 1: Start by turning off your Mac.
Step 2: Now, press and hold the Command and R keys on your keyboard while pressing the power button simultaneously. Hold on to these keys until a progress bar shows up below the Apple logo. The appearance of the progress bar means you have entered the recovery mode. Alternatively, you can press the Command + R keys by restarting your Mac to enter the recovery mode. However, the first method is the most reliable and recommended.
Step 3: Once your Mac has entered the Recovery Mode, navigate to the menu bar to click on the option named Utilities followed by Terminal.
Step 4: On the screen that appears, enter a command “resetpassword” as it is ( single word, without the quotes), then press Return.
Step 5: Now, close the Terminal window to find the Reset Password tool on the subsequent screen. This will open the list of all user accounts on your Mac, and to reset the password for your account, you will have to set a new password for all the users.
With this, you should have successfully reset the password of your Mac, plus everyone else’s as well.
We hope that you found this article useful. Also, to avoid being stuck in a similar situation in the future, we would advise you to be more proactive during setup by storing recovery keys and the most obvious, by remembering your password.