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How to reset your Mac OS X password without an installer disc

How to reset your Mac OS X password without an installer disc

Let’s say you totally forgot the password to log on to your Mac. Or maybe you purchased a used Mac from someone else and they’ve got it locked down. There are numerous ways to reset a password with no OS X discs.

This tutorial may ruffle some feathers, but it addresses a topic that a ton of people ask about all the time. Yes, it’s startling to think that anyone could theoretically walk up to your computer and gain access within minutes. Before you go thinking that Mac OS X has a severe vulnerability that makes it less secure than other operating systems, think again. Anyone with physical access to your machine (whether it is Windows, Linux, or Mac) can eventually find a way in if they know what they’re doing. There are ways of bypassing nearly any security measure when a hacker is literally sitting right in front of your system.

The information here has previously been made available from many different sources online and is presented with the intention of helping people with legitimate reasons for resetting their Mac OS X password. A few of the methods floating around the Mac community have been compiled here in one easy-to-reference place. System admins responsible for supporting entire organizations and users who bought used Macs are the folks most likely to benefit from this.

Important Note:
This tutorial was written for Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6. Please check out the updated version of this post if you’re trying to reset the password on a Mac running 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Reset 10.5 Leopard & 10.6 Snow Leopard password

  1. Power on or restart your Mac.
  2. At the chime (or grey screen if your chime is turned off), hold down Command+S on your keyboard to enter single-user mode.
  3. This step is optional, but it’s a good idea because it checks the consistency of the hard disk before moving on. At the prompt, type fsck -fy and press Enter/Return. Wait for the checks to complete before going to the next step.
  4. Type mount -uw / and press Enter.
  5. Type launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ and press Enter.
  6. Type ls /Users and press Enter. This lists all of the usernames on the computer – helpful if you don’t know or remember what these are.
  7. Type dscl . -passwd /Users/username password and replace “username” with one of the users displayed in the previous step. Replace “password” with a new password of your choice. Press Enter.
  8. Type reboot and press Enter.

Reset 10.4 Tiger password

  1. Power on or restart your Mac.
  2. At the chime (or grey screen if your chime is turned off), hold down Command+S on your keyboard to enter single-user mode.
  3. Type sh /etc/rc and press Enter/Return.
  4. Type passwd username and replace “username” with the short name of the user account for which you’d like to reset the password.
  5. Type your desired password and press Enter. It won’t show itself on the screen, so be careful what you type. You will most likely have to enter it again to confirm.
  6. Type reboot and press Enter.

Tricking your Mac into creating a new user account

  1. Power on or restart your Mac (should work for any Mac OS X system).
  2. At the chime (or grey screen if your chime is turned off), hold down Command+S on your keyboard to enter single-user mode.
  3. This step is optional, but it’s a good idea because it checks the consistency of the hard disk before moving on. At the prompt, type fsck -fy and press Enter/Return. Wait for the checks to complete before going to the next step.
  4. Type mount -uw / and press Enter.
  5. Type rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone and press Enter.
  6. Type shutdown -h now and press Enter.

The third method of resetting your Mac’s password requires some additional explanation. Rather than simply changing the password like the previous two methods do, this one fools the operating system into believing it has never been started before. This means when you restart the machine, it will take you through the entire setup & registration process all over again. Do not worry, all of your pre-existing data is still available. Just continue with this process and do not choose the option to transfer or migrate information to the Mac.

Once you’re done, log in with your new admin account and go to System Preferences > Accounts. You may have to click on the lock icon in the lower-left corner before making changes here. You should see your original user account(s) in the left column. Try clicking on one of them to convert it to a standard user account (uncheck “Allow user to administer this computer”) and change the password. You should be able to successfully log in to that account now and access all of your files and programs. If you want, you can log back in with your new admin account and re-check the “Allow user to administer this computer” option in System Preferences to grant admin privileges to the original user again.

That should cover it! As always, remember messing with single-user mode and Terminal is risky and may lead to trouble if you make mistakes. Considering you’re already locked out of the computer, though, you’ll probably be willing to take your chances at this point.

One last thing… if you have a Keychain Access password, you will probably need to reset that as well. You can do this by selecting “login” under Keychains on the left and choosing Delete from the Edit menu. You’ll lose everything in the Keychain, but you’ll now be able to start fresh and add new ones.

385 Comments Have Been Posted (Leave Your Response)

I have a 12″ MacBook pro. It wont reboot. It just stays on the grey screen with the apple logo. I tried the command c,fsck -fy, reboot routine but it just wont start.
I need help. Its my only computer and Im in the f***ing Artic. No reboot cds, tech support here.

Thanx a lot!

hi..i reset my computer using the third method stated above..i did this with three other macs and it worked awesome however, with my imac, when i got to the registration page i could not type in anything..why can i not type anything and how can i fix this? (i repeated the reset process and it did the same thing)

I used method 3 with success! Thanks for the info. Now I know what OS I have, also.

I tried method 1 and 3 without success did everything key for key twice and did nothing. Does this work

Thank You…Thank YOU…THANK YOU!!!
Your instructions SAVED THE DAY!!!

I did, however, have to try it a few times as I didn’t know if there was a space or not.

THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks 10000x you saved my day!!!

Any suggestions on how to prevent this? (Besides avoiding physical access to the Laptop)

This surely works. I used method 1 reset your 10.5 Leopard password and it was a breeze. I actually used it on snow leopard and it worked just fine. Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!!!!

@FrozenBook – Setting up an Open Firmware or EFI password should prevent this, but there are ways around that too. It at least makes it more difficult.
See apple link about Open Firmware and EFI:

Thank’s a lot Doug!
Whether or not an attacker can bypass / reset this password, an additional level of difficulty is always the way to go.

Thank you so much! Saved my day! :D

Thanks so much! This worked perfectly on a 17″ Macbook Pro running 10.5

I also have lost login password my used computer. I try above first method when I type 5 line it says shocket not connected and no file or directory message. how can resolve it. when type reboot it reboot and reboot only never work.

This process really worked for me, I was able to reset my powerbook g4 system with this method.

when i put sh /etc/rc a lot of things come out them it turn on like normal but the password is still there

I did above method (for 10.5) when I reach line 5 and enter but it says, Socket not connected

Got through the first 3 steps and now it is saying no root file when I type in the rm/var/db/.AppleSetupDone. Any help? I am doing this on an old Imac that my daughter forgot her password on. Tahnks!

I can’t reboot it, Liked when i try to command+S than it wont work. It went to the Login Pagged. So I’m So confused what should i do?

will it work on a macbook pro 13,3″ with snow leopard 10.6.2?
wich one of the three options should i take?

So I got pretty far… when I typed rm var/db/.AppleSetupDone all that happened was that it made a bunch of commands and then was like AppleSetupDone? and I didnt know if I say yes or not… so i just put in the shutdown part and the computer turned off…
Would anyone be willing to talk to me on the phone and help me throught this?

Ok This is exactly what happens: I type in rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone and then I get this back : override rw- – – – – – root/wheel for /var/db/.AppleSetupDone?

What do I say to that??

1. Start up in single-user mode.

2. Type: mount -uw /

3. Press Return.

4. Type this, then press Return:
passwd (user’s short name)

Replace “(user’s short name)” with the short name of the user account whose password you wish to reset. If you are not sure what the account name is, you can get a list of user names by typing: ls /Users

6. Enter a new user password (and press Return).

7. Type: reboot

8. Press Return.

9. Done

For systems with Mac OS X v10.4 to v10.4.11

1. Start up in single-user mode.

2. Type: mount -uw /

3. Press Return.

4. Type this, then Press Return: sh /etc/rc

Note: There is no onscreen indication when the “rc” script is finished. When nothing happens for a while, it’s probably done. Press Return to produce a prompt.

5. Type this, then Press Return:

passwd (user’s short name)

Replace “(user’s short name)” with the short name of the user account whose password you wish to reset. If you are not sure what the account name is, you can get a list of user names by typing: ls /Users

6. Enter a new user password (and press Return).

7. Type: reboot

8. Press Return.

What keys do you use what you have a PC keyboard ???

once iv reset the password it doesnt work it says sorry everytime

i did the last thing and i typed all the commands in single usr mode, but when I turned it on after doing that, nothing happened! It seems like that had no effect on it because the login screen just popped up as normal and I logged in as myself.

I did

fsck -fy

mount -uw /


rm /var/db/AppleSetupDone

it says no such file or directory.

When i use the following command;

fsck -fy
mount -uw /
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons…. .plist

It says socket not connected.

When I use

Ls /Users

It says


now my computer reboot and reboot never start.

I have not installation CD, it is purchased used.

How can I re-use ?

thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you thank you thank you!!!! Step three worked!!!!! You rock!!!!

I did these steps. Now my keyboard does not work at registration…? what do I do?

Hi! please help me!!

i was about to change my password and typed in the old password incorrectly too many times. thus, it changed old password to some keychain password that i have no idea of. By doing this method above, where you type in:
* mount -uw /
* rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
* shutdown -h now

will that delete all of my info on the hard drive and totally start everything from scratch with a new admin?


You will not lose any of the information on your Mac by using that method. The 2 paragraphs following those steps explain what will happen and how you can recover your old account.

Hi, I got my macbook fixed and the people set a password – that they don’t even know! Will using these methods restart my whole computer and delete everything? :/ Im scared in case it will! ):

Hi there, I have this same problem-

“Ok This is exactly what happens: I type in rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone and then I get this back : override rw- – – – – – root/wheel for /var/db/.AppleSetupDone?
What do I say to that??”

However i’ve typed yes then he shutdown command following, when I startup again no new admin presents itself

same goes for when I type no

Thoughts? (AND THANKS! for the help)

i tried a thousand other ways and sites in s mode and this was the only one that worked!!


xpcman – Oct 10, 2009 8:27pm BST
corrected text


mount -w /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
shutdown -h now

****make sure to use spaces and capital letters EXACTLY as shown in the terminal commands above****

IT will not WORK if you don’t type it EXACTLY like this

Hunter Pendleton
June 13th, 2010, 1:05 PM

I enter single user mode by doing command+S at start up and the prompt is a root prompt (root#).

The fsck -fy returns an OK after checking, but the mount -uw return a message the the socket is not connected.

What to do?

What do you do when it says “socket not connected” after typing the launchctl thing

Awesome Information, Just used it to reset the admin password on my 10.4 macbook, no problems using the second technique…Thank You for posting this

Jim, i’m running 10.4.11… Went through each step to the letter. I’ve tried rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone but nothing happens for that line. Any ideas? Thanks for the help :)

What do you do when it says “socket not connected” after typing the launchctl thing

people tryin the steps be sure to put a space in for certain portions of the entries like fsckspacebar-fy other then that did it yesterday 10mins it was done

will this work for a 10.6.3 ?

I tried method 3 to reset a macbook loaded up to welcome video and registartion i type in new user name and password then click continue
the spinning gear pops up for a second freezes then it goes directly back to the welcome video and suggestions

cant get mac in single user mode…. using pc key board

Hi does anyone have a similar solution for OS9 imac ? I gave my old machine to the kids but they’ve put a password in and now can’t remember it ! Thanks.

great! worked fine for me !

No one answered the issue from “BJ” after he did the procedure.

I’m also having the same issue.

After doing the process, my keyboard is now blocked. Not able to get passed the Registration screen because the keyboard make the sound like its blocked.

Keyboard does work, because I tried the procedure again, and works in terminal.

Please Help!!

This is a masterpiece of computer hacking men, who are you men. This is pretty impressive, anywy thnkZ dude.

What do u do if the command s doesn’t work? I dont have any software to go with it.

Does anybody know how to do this for OS X 10.6.3 ??

the instructions above in the initial post for 10.5 didn’t work (Socket Not Connected error message).

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

(except not the

mount -w /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
shutdown -h now

command, as that is not the kind of restart i need. i even tried it and it didn’t do anything, much less what i need)

the problem is that the computer was bought at a pawn shop and came with no discs. the old users password is keeping me from deleting applications/manually cleaning out the computer.

thanks again-

i have the same question please help…..

I tried option 3 and it worked successfully. Thank you!

I tried option 3… I got stuck at the new registration step as I put in the all the reg info and after I click to complete the reg process the system auto reboots taking me back to the same reg process… over and over again.. without doing anything else. How do I undo this process to restore the computer back how it was before I tried the third option info???

I have a used iMac. I tried all three of your methods. It won’t work!
After the starting/ rebooting the mac it reads momentary in a pop up window “installing Mac OS X” and then all of a sudden the login window comes which reads, ” Mac OS X”
As I said, I bought it used and the password and id provided to me are not working on it.
Is there any other way I can reset this computer or its password.
I am new with Mac so please give precise information.

Thanks, looking for your earliest response.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees! Oh my god, I’m so gladful! Thanks from another ex-desperate user. I’m so happy I will start to think about this security flaw later.

Thank You…Thank YOU…THANK YOU!!!
Your instructions SAVED THE DAY!!!
Your 3rd method worked wonders?????? its now as good as new???? i had bought it second hand and i was not given the disc??????
I did, however, have to try it a few times as I didn’t know if there was a space or not.

THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God Bless You>>>>

what is differents between first method and third method.

thanks for the information..
step 1 worked perfectly on my friend macbook..
she use snow leopard…
and she said thanks to you hehehe!
u saved my friend works


OMG the 3rd option works…awesome thanks thanks thanks yo’re my hero

ive trye everything on my mom imac osx g4 and can not get past the password at all she get it from a friend and i cant bypass the password in single user mode I need help please I all i know about it is when it comes on it has the persons name is steve that is it

hi, how do i get in to single user mode (im using a pc keyboard)

plz help tnx

Step one worked wonders!! Its was soooo easy too. Thankyou!

Does this wipe out all my data? I want to reset my password, but still need all my stuff. I’m going for the step one road.

I tried #3 w/out the “fsck -fy”. I was able to begin the registration but the macbook won’t go any further than the final registration questions. I am able to go back, just can’t continue. Any suggestions??

Bought a used Powermac G4 and the woman I bought it from could not remember the administrator password. So I could not install new software. The above steps worked perfectly. Thanks!!

Very easy. The first one worked great on MacBook w/snow leopard Thanks!!

Thx alot, now I can reset even all users password on my Mac.
Once again thank U

is int this hacking…..just making sure cause im a little scarred of doing this

I tried all of these with no luck any other suggestions

You are so awesome. I used the 3rd method to reset my daughters laptop. Worked wonderfully! Thanks a Million

Help! #3 worked…sort of. I was able to make a new admin account, but once logged in, none of my old user accounts showed up, only the new admin and a grayed out guest account. All my apps are there but none of my unique user data. With fear I rebooted in Target mode using my daughters iMac expecting to see nothing but, to my joy all my user files are there. Outside of pulling them off by folder & file, is there a way to retrieve the old user name and account, whatever it was?

I restarted my used macbook pro using #3 method. It is awesome having laptop that feels like mine now. My problem is thou, it had some great programs (one of the reason I bought) and they are gone. Tried next step but old owners name isn’t in system account. Have a lost these expensive programs! Any suggestions how/if I can retrieve them?

JIM!!!!! thank u sooooooo much!!!!! yours was the only one tht worked for my Mac OS X!!! wen it re-started like new…i wish u were to hug you!!!!

Thank you so much the third option worked for me. God bless

YES! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

I have used the above method on my macbook pro with snow leopard and it does not work…how am i supposed to reset my password? i can’t reinstall the OS disk bc that also asks for password, which i don’t have.

Cheers for that mate – you have saved me a lot of hassles ;)

no one has answered the question on how to do this using a windows pc keyboard. WHat cmd key is utilized on the windows keyboard? can anyone help?? thanx

plz plz help… none of this worked.. i dont even see my login account anymore (i just have root)… i think i might have deleted it accidentally when trying diferent commands on the terminal from diffrnt websites…:( … i had all my data on the desktop… will i be able to recover it and boot my system? when i boot , it stays on the gray screen with the wheel for hours… what shud i do… my major issue is that i have snow leopard 10.6.4 installed, and a Mac OS version 10.6 dvd, but in disk utility reset password i only see the dvd, not the Macintosh HD. plz plz help.. dont want to lose my data

i reinstalled OS X snow leopard and it asked 4 the same password again.. this time when i went to disk utility i could see my macintosh HD and was able to reset the password.. but when i logged in, there was no data on he desktop. if after installation it erases data and reinstalls everything then why did it ask me for the same user name and password? i dont get it… and if it did, y was my data lost? can i recover it? can someone help me out..plz

I have got into the Reboot section with no problem. However my whole computer is locked to Caps Locks/Shift. Which means i cant type in the correct code because i can’t get you simple thing such as ‘.’ & ‘\’

It is driving me nuts, please help me!

Thanks man thats wicked
the hack thy mac attack pack

after i type in rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
it says override rw ——-root/wheel for /var/db/.AppleSetupDone?
am I suppose to answer the question idk what to enter… when i answer yes it says permission denied.
also when i type in passwd username and i continue to follow the prompt and i type in new password it says: Unable to set extended node credentials for /Local/Default. Authentication failed. can someone plz help?

Didn’t work for me, command-s did not work at the chime or grey screen, I think a potential issue might be that the chime comes way before the grey screen, forgive me if I’m being stupid as this is my first time dealing with a Mac.

I have a mac book pro and I forgot the password and I tried all the commands and they didn’t work so how can I get this resloved I gosoapot of files and info that I don’t want to loose please help me I don’t have a reboot disc

Thank you, it worked perfectly!

@Neila: try just pressing enter

It worked, thank you so much

none of these worked on my mac because you cant get into the command + s thing,have you got anymore suggestions

anybody know why command+s does not work on my macbook?

fsck -fy
mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

MSG: no such file or directory.

When i use the following command;

fsck -fy
mount -uw /
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons…. .plist

It says socket not connected.

Now Macbook is stuck in a loop. I never get to the login. Please help. I have searched the web but just come across same cmd but none to get out of “Loop”.

Sebastiano Beretta
February 14th, 2011, 4:39 PM

Hallo, I own a Mac G4 Mirrored Drive Doors. Leopard 10.5.8 installed. Unfortunately I had set an Open Firmware passworld sometimes ago. Now I can’t enter single user mode or use my Mac as a target disc. How can I restore and reset everything back again?

I went through the process and but now my computer won’t start up. it gets to the gray screen past the chime and just won’t start.

Thanks! This information was so useful. I kept trying other things that other people had suggested but this post by far was the most superior of all. Thank you so much!

This worked for me.. in Mac OS 10.4.11 Tiger.. User excat commandlines with Capital Letters as described below… Thanks JIM…..


mount -w /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
shutdown -h now

****make sure to use spaces and capital letters EXACTLY as shown in the terminal commands above****

IT will not WORK if you don’t type it EXACTLY like this “

3rd worked, you’re the best. Thanks a lot.

@ jim…

pure genuis… that’s all you need to do… thank a mil

Bought my mac at an auction so no disks at all. Used the third option and it worked PERFECTLY. You do have to use spaces so be careful to type exactly. thank you thank you thank you

Everyone try the 3rd option

it will work for 100% sure

i have a iBook G4,osx10.4.11
I tried the various methods but none worked??
I typed very carefully.
Please help me it is so frustrating.


For everyone getting the socket not connected error make sure that you type “mount -uw /” because I missed the slash the first few times and I got the error. When I typed in the mount command with the slash at the end it worked.

Thanks, I’m a very happy developer now :)

I had the same issue as someone above and did not see any response. Has there been any updates to the problem? Anyone have any ideas?

“I tried #3 w/out the “fsck -fy”. I was able to begin the registration but the macbook won’t go any further than the final registration questions. I am able to go back, just can’t continue. Any suggestions??

i cannot log in into my mac desktop, i am trying to reset my password because i forgot my password.. i am trying to do a new account using Command+S but i cannot access the single mode.. how can i reset my password.. my cd installer are also lost..
hope you can help me about my problem…

Comand + S IS NOT working… What am i doing wrong?
The only way i can enter terminal is thru ‘Utilites’ and even then when i put the “mouont -uw /” it says “GetMasterBlock Error 13 opening”…
I have a 13” 2010 Macbook Pro…
I need help smh.

Oh yeah, I am also using Snow lepoard 10.6.6

I have a eMac and nothings working to reset it! iv tried and everything u listed but i still get no luck! please help me? im begging :-(

I fixed it… Thank you everyone… FOR NOTHING… Buttmunchin nerds.

HELP!!! I did this on a macbook with OSX and it worked but now automatically logs me into the new username. When I try to switch users or to change it from automatically doing that, it asks me to enter a password, so I do and it says it’s incorrect. I did this on a computer where I work and I’m screwed if I don’t figure it out!!! Please help me!!!!

If I do method 1, will I be able to keep all my files? Will it only delete the password? because I want everything else to stay the same.

Thanx allot for the help. Awesome stuff


my now ex partner! changed my password to be nasty, and i tried Option 3 to get around it, but it has caused me more serious problems. I followed the instructions step -by-step , and rebooted. (i have a little mini mac)
on reboot, it started up and went past the apple (grey screen) page, then instead of going to the log-on screen, it just went to a Black screen with my curser in the top left and hangs there, and locks the keyboard and my mouse. ive rebooted may times and its still the same. im stuck now.

For those getting the socket not connected message pay attention at step 4. U need to type
mount -uw /

with a space separating “w” and “/”
and then proceed with the other steps

Guy I tried all your methods and failled, I have a pro running on 10.6.7

Please help me:

thank you

Option 1 worked perfect for me once I got to command line – many thanks.

For those having trouble with Command + S: I just kept trying but I think pressing before the chime was the one that worked.

I tried doing 10.6 password reset but once I get to step 5 it tells me “Socket is not connected”.

hello i was giving a imac g4 the lamp looking desktop 2003 if was use for a kiddy school program and it has three user acounts the admins,teacher,student i can only log into student the other two accounts has passwords is it away around that or i have to buy a new operating system

Hi. I really appreciate this post. Thank you.

I just bought a used Mac on eBay. None of the methods work for me, and I am a computer programmer…

I know I am typing everything correctly.

Everything works as promised except the last step under option 1. After I list the users and type the command line, it gives me a DSOpenDirServiceError

If you could offer me any help, I would greatly appreciate it. I live on an island, only 3 miles wide. If I have to go to the mainland, it will cost me a lot of dough…so I would really, really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance,
Mike on Mackinac Island, MI

awesome guide, thanks! obviously in a drunk state last night i changed password and couldnt remember it, took me half day completing this though since i wrote a letter wrong all the
f-ing time :)

It works well tank you!!!!!!!


lifesaving workaround thanks.

what if those 3 steps didnt work? will i ever have a chance to use my mac again?-help me pls..thanks!

is the fact that i have to sbin/ mean that im lock on a vault….

Option #3 works like a beaut: Thank-you

I bought a cd to do this and it did not work but that led me searching to your site which did work. Your code was the charm, Thanks

It just shows me a black screen, with a lot of writing on it then it says, the files ciuld not be found. Please can you help me. I have a version 10.6

Super I was able to following step 3 now my computers up and runining.

i tried method 1 on leopard and it worked
i also tried method 2 on a tiger i mean a mac running tiger ..lool
it also worked fine

thanks alot

Thank you for thr instructions, just wonderful to have this step by step.. you rock…

after i put in launchctl /system/library/launchdaemons/com.appledirectoryservices.plist it say socket not connected please help

using macbook pro, running 10.6.5

when i get to the step where i type “rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone” and press enter, is say not found or whatever..
i see other ppl above have had this problem… noone has answered them tho…
am i screwed?

Thanks a lot, the third method worked for me on Panther 10.3.9

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! You saved my sanity!!

mean guys thanks for the help, thought i was gonna be stuck with a useless machine. but all good now thanks

Ok, so I created a new user account and got access. However, I could not open System Preferences – click on it, nothing happened. I restarted several times with no problems; however when I logged out – it is now not accepting my password?

I tried the first option and it worked fine until I tried to sign in after rebooting, it just told me my account had been suspended, any way to fix this?

This info was very helpful! PERFECT..Made my day! Thanks a million times!!! ;)

what did you do when you see this message
‘socket is not connected’

Hiii!!! You’re a life saver! I followed the 2nd method and it worked! THANKS A MILLION!

Amazing, I bought a re-conditioned macbook with tiger os from newegg. Couldn’t update without a password, there customer service was no help at all. In 5 minutes from your directions we were up and running! Many thanks!!!!!!

My Power Mac G5 duo 10.5 will these 3 step methods works — THANKS—
with Desk Top Power Mac G5— it say socket not connected —please help

launchctl load/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.
COMPUTER RESPONSES suggest = launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.

Thank you. My battery broke so haven’t used my laptop in ages hence the memory loss of password. Step 3 worked well. Thanks again.

Works like a charm. I used the 10.6 version. Thank you!

i forgot my password but i have 10.7 Lion.
What i can do?
pls help


hi, i used to have a password. after resetting it to nothing it keeps asking me for it. i just need to hit enter to pass this window. but the command window does not accept this though it is my admin password….. what is your guess i could do?! the window prompting me for a blank pw also sucks a lot! … thanks in advance :)

Thank you thank you thank you.. It worked perfectly..

Does this work for a MacBook Pro version 10.6??? PLEASE, I really need to know, I forgot my password help !!!!!

Thank you very much, very helpful information

Yippy! thank you so much! Easy to follow and life saving!

I tried all 3 and the 3 one was the one that worked great for me. its a pain to have to go through all that again but totaly beats the heck out of paying someone 80/hour to do it for me! thanks a million!

when i used method three- all of my files disappeared!!!!
what happened???????????

These procedures will not work for anyone running 10.6.3 or higher. When you boot into safe mode, it appears with the login screen requiring a password. Has anyone found a solution for Snow Leopard or Lion?

I tried the third method but it did not work. I am in Mac OS X 10.6.6 Darwin.
so I re-read the text of POST (boot) that appears after you press at boot to “command + s” and I noticed towards the end of this text to exit the read-only mode, we should write: sbin/mount-uw /.
and not mount-uw /.
and for me, after this amendment, the third method has functioned! check the text of the boot if it’s sbin/mount-uw / that appears and write code accordingly

sorry! on my first post i make a mistake:
i writted mount-uw , but of course there is a space between t and – so the correction is:
mount -uw /

guys, i want to ask something, when i reach that stage for typing …passwd (username) do l have to just write admin or the administrator’s name coz l keep on receiving a message that says “unknown user”
please help..

This very useful information. I really thankful of the program. I saved lot of important data.
So Much Thanks once again.

I have 2 OS on my macbook air (Windows and MAC HD), so i must press alt at the start up so i can chose which OS i want to work on, now when i restart the laptop and press cmd + S on the grey screen nothing happens.. is there any other way to recover my password ?

i can automatically enter to an guest user, i forgot administrator password, when i turn off the computer and turn it on to get the simple mode, instead having the simple mode i get directly to the guest user, what can i do?
thank you very much

I didn’t do any of these yet, but some responses scared me a little.. Now I’m scared to do this, because I don’t know if it’ll work..
And is there a space bar in between the words? Please answer, I need to restore my password!!!

When i try to put the new password on 10.4 i type it then i confirm it and it says “Sorry” then i try to change the settings and it wont accept the password i typed

I have an imac G3 with OS 9 which was a British Council network and startup disc is locked. Can I use these methods on it?

This worked great fr me. Thanks for posting. Completely locked myself out of my system but was able to get back in.

I can get into my “admin” account, it boots there, I just can’t back up or do other tasks and don’t want to risk trying these steps.
Can anyone shed light on how it is so many have difficulties with this?
Macbook pro running 10.6.8.


This tutorial (Reset Snow Leopard Password) “saved my iMac life”. I tried for hours and hours to fix this problem with advice on Mac Forums and with using my reboot installation discs, and nothing worked. I thought I was locked out permanently – Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are my Mac Hero!!!!!!!!! Have fabulous days! Peakpilot.

I hope this will work…
BTW, if i reset my password, do i also reset everthing else? cause i don’t want that..

i only wanna chance my password

i just did all of the steps and my mac book pro wont start what is goin on i have no idea im sooo madd does any one know whats going on???

After using unsuccesfully the first methode i used yhe third one with a great success .
PS :i used that for a friend ,i am linux user cause it’s free.

i have an issue with a power mac g4 firmware password and no hard drive for that matter.

Need a machine that will run mac os x 10.2.0
and this powermac did that and ran the schools entire website for almost 14 years! now that’s old. And one day it asked out of now where for a firmware password? need some help? now!!?!!

Thank you so much! Option 3 worked with me! You saved my life!!! THANK YOU SO MUUUUCH~

thank you! very useful!

Evrytime i put mount -uw/ it says
Mount:illegal option — /
Help pleease

Please help because everytime i put launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemon/ it says socket not connected.

I just followed the 3rd option to trick my computer and I now can access it. But everything has disappeared! Items on my desktop are gone and all the set ups like mail too
What did I do wrong..? :(

This worked perfectly. Too me a while as I am not as saavy as some of the others. BUT, I DID IT!

Thank you sooo much.

What to do when it says socket not connected

Plz help

DUDE YOU ABSOLUTE LEGEND!! 3rd one worked for me perfectly!! :) THANKS!

I have tried method 3 multiple times after i type everything in my computer shuts down and when i turn it back on nothing has changed. any sugestions

will this able to change my pass on OBS iBook 16 VRAM ???

Worked awesome!!!! Thank you!!!!

Does not work with Mac os x 10.5.8
None of these work.Step one gets error
Socket Not Connected.

The 3rd option gives me a Read Only notice.

Ok step 1 to work. There as stated above a space between
mount uw spacehere /
and another here
lauchctl load spacehere/System and so on.
and another here
dscl . spacehere-passwd/Users and so on.
There seems to always in most cases a empty space before the first / in each command.
Hope this help.

Sorry the space
dsc .-passwd spacehere/

does this get rid of all of your pictures?

i tried 1st and 3rd one , 3rd solved my problem thx !!!!!!!!

On my key board there is no command key. There is control key, ALT KEY,and a key that looks like a little window. What do I hold down with the s key? I have a mac mini 10.5.11 that I bought used and I need to change the password so I can update it.

Thank you Very much. I was about to give up on searching on the internet for the right answer on the internet when I ran in to your web site. And bingo you save the day.

I have Mac OS 10.6.8.. Method 1 went through incl. psswd reset but did not have the desired effect. I do not have the original user admin password of my newly acquired used Mac Pro 4.1. Has anybody tried the third method with 10.6.8?

Used the ‘launchctl…’ commands but list of USERS not displayed.

Please help asap!

for 10.4 your instructions are unclear. Should not the last step in 4. be to press either SPACE or ENTER ?

As written, you will be typing the username followed immediately by the new password, without any space between them. That can’t be correct, because there needs to be something that separates the two strings.

4. Type passwd username and replace “username” with the short name of the user account for which you’d like to reset the password.

5. Type your desired password and press Enter.

Thank you..
This instruction very complete..
Thank you..
Thank you

this worked .THANKS

YOU ROCK!! This totally saved me from having to take the computer I bought to have it reset professionally (meaning $$$).

thank you!
you saved my life…
i did the third one cus i had trouble with the first two and it worked PERFECTLY!

i bought a macbook and the login name and password that was given is incorrect. so i have tried EVERYTHING! I put the cd in pressed C it went to the login screen. I did command S also goes to the login window. i am unable to reset my macbook, please help???

thank you!


Hello my name is robert johnson
im looking for help resetting my mac book pro it is running osx 10.6.8 No one ever has there reset disk and I hope someone can help me asap ty.

Thanks for having all the answers to the question how to login without installing, or using password, but im still stuck.

Thanks it work for my Mac OS X10.4.11!

Will this wipe the data from my computer, like re-imaging it?

You, Sir, are damn awesome! :)

Tried 2nd method, successfully reset the password, but then failed to login getting this “You are unable to log in to the user account “username” at this time”. So opted the 3rd option and it actually worked!

Thank you mate! ;)

May 4th, 2012, 7:32 AM

fsck -fy
mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
MSG: no such file or directory.
When i use the following command;
fsck -fy
mount -uw /
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons…. .plist
It says socket not connected.
Now Macbook (10.6.8) is stuck in a loop. I never get to the login. Please help. I have searched the web but just come across same cmd but none to get out of “Loop”.

It worked!! I appreciate it. I’ve been sitting on a macbook for the last year that I got from a friend and have never been able to use it!

THANK YOU! I have been trying everything for past few days to access files on my old computer the password of which i forgot. Finally accessed!

worked like a charm. thank you so much!

I used the third one. It work perfrctly. Thanks a million

Thanks a ton man..i had lost hopes when i could not find my installation disc! Appreciate it!

i can not get command screen when i did press and hold down “command” + “s” keys with imac desktop, could you please tell me what i can do.

Hello, I am on a macbook air and the steps described for 10.6 are useful. I was able to confirm a password change for root and my username. However, it does not unlock the administrating account.

Can anyone help me out with this? I can’t remember the password for the life of me.

Cindy Lou Smith
May 26th, 2012, 9:33 AM

How do I unlock the administrating account? I do not remember the password.

i tried the 3rd option and it all went fine but then when i turn the computer back on it asks me what language i want to use i click next after choosing english and the screen goes grey.

and what makes it harder is that i dont know what runs my computer i know the serial number and model number. can anyone help???

fsck -fy
mount -uw /
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
MSG: no such file or directory.
When i use the following command;
fsck -fy
mount -uw /
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons…. .plist
It says socket not connected.
Now Macbook (10.6.8) is stuck in a loop. I never get to the login. I have searched the web but just come across same cmd but none to get out of “Loop”. Please help.


i was resetting the password as mentioned but when i came to intering the username step
passwd (username)
it didnt replay the same way
i decided to shutdown and continue the next day so i pressed the power button until it was stoped now the computer is not working at all
what happened and how it can be managed

i tried method 3 but it doesnt work

I found the reason why we got the information such as:

“override rw —– root/wheet for /var/db/.AppleSetupDone?”

The reason is in the command line:
“mount -uw /”, there should have a SPACE between -uw and /.

Try it!!

Thanks to the author of this paper. It really helps!!!

THANK YOU! just competed step #3 on MBP8,1 running 10.6.8

This information worked just as described. Worked beautifully to completely reset admin rights on a found “sunflower” iMac. Great job!

June 27th, 2012, 2:04 PM

i never installed the cd in the first place. i finally found the install cd but i can’t install it because i dont know the passwrd. i have tried all of these methods and all have failed. is my mac completely screwed? its a snow leopard.

Hi just wanted to say thanks the third method worked for me.

thanks i was trying to get into my laptop for a week then i found this post and with 15min i got my laptop unlocked thanks

used #3 worked alright now my system keeps rebooting over and over and over you get it? help me !

will i lose the files on my other account(w/ forgotton password)?

The third method worked perfectly. I chose to “clear keychain access” and had to manually put in passwords for mail and what not again, but a small price to pay to have my mac back!! Thank you macyourself. Great tutorial.

i tried method 3 but it work 100%

Will it work on lion or mountain lion

I’ve tried every option, it doesn’t work!! Please help!!!

I tried method 3, and it shutdown when I put in that command, everything looked fine. I rebooted, and my screen has been showing the Apple logo and the “connecting/starting-up” circle for 15 min. now. It won’t boot up. Suggestions?

Aaah shoot, I tried method one and now everything on my computer is deleted.

During registration, what option do you choose when transferring your old files? Transfer from another volume on this mac or time machine or what?? I’m confused and I need my computer to work again.

MacBook 10.6.8

Hello, how ever I arrived at my error, I am now stuck with onscreen, Launchd%

How do I get to reboot from here?

Hello- can you help me to write code to reboot?

Attempting to reset Snow Leopard password I am stuck with a page of code that is not responding.

I wish to just reboot from here and leave the unit the way it is. -thanks.

Thanks! I have Snow TLeopard – #1 worked perfectly! Lifesaver!

I have a mac Book runnning OS X 10.6 and it doesn’t recognize the commands, it simply says commands not found. Is there a trick for 10.6 because the listing says it works for 4,5 and 6 but it isn’t even recognizing it. I see so many working, but I am poked I got this from a friend that passed away and never realized there was a password for like 7 months, and now that I need to do some stuff, there is no disk in all the stuff, and I got to look through

Arrg, I would love to get this thing to work without having to set up a 2nd account. Everytime his name comes up, it reminds me, and I can’t even use it until I fix this, it bugs me so bad. Thanks in advance for any help.

When I try to reset my macbook with OS x 10.6
It says that it is in root mode, which is read only

So I can do the fsck only if I do it as
Sban/fsck-fy/, but nothing else

Is there a way for version 6 that is different since it is the last one covered here. Thanks guys

totally did not work for me. had all the right spaces because the prompts were showing me i entered something right, however after i booted up the laptop it was back to the old login screen with the pre popluated user name. it did ask me something about overriding setup when i entered rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone. i tried enter wthout anything, i tried typing y then enter and proceeded to the shutdown entry. I have an older MACbook (circa 2008-2009 cant remember which OS is on it.) HELP?! Anyone?

Instructions by Jim 10/25/10 worked perfectly on my 2007 Macbook running 10.5.8- Thank you!

how long does it take in 10.4.11 to load after sulution 3

Great stuff – bought a second hand Power Book with no idea of the password. Found this info after a quick search on Google and hey presto – thank you so much

Thank you very much for your kind assistance…
Great Stuff…

hi, i had tried 3 option and it worked 100% and i have created new account, but now how do i get my all files from old account without requiring the old password. plz plz help. i need all my old data.

So, I forgot my password a few days ago and followed the above steps in order to get back into my computer. They worked, and I can now access my account again; however, a lot of the apps no longer work, like photobooth or ms word. Does anyone know what I might have done and if there is any way to fix it? Thank you!

hmm. I have tried all 3 with limited results.
same sad tale passworded it 5+yrs back and gone blank on what, glad I am not the only one.
anyway from memory I have a base OS9 and overlaid OS X 10 2 4 or 8?
not sure what name program that is?
at this moment You Mongrel seems fitting:-)

I get a prompt that Singleuser boot not done
root device is mounted read-only
it tells me to make modification to files to enter /sbin/fsk -y
which does get it running a check

in that same enter fsck message it then says to enter/sbin/mount -uw/
the machines reply to it is that unknown special file or file system

Like so many people here I have special stuff saved, in my case its the pictures, (people who have died and life events etc,) I want access to, as the Big priority the rest, would be good but I wont ask for miracles.

its a dual usb ibook model M6497
a copyright logo has the 2001 datestamp.
any assistance gratefully recieved.

Thank you Thank you Thank you!
I’ve been trying for about 2 hours until I came across your solutions for the different versions! Ever so grateful!
(I dont know how we’ll survive without the Internet and people like you!) lol

OH MAN!! I used option 3 because I couldn’t get option two to work for me…user error I’m sure…and it fixed my problem!! Thank you so very much!! I will admit though, I almost had a heart attack when everything was gone before logging in to my old account. I was FREAKED!!

Hey Laurel, your best bet would be to use a new HD, and load a “Temporary” Operating system (linux or another variant; some people P2P some apple, I’m a bit against it, but to each their own); now plug your drive into the comp with an external adapter. If you load mac os, you can *probably “see” your files, but they won’t allow you to edit them. You’ll have to move them first… …If you have a thumb drive (usbflash), you can format it as msdos FAT. Why? NO FILE ACCESS PERMISSIONS get carried over. If you can read, you can copy, if you can copy you can save it. Or you can use a P2P disc that matches your os or one to two minor numbers above, and you can reset your password from that.

if you want these commands to work correctly you need to make sure you have spaces where needed and also no spaces where needed. to put your computer into single user mode using command + s you need to hold it down until it shows the command prompt. and when you stype in the first command it takes about 5 minutes for it to be done so be patient and wait of it will never get completed. good luck to you all have a nice day.

Thanks for the great instructions.

FYI – Option 3 didn’t work for me using .AppleSetupDone, but it did work when I entered it as .applesetupdone .. Not sure exactly which OS this is yet – it is an old hand-me-down eMac. Going the the setup now

Ok, I have a 2009 MacBook and it won’t let me past the
rm /var/db/.applesetupdone
It keeps saying that there is no such file or directory

Excellent. Option 1 worked a treat. Mac OS X Leopard. Be sure to incorporate those spaces.

PleaseHELP I reset my password and it wiped everything off my pictures and everything are lost! Is there anyway to recover it all?
Any help would be appreciated!

Step 3 worked perfectly and I’m not a computer person! Bough a computer off of craigslist and the person never gave me their password so this was perfect.

Will I lose any current data on my computer if I do this? Somehow my password randomly quit working after I changed my account name even though I did not change the password. Thanks.

Hallelujah! This worked. On my 2nd try, the third option worked. And it did not delete any files. I was back at my old screen in no time.

Thank You!!!

I tried options one and three and neither of them worked? Did I do something wrong? Please help?!

I followed steps created a new password and ran thru set up ok, but now the system preferences icon is a question mark and I can not access. Please help

I’m not quite sure what happened– but I tried method 1- and now my laptop won’t even turn on! It goes to the grey screen then turns itself off.

I have a macbook pro 13.3, when i switch it on a grey folder with a ? mark flash. if i press cmd +s it comes to my password screen and the password provided does not wane work!
Help Please i need to get this laptop working!

Thanks! Method 1, carefully typed, worked beautifully.

Now I have to make sure I use my powers for good, not evil, Bwahahaha!

Best directions ever. Used option 3. Thanks

Thanks. option three worked great for me to get up and running again.
now im am just a little worried at how easy it was!

Thanks! Method 3, works great.

Excellent. Third option worked as described.
Created new admin account , changed old user to standard and reset password

i have tried everything and when i type the prompts it says not founded! Nothing is working :{ please help! COLLEEN

help i have tried everything none of the steps are working im frustrated

please please please help!! It keeps saying file not found

Thank you so much ‘method 3’ worked, I was about to throw the computer away;-)

Your last tip worked great, thanks for the help!

You guys save my life!! Thanks so much!!

I actually wanted to delete all the data on my old iMac, before giving it to recycling. I first created a new admin account, then deleted all the old user accounts. Then I followed #3 method to bring it back to original startup mode. The computer is now gone, but should I be concerned about the data still existing? I don’t want the data to fall into the wrong hands.

Totally worked (: I used the second recommendation

@ ELSA. I was still having issues with the root dir but your post fixed it for me and thought others may still be stuck. Works well for option #3 as well.

override rw —– root/wheet for /var/db/.AppleSetupDone?”

The reason is in the command line:
“mount -uw /”, there should have a SPACE between -uw and /

Worked perfectly! Thanks a bunch

How do I know my Mac version on the black page?
I can see (Darwin Kernel Version 10.8.0)

Guys. I don’t know who u are, but this day u make someone happy. Great Thanks.

Man, I am deeply indebeted to you. This was quite helpful, yet on the other hand the truth behind why the villians run off with the laptops. Whay was I going to do without my Android to help me out with this one and most especially you. Where do we send our contributions? Again, many., many THANK YOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

Worked wonderfully! Thank you so much! I tried option #3 on a mac computer, and I have been able to make myself a user.
THANK YOU!!!! Genius

I followed the third method and it erased EVERYTHING on my computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What do I do now???????????????????????

Woops, I figured it out – Thanks!!!!! All Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great tutorial, I have totally used this on an iMac G5 after the admin password got mixed – lifesaver!

Thanks man ! nr 3 worked !

why all methods are not working on my mac osx 10.6.8

I USED THE METHODE FOR MY IMAC 10.5.8 an than when i reboot the system everything was lost all documents picture etc…what can i do???


I have same problem, but model of my Mac is 10.7.5
PLEASE !!!!!! What am I have to do?!!!! If I can’t change this password my life will be finished :((((

Did the 3rd option. Worked on the first try. Thank you for the person who posted this tutorial. I appreciate it a whole lot.

Works great, thanks a million…

This really saved time and work for me. Thank you!

I found this article by accident but boy I am glad I did. Thanks for this.

I used method 1 to reset the lost PW on a mac running 10.5 Leopard. It worked thanks! One very important thing not mentioned in the article. After resetting the password and rebooting, go launch Apple Disk Utility, select the hard drive and check off “Repair Disk Permissions” and let it run till it’s done. You really need to do this to avoid all sorts of problems using the account after the forced password reset.

Anyone find a fix for the locked beeping keyboard problem during the new user registration? Cannot type anything but function keys work. Keyboard DOES work in single user mode though…

Worked great – Thanks!

I tried the first step many times. had to put in
/sbin/fsck -fy ‘and’
/sbin/mount -uw
none of the other steps worked
I am scared to try the third step after reading the bad things that happened to people.

Tried the third one and nothing happened. Same old same old with old unknown password. I have 10.5.8 Leopard

I went in and did what was suggested in one and two, but after that the screen goes black when I try and restart it from the reboot. What went wrong? I need help getting my computer back from following these instructions.

thanks alot guys this really works im on my computer right now….

hi quick question does this work for administrator passwords and if not what does. this would be really helpful cause i got this from my aunt and she can’t remember the admin password because of the length of time she has had it. oh its mac osx 10.4.11


It took a while for it to work. You will need to type it in EXACTLY as it appeared in the instructions, from capital letters to spaces (space bar). I have a Mac OS X 10.6.8 and my password did not work. The kids locked out the admin password trying to guess what it was. When I entered the “launchctl……” step, my username did not appear on the list. So I chose “macuser” and reset the password which happened to be a default user. I was able to reboot and gain access to my computer again.

Here is what I typed….

Step 1: fsck -fy then press “Enter”
Step 2: mount -uw / then press “Enter”
Step 3: launchctl load
then press “Enter”
Step 4: ls /Users then press “Enter”
Step 5: dscl . -passwd /Users/username password
then press “Enter”
Step 6: reboot then press “Enter”

Note: Step 3 has a space between “launchctl” and “load” AND between “load” and “/System…” Also, the username is the name of the administrator. If it does not appear, choose a user from the list of users that comes up. More than likely, a default user appears (don’t use “Shared”). Mine said “macuser”. Password will be the new password. Don’t forget the “space” between the username and password.

THANKS AGAIN GUYS!!!! This was AMAZING and….I did no lose one bit of information or files. YOU ARE AWESOME!

Worked, great, thanks very much!

Have a MacBookPro OS X (10.8.0) showing a grey screen, logo and spinning gear continuously when I start it up. It also over heats quickly During the above stated process.

GOD blees

Thank you so much for the instructions to reset my password.


by doing this will ANYTHING b deleted off my computer??
I have a card reader/cf card that has went crazy. I am trying to download software to recover it and of course cant get my password to work. So if i do what is stated above will i lose any of my other folders or programs?
sorry if that was a dumb question lol been a bad day just cant take much more messing up



Stephen Greenwald
October 6th, 2013, 3:04 AM

Excellent, direct instructions. You saved my life. Thank you.

What a brilliant site my husband got into his laptop HURRAH!

You saved me on a tight deadline! Thanks so much for the setting a new password.

I have a MacBook Pro with 10.6.8 I tried reseting the password following the approriate action from above and it did not work.
unlike Jae above my user name did appear on the list but after attempting the change password string I received this message: “Socket not connected” and a message for singleuser enter command which was the launchctl command repeated with a strange string following it.


Method 3 worked for me, but I still don’t understand how I can log into the original user account, which I originally set up and forgot the password! :/

This also means that I’m not able to see any of my old photos which I saved into iPhoto including one’s of my sons birth! OMG

10.6.8 — flawless

would be helpful to indicate precisely where spaces are required.

also, how to respond to Keychain dialogue (new keychain)

bought an older imac 10.6.4….I tried the directions above, but when I try to type in the commands, I get a line of code about the keyboard???

at :/root# USBF: 18.191 IlIFEhideVENTdRIVER::KHIDPage_AppleVendorKeyboard

I tried third variant, then I wrote “rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone” I got a line that this directory or file does not exist, I have OSX 10.9

when i did this my computer got stuck on a blue screen

I’m trying to reset administrator password, since this iMac was my father-in-law’s. After typing in “launctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/” as directed on this website, it comes up saying “Socket is not connected”. I’m new at this. What does that mean?

Worked great. Thanks!

I’m joining in kind of late, but I just tried the third option: Tricking your Mac into creating a new user account and I want to say it worked like a charm–the second time I tried. The first time I think I didn’t include the spaces or a slash and nothing happened. Originally I wasn’t going to try this. I figured it was for techies only. After all, isn’t this code?? It seemed far too advanced a technique for me, but I was willing to try anything. I was locked out of the computer after installing a CD, OS X that upgraded and at the same time was restricted. I couldn’t undo the installation and was really bummed about it. When I tried this method and the computer shut down and restarted with beautiful music and an introductory welcome, I cheered. So thank you for your aid and assistance. I will pass it on if I can.

When I wrote “rm /var/db/ .AppleSetupDone” I got a line that this directory or file does not exist, I have OSX 10.9
Please help me I have no ideas what is wrong…

You Rock!!! Got a “new” IMac with some other persons id and password on it…used method # 3, paying close attention to all the spaces and case changes, worked on the very first try….was able to go in and “start over”. SWEET!!!!!

Fantastic result for new code thanks

I did number 3 and lost everything on my computer help

Please help I have lost everything

Did process #3 and it worked fine.
Thanks so much


I tried every option it does not worked for me. My machine is mac os x version 10.5.8

when I restart and press command +s or Command + R it goes to old log in page

when I type name and password it does not work. when I type, all the keys type only numbers and symbols. Also other thing is power does not on when power on button pushed but pressing f12 key works for power on. what is going on with my mac

what is the best process for powerbook g4 10.5.8 os x lion? Is it possible to reset the passwords and keep all the files?

Did process #3 and it worked! (after proces#2, which failed).

Brilliant ,
I used how to trick your imac,, you have to type exactly they way it is.

When I type Is /Users it says Is: command not found

I am experiencing the same problem as Sharon. Please help

I have 10.9 mac that i have forgotten the password to. Actually I was able to get on but i must have a misspelling and don’t know how it worked and still cannot change any options etc. I have read the options to fix earlier operating systems what can I do for mine?

Yes yes yes you are the best !!!

en habib abdullah
April 20th, 2014, 6:10 AM

i purchased a used mac 10.3 IBOOK G4. it has an administrative password which i cannot break into. pls, supply me the details to get away from the trouble.
from nigeria i posted. i’m confused.

I used #3 on my iMac, 10.6.8 and it worked killer, thanks for being there

Does anyone know what to enter for the mac os x server serial number after doing method three. I don’t have any of the things that came with the Mac mini. Thanks in advance.

I need you clever guys out there please? I cannot get pass the grey screen: it asks for a name and password! Even with the disc (mac OSX
(Leopord)inserted the grey screen doesnt go away … keeps on asking for name and password. Help please please??

[…] The 'prompt' they refer to will (most likely) be a simple "#" (no quotes) followed by a blinking cursor – this is where to enter *exactly* what they say above – for example the "." In the dsctl line is critical! Good luck! Cheers, Ian How to reset your Mac OS X password without an installer disc | MacYourself […]

thanx so much guys the 3rd option worked but only after trying a couple of times…kudos on the assistance u givin out

Thank you very much for this tutorial. I have been living with a lock computer as far as installing things i have had to enter a password in wild bills account well as of right now wild bill does not exist anymore Haaaa lmao!

by “command+S” do you mean the command key and the S key or do you mean the command key, the shift key (so I can press the + key, and S the S key?

I followed your instructions and nothing changed. I guess there is more wrong with my computer than I thought. Yesterday it worked fine. This morning I got up and it was messed up.

I’m having the same problem as some of the other people. I’ve tried typing everything several times and I keep getting “command does not exist”.

The computer works fine. It’s just my dad’s old computer that my kids are now using. We can’t download anything because he can’t remember the password.

Thank you, I was locked out of my Mac mini because I set it up when my iMac froze and forgot my password. Both disk, Lion and Mountain Lion are reset and working great. Post like these save those of us who have been loyal Mac users. My first Mac was a Performa with the old Stylus II printer, from there a powermac G3, powermac G4, PowerBook G4, iMac and Mac Mini all with Intel Duo Processors …. Plus 3 iPods, 4 iPhones….
Hope to get new MacBook Pro next…, saved me an hour drive to Mac store! Thank you!!!!

I have a Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) from year 2000 with a bad DVD drive. So, I can’t get the drive to boot from the original Mac OS X 10.4 DVD.
The G4 has a Mac OS X 10.4 SERVER, but I’m not sure of the short name of the user account and I also forgot the password.

I tried this methods several times and did not work.
“Reset 10.4 Tiger password”
“Tricking your Mac into creating a new user account”

Is there anything more I can do to find out the correct short name of the user account? Maybe that’s why is not working. Or maybe it’s because this methods don’t work in the SERVER version of Mac OS X.

I can make a partition in an external USB HD with a boot Mac OS X Tiger and install from it?


Third option works – but not with the original code in the article. The first line needs to be mount -w / NOT mount -uw /. And as others have pointed out, you need to be precise with your code. Pay attention to the spaces/caps/and that full stop before “Apple”. I’ve managed to get into a frozen (spinning beach ball of death and stuck in “Safe Mode”) Early 2009 iMac running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 TWICE using this hack. The point behind this method is in this line – “this one fools the operating system into believing it has never been started before”.

I bought a MAcmini at a seized auction and used option 3 and it worked :) Thanks so much! Saved me money from not having to take it in to have it done!

Just used option 3 on a Powerbook G4 and it worked perfectly…thank you!

Option 3 kinda works,
Now iMac is stuck on “Select a Wireless Service” No matter what option I choose it stays with the spinning wheel forever. How do I unStuck it? Help!

I tried option 3 but when I go to the system preferences-accounts there are no other accounts. I followed the instructions given but I think I may have lost all my original data.. Is there anything I can do?!

Yes!!! It worked, thank the fn wholly tech gods and this website!!! Ok I got the “socket not connected error” when you type the mount there is a space and -uw then another space…only bummer is I picked the “update login key chain” so now I have to do it again:((( damn it!

Hi can anyone support, follow all instruction message appears
Socket is not connect cannot open remote host error

New purchase: iMAC G5 A1076 Will not boot to 10.5 disk & Command + s does nothing
What can I do to reset the password????????

Confirmed success for 10.6 Snow Leopard on a macbook air.

[…] on pc. Macyourself – mac os tips & tricks, tutorials, , About macyourself. macyourself was established in july 2008 by founders (and apple enthusiasts) […]

Will using any of the above processes have any effect on the content of my macbook? I would hate to reset my password and find out that all of my content was erased and my macbook is set to factory settings.

I have snow leopard 10.6.8 and none of these options are working for me. the first one wont recognize the –luanchctl load /sys…plist– command. and the third option goes through the whole process as if everything is working. Then when I go to start the mac it boots to my regular desktop with no setup or registration process available. Any ideas?

I failed to mention, in the third option, when I enter the command [rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone] it gives me an override message that reads [override rw——- root/wheel /var/db/.AppleSetupDone?]
Not sure what it’s asking me.

I have a 2007 iMac desktop computer and forgot my login pw how do I bypass it with a windows keyboard ?

I did the third method and after restart, my keyboard is frozen, I can’t type my network password. What do I do now?

I used method number 3 and I have a mac OS X iBook g4 and now when I turn it on , it just goes to a blue screen does that mean my mac is broken?

WOW!!! I was truly going BONKERS until I found this page. It saved me from going past bonkers :) THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

Thank you!! I bought a junk ibookG4,but I didn’t know password.I’m able to update OSX and Office. Thank you very much!!

It worked, THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH, I’m on top of the world, you saved me. all those other websites are bogus. thanx again. Even though its an old eMac with MAC OSX 10.4 i can use the heck out of it now

Holy smoke, I can’t believe I got my iMac to work again. Method #3 worked fantastic. Can’t tell you how much this has helped me. Thanks a Zillion for posting such a great problem solver, especially for someone as inexperienced as I am with computer related issues.

i have a mac mini 10.6.6 tried option 1 and 3 using
1.Type sbin/mount -uw /. and press Enter. (sbin fix for read only)
2.Type rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone and press Enter.
3.Type shutdown -h now and press Enter.
server sits on Welcome screen, nothing is happening, any ideas please… i don’t know unix

restore of AppleSetupDone, after failure of
step 2 No such file or directory
Type: touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

Just used on 10.5.8 and it worked. To avoid errors, I copied the instructions to a Word document, set the font to Courier, and turned on Show formating sympols (the paragraph icon) that assured me that I would not mistake spaces, L versus I and so on.

The third step worked perfectly. So glad I found this site.

YES! It worked! I used the last option since I havean iBook G4. Thank you!!

Worked! Thank You!

What if you don’t have the command button thingy?

I tried option 3. The startup loops upon trying to create a new username. Any fixes for this?

Thank you!!! This worked. I got into my computer with all my past photography work. You’re the best, so thankful!!


It Worked! It worked!!!! I’m dancing with joy! Thank you! I’m so proud of myself!!!

mac os x 10.6.8

i have forgotten the password and nothing i have read online is working, please help, I have no install disk either.


Im trying option 1, but when i get to the launch part and press enter, it says socket is not connected. Help, please!

You are a life saver! Thank you!


If you are having trouble making this work try deleting your keyhain preferences using Secure Delete.


Thank you so much it worked, I am in my computer. The first and second didn’t work but the last one did. After talking with Apple Support and telling me they would send a disk by next Friday and then to call back and they would help me. I found your solution and am now a happy person. Thank you for helping me.

i dit have a command button how do i do it? (not an apple keyboard obviously)

Posting most appreciated.

iBookG4 – 10.4
Received as someone’s ‘throw-away’ laptop?!? Previous user was a friend who forgot the password…mJane..maryjane420..something like that..(OK, NOW I know why they forgot!)

Followed the ‘trick into thinking it’s first boot up’ and I’m logged in with MY setup! and the other user..I was able to reset the password and nothing was deleted. Although everything was in the other user’s desktop/files..but it’s a NEW USER. that’s all. VERY HAPPY and being slow took 10+ mins but I’m glad you are all here…PURRR MY PRECIOUS iBOOK!

Hi – My iMac is working but some functionality seems to be on go-slow (espec iphoto). I am told that this is probs because i am still using Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and need to upgrade OS to El Capitan. But i have forgotten all passwords (thats why i never updated before). Do these instructions work? Even for a total non techy? I don’t want to wipe my 10,000 plus photos from my system!!


I could totally kiss you right now

that is all

I tried the third option and for some reason it froze in the middle of the setup…Is it ok to start it all over again?

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