How to Reset Admin Password on Mac

Are you just like me who tend to forget passwords quite often?

Well, we all face this issue of forgetting passwords because of numerous accounts we manage these days.

But while resetting the password on online accounts is easy by opting for rest option on mail and then simply changing the password.

We wished that it was the same case when it comes to resetting admin password on Mac. But it is not!

As we have a ton of accounts and passwords sometimes we can just mess them up with each other. It can lead to confusing one password with other different accounts. I’m sure you must have also faced this issue!

how to reset admin password on mac

A few days back I forgot my login password for Mac. This can be very frustrating because it denied me access to my Mac and I wasn’t able to make changes on my computer.

If you are going through the same scenario then you need not worry. I have listed down the best ways through which you can easily reset your forgotten login password for Mac.

And yes I have tried and tested each method before listing it down for you.

Things you need to know!

As we all know that macOS provides us with top security and it also makes sure that someone else doesn’t have access to our accounts.

For this reason, if we forget our login password we can use any of the options such as using a password hint to remember our forgotten password, using recovery mode or target disk mode, or using another account to reset your password.

You can easily reset admin password on Mac by making use of any of the options that suit you the best and is ideal for your situation.

Login Password is at all times required by a macOS device to gain access and make changes. Therefore it is needless to say how important is a login password.

Before we move forward, we suggest you check out our complete guide and recommendation on “The Best Password Manager for Mac“. This will help you a lot to manage your password and also keep them safe at the same time.

6 Ways to Reset Admin Password on Mac

We have listed some of the best and most effective methods on “How to reset admin password on Mac“.

Let’s check out an overview of all of them.

  • Reset Admin Password on Mac using a Password Hint
  • Use Apple Id to Reset Password
  • Use help of another Admin Account to Reset Admin Password on Mac
  • Reset Admin Password on Mac with help of Reset Password Assistant
  • Use Recovery Key to Reset Admin Password
  • Boot a Mac in Recovery Mode

1. Use a Password Hint

This is one of the easiest and quick way to gain complete access to your Mac.

Sometimes we tend to forget the easiest things that we repeat daily. A hint can make our brain remember it. Same can be the case with a password.

When we create an account and password, we are given the choice of choosing a password hint in case we forget our password and that can help us remember it.

Below we have listed a few simple steps with which you can unlock your password.

  • Go to the Apple menu located on the top left corner of the desktop and choose System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
system preferences
  • Click on Users & Groups and a new window will appear.
users & group
  • On the Users and Groups Window, you will find “Click the lock to make changes” on the bottom left corner. Click on it.
click lock to make change
  • A small window will appear displaying User Name and Password. Type in any digits for 3 times in a password bar and click on Unlock.
  • A hint will appear under Password Bar. This Hint can help you remember yours forgotten password.
enter password
  • If the hint doesn’t appear after making three wrong attempts then it means you haven’t enabled the hint to be visible.

You can enable a hint by changing the settings on the User and Groups window. But you can only do it with a password. You have to unlock the account first and then click on login options and choose “Show Password Hints”. In this way, you can enable hints for the next time you forget your password.

show password hint

But if this method didn’t work for you, you don’t need to be panic. We have a lot of other ways coming up.

Read on and try other methods to reset your admin password.

2. Make use of your Apple ID

Using your Apple ID to reset your admin password is also an easy way to gain complete access to your Mac.

Apple ID is very important because it is used to enable and access iCloud and iTunes. It is a kind of Identification of you being the owner and user of the devices.

Most people forget the value of an Apple ID when it comes to resetting the admin password. But it can be very helpful in this process.

The only problem here can be if you haven’t marked this option as “Allow users to reset the password using Apple ID” just like the first method which was resetting the password using a password hint.

But if you have activated this function then we can simply dive into the steps on how to reset your forgotten password.

Below we have listed the steps on how to reset a password with your Apple ID.

  • Go to the Apple menu located on the top left corner of the desktop and choose System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
system preferences
  • Click on Users & Groups and a new window will appear.
users & group
  • On the Users & Groups window, you will find “Click the lock to make changes” on the bottom left corner. Click on it.

Note: The first 3 steps are similar to the first method on “Reset Admin Password with a Password Hint”. You can also refer to the images above for the same.

  • A small window will appear with the “user and password fill-up form”. Type in wrong passwords till the time question mark (?) appears below and states “Reset your password using Apple ID”. It will take you around three wrong attempts for the question to pop up.
  • Click on the arrow next to “Reset your password using Apple ID”. You will be prompted to enter your Apple ID, new password, etc. Complete the process and create a new Admin password.
  • After the process is completed you will be prompted to restart your computer. Turn ON your Mac and now log in with your new password.

Alternatively, you can also reset the password using Apple ID if this method is not working. As it has been noticed that with some latest models of Mac, this function is not working anymore.

For New Mac users follow some steps here.

  • Turn Off your Mac and Turn it on again. Leave the login screen idle for a while and it will display to reset the password using Apple ID, click on it.
reset password with apple id
  • Now enter your Apple ID and password to reset the password
apple id
  • To verify the account, apple will send the notification on the other device associated with this Apple ID, it will show the location and send you the verification code. Enter this code and proceed. It looks like
apple id verification code
  • Now create your new password and follow the instructions carefully. Once done, login with a new password now.

In this way, you can easily reset the admin password using your Apple ID.

After resetting your admin password with help of this step follow the last method to “Create New KeyChain” so that you update your KeyChain password too and sync everything together.

But if you haven’t enabled the option to reset the admin password using your Apple ID, then this won’t work for you.

You can enable this option in the same way you did for the first method for a password hint. Go to the Apple menu, then go to System Preferences, Go to Users and account and click on Login details. Enable the option by clicking on the box to “Reset Password using Apple ID”.

In this way, you can enable this function.

We will move forward and take a look at other methods that can help you to Reset Admin Password if this one didn’t work for you.

3. Reset Admin Password with the help of another Admin Account

This method proves very useful for those users who have more than one admin account on there Mac.

Resetting an admin password can be easily done by logging into the other admin account on the same Mac and then resetting the password or the first account.

This is because an administrator with an account on the same Mac has access to changing and resetting the password for another account. This can prove to be a boon when you forget your admin password.

Having multiple admin accounts is usual in workplaces where different people have access to one Mac.

This can also happen at your home computer if you are sharing it with your partner and he/she has another admin account on the same Mac.

So, if you have access to another admin account then follow the steps below to reset admin password on Mac.

  • Go to Apple Menu and choose Log Out from the drop-down menu. In this way, you will be logged out of your account for which you have forgotten the password.
  • Now log in with the account name and password of another account.
  • Now from the “Apple Menu” choose “System Preferences” and then choose “Users & Groups”.
users & group
  • Click on the Lock Icon and again type in the password. The settings will be unlocked now.
unlock to change settings
  • Now choose the admin account from the left side under “User Accounts” and click on “Reset Password”.
reset password admin mac
  • Fill all the details in the small window such as “New Password”, “Verify” and “Password Hint”.
  • And then click on “Change Password”.
change admin password
  • Go to the “Apple Menu” again and “Log Out” of the account.
log out account
  • Now again login with the previous account and new password. You would have successfully reset your password in this way using another account.

Follow the last method to “Create a new KeyChain” (at the end of this tutorial) after resetting your admin password, to make sure that both your passwords match.

But what if you had only one admin account on your Mac, then this method was not meant for you. But there always a solution to the problem.

Go ahead and check out the next method try it and reset your admin password.

4. Reset Admin Password with help of Reset Password Assistant

The main requirement for this method to work for you is that the “FileVault” feature must be turned ON.

The FileVault feature actually helps the user and makes sure that anyone except the user is not able to access the Mac without permission. It does that by asking for a password every time a user turns ON the Mac.

So if FileVault is Turned ON by you then follow the steps below.

  • Turn On your Mac and you will be able to see the login screen as always.
  • Wait for a few minutes until it prompts and says that you can use the Power Key on your Mac to Turn Off the Mac to boot in Recovery Mode.
recovery macos

Note: If you are not seeing this message then you haven’t Turned On FileVault function on your Mac.

  • Click on the Power on the keyboard. Your Mac will Turn Off.
  • Now again click on the Power Key to Turn On your Mac in Recovery Mode.
  • A Reset Password window will appear. Choose “I forgot my password” and click Next.
reset mac password
  • Follow the instructions and complete the process.
  • You may also be prompted to connect to a Wifi. You can easily connect to your Wifi from the top right corner of the screen.
  • Complete all the steps and then click on Restart.
  • You can enter your new password at login and continue.
unlock disk mac

After you have successfully reset admin password on Mac with help of Reset Password Assistant make sure to “Create a new Keychain”.

Follow the steps from the last method below to update your password with keychain.

5. Reset Admin Password using Recovery Key

If your FileVault is turned ON and still you were not able to reset your password with the method mentioned above then we have another method which you can give it a try.

No single user will be having the same settings and have chosen the same options to log in, therefore we have listed this step to cover all the areas.

If your FileVault is Turned ON and you have a Recovery Key in case you forget your password, then this is the time to make use of it.

Follow the instructions below to easily reset your admin password.

Recovery key looks like this (see below screenshot)

recover key
  • Turn On your Mac and enter any password on the login window more than three times, till you see an instruction to reset your password using Recovery Key.
reset password using recovery key
  • Click on it and enter your Recovery Key. Always remember that your Recovery Key must be a combination of upper case and lower case letters so be careful while entering it.
enter recovery key
  • After that, you will be prompted to create a new password.
  • Follow the steps and type in your new password and other fields, and continue.
  • Click on Reset Password and you are done.
  • Restart your Mac and type in your new password. You will be able to successfully log in to your account now.

After resetting your password and getting a new password, create new keychain access to make sure all your accounts are in sync and you don’t encounter any trouble.

We have listed complete detail in the last method below to “Create a new Key Chain”.

6. Boot a Mac in Recovery Mode and Reset Admin Password

macOS Recovery is a built-in Recovery system for the Mac. It is often used to solve issues and system problems when Mac doesn’t work normally. This Recovery Mode also gives access to Terminal window other utilities.

So in this method, we will be making use of this macOS Recovery mode to reset the admin password.

Check out the steps below.

  • Press the Power Key on the Mac keyboard immediately followed by Command+R. Hold down the Command + R keys till you see a loading bar or apple logo on the screen.
  • Go to the Utilities menu and choose Terminal. A terminal window will pop up.
macos utilities
  • Type “resetpassword” altogether and all in lower case and press enter.
reset password macos
  • You will be prompted to choose your storage device. This will generally be your hard drive.
  • Click on it and continue.
  • Select your admin account and click on “Change Password”.
  • Type in the new password and re-type it to confirm and the password hint.
  • Save the changes.
  • Restart again and type in your new password and you will be successfully logged into your account.

We hope you have successfully reset your password till now.

Now follow the steps below to create a new login keychain to avoid any further mismatch of the accounts.

Note: Create a new login key chain after resetting your password.

So, by now we hope that you have reset your password with the help of any of the methods available above.

But is the process complete without a new login key chain?

The Keychain is Apple’s extremely important password management system. And it has the same password as your login password.

But when you reset your admin password, the keychain password does not always automatically update. It stays as the default password used before you reset your password.

This can be a huge problem with regular pop-up texts showing something is wrong. All the accounts which used to automatically login earlier in the background will now not open due to the changed password.

So to avoid this issue you should update your key chain password after you reset your admin password.

Follow the steps below to update your new password to Keychain.

  • Click on any of the pop-up windows prompting to “Create a New KeyChain”. This is an automatic process and you can follow the instructions along with it and create a new keychain easily with the new password. If you are not able to find this option by any chance then you can also create a new Keychain manually by deleting the older chain and updating password.

Follow the next step to manually delete the old Keychain and update the new password and create a new Keychain.

  • Click on Finders located on the bottom left corner of the desktop.
macos finders
  • Go to Applications and click on Utilities.
application utilities
  • Then click on “Keychain Access”
keychain access
  • Go to “KeyChain Access” located on the top left corner of the menu bar and click on it.
  • Select “Preferences” from Key Chain Access.
keychain preferences
  • A small window will appear. Tick the “Reset my default Keychain”.
reset default keychain
  • Now enter your new password and click OK to confirm.
  • Your Keychain password is deleted.
  • Restart your Mac and log in to your account with your new password.
  • The Keychain will automatically pick the new password and update it on its system and create a fresh start now.

This is a very crucial step and it is very important to follow after resetting your admin password.


We hope you found this article useful!

We have listed all the possible methods to reset your admin password in case you forget it and then update your Keychain.

Let us know in the comment section below if you tried out any of the above methods and how useful you found it.

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You can also check out our tutorial on “How to Delete Guest User on MacBook“. Because as admin of your Mac you have full control over who has access to your mac and who doesn’t.

Do you know which operating system is running on your Mac? If not, check out “What Operating System Do you Have on your Mac“. This will help you make an informed decision about the software you install on your Mac and their compatibility with your device.