Nov 26 2011
Forgot your OS X Lion password? Need help? Here’s how you can make use of your Apple ID to reset your password, other than resetting it with the passwordreset command line tool or by creating a new user account.
Resetting a Lost OS X Lion Password Using an Apple ID
Before you begin with this method it’s crucial to note that, this method only works if you set an Apple ID to tie with the OS X user account, and this option will not be suitable for users with FileVault 2 protection enabled. Also note that this leads to the creation of a new keychain, but the old keychain will remain intact.
- After incorrectly entering a user password three times at the Mac login screen, a message appears saying “If you forgot your password, you can reset it using your Apple ID”, click the arrow button to bring up a “Reset Password” dialog
- Enter the Apple ID login information that is tied to the OS X Lion user account and click “Reset Password”
- Click “OK” to confirm the new keychain creation
- Enter and verify a new password, fill out the password hint field, and again click on “Reset Password”
- Click “Continue Log In” to login as the user account with the reset password.
If there is no Apple ID attached to the user account, then you can follow the next method.
Resetting a Lost OS X Lion Password Using Install Disc
Follow these steps to reset a password when there is only one administrator account on the computer, or if the original administrator account needs a password reset. “Original” administrator account refers to the one that was created immediately after installing Mac OS X. If the original administrator password is known, that administrator account may be used to reset the passwords of other administrator accounts using the steps described above. These steps require an optical drive; if your Mac does not have an optical drive and you have a Mac OS X v10.6 Install disc, see below.
- Start up from a Mac OS X Install disc (for Lion follow this guide to create yourself a bootable Lion USB Disk or DVD). Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc’s main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C). Or, you can use Startup Manager or the Startup Disk preference pane to select the Install disc.
- Choose a language, click the arrow button to continue,
- Mac OS X v10.6 or later: Choose Password Reset from the Utilities menu.
Mac OS X v10.5 or v10.4: Choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu.
Mac OS X v10.3: Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu.Tip: If you don’t see this menu or menu choice, you’re probably not started from the disc yet.
Note: The default keyboard layout is U.S. English while started from the installation disc. If you use a keyboard layout other than U.S English, use the Input menu (the flag icon on the right side of the menu bar) to select the desired layout before typing a new password.
- Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
- Select the user name of your original administrator account.Important: Do not select “System Administrator (root)”. This is actually the root user. You should not confuse it with a normal administrator account.
- Enter a new password.
- Click Save.
- Click the red button in the upper left corner to quit the application.
- Choose Quit Mac OS X Installer… from the Mac OS X Installer menu.
- Click Restart.