Knowing how to access a Mac without passwords is highly useful if you have been locked out of an old admin account or if you have recently obtained a used Mac with other information left behind.
Without a password, change the administrator on a Mac.
A password is required to access an administrator account on a Mac. A new admin account with no password can be established and used instead of the existing admin account. The password may be reset, and certain data can be located on iCloud if the previous account needs to be accessed.
While you won’t be able to access the admin account without a password, you’ll still have a lot of choices for regaining access to your device.
Review the steps below to determine which choice is best for you.
How to Create a New Admin Account
To add a new administrator account, do the following:
- Restart your computer.
- While it’s starting up, hold down the “Command” and “S” keys.
- Type /bin/mount -UW / in the Terminal.
- Type rm var/db/.applesetupdone and press Enter.
- Type reboot into the search box and press Enter.
- To finish the start-up process, press Enter.
After you’ve done the above steps, you’ll be taken through a series of panels where you may customize your settings.
Fill in any relevant information as you progress through these windows. It will prompt you for your Apple ID.
You are not required to link your Apple ID to your new administrator account, but if you do, you will have easier access to your files because they will be preserved on iCloud.
Choose a password you’ll remember or write it down so you don’t forget it while creating your account.
You may make the new account the default account that appears when you turn on the computer after you’ve created it.
Then you may use this account instead of the old one without having to make any changes to the old one.
If the other account is no longer needed, you may remove it or manage it in System Preferences.
How to Uninstall an Administrator on a Mac
- Go to the Apple menu and choose it.
- Then choose “Users & Groups” from the “System Preferences” menu.
- Then click “unlock” after entering the administrator password for the account you’re signed into (the one you just established).
- Select the administrator user you want to remove, then press the “-” key.
- Click “Preserve the home folder as a disc image” to remove and save the user’s home folder, or “Delete the home folder” to delete the user altogether.
- Select “Delete User” from the drop-down menu.
- If you saved the deleted user, you can find it in the “users” folder in the Mac OS_ directory.
If you don’t want to lose the information on the old account, instead of deleting it, you can “save the home folder as a disc image.”
The account will be deleted, but the information recorded on it will be saved.
Click “Don’t alter the home folder” if you wish to temporarily hide the folder. All data and users associated with the admin account will be preserved and may be retrieved at any time.
Everything on the admin account will be gone if you delete it.
If the account was linked to an Apple ID and set up to store files on iCloud, you may be able to view the data from it using your Apple ID on another Apple device.
Step-by-step instructions may be seen in the video below.
How to Reset a Mac Password
If you’ve forgotten your password and need to get into your account, click here.
You can regain access to the admin account by recovering or resetting your password.
If you recall your Apple ID credentials, you may use them to reset your password.
- Make many attempts to remember your password.
- Select “reset password with Apple ID” from the drop-down box that displays.
- Use your Apple ID to log in.
- Set a new password
- “Restart” should be selected.
- Use your new credentials to log in.
You’ll need to reset your password on the recovery page if you didn’t set up your account with an Apple ID.
- Restart your computer.
- To enter recovery mode, press and hold “Command” and “R” at the same time.
- Select “Utilities” from the drop-down menu.
- In the drop-down box, select “Terminal.”
- Type reset password in the terminal.
- “Enter” should be pressed.
- Fill in the blanks with your new password and a clue.
Make a note of the new password and save it somewhere secure so you can remember it.
You can change the password for the previous account if you have a second admin account or if you recently established one in the steps above.
- Follow the steps above to log into the account you created.
- Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Select “Users & Groups” from the drop-down menu.
- On the lower left, click the lock symbol.
- Fill in the login details for the account you’re currently using.
- Choose the old administrator account.
- Select “Reset Password” from the drop-down menu.
- Make a password that is simple to remember.
After the password has been reset, you can log in to the old account using the new password. Contact Apple Support if you’re still having difficulties resetting a password.
How to Reset a Mac to Factory Settings
If you’ve recently gotten a Mac and wish to add an admin account while deleting the old account and its data, you may do it by doing a factory reset.
The simplest method is to create a new admin account.
Follow these steps after you’ve established and signed into your new admin account:
- In the upper right corner, click the Apple Icon.
- Select “Open System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
- Choose “Erase all contents and settings” from the drop-down menu.
- Enter the password for the account you’re currently using.
- “OK” should be selected.
- Select “Erase All Contents and Settings” from the drop-down menu.
It may take some time for your Mac to restart and reconfigure once you’ve selected to delete everything.
While your Mac is rebooting, be sure it is connected and unaffected.
You’ll be guided through the identical procedure of creating an admin account once it’s powered up.
If you’re experiencing difficulties with any of the procedures above, make sure you’ve followed them exactly.
Contact Apple Support if you’re still having problems.