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My sister bought a used MacBook about 6 months ago and she has lost her password.

Here is the procedure I tried to use to reset the password:

  1. Boot into single user mode (press Command-S at power on)
  2. Type fsck -fy
  3. Type mount -uw /
  4. Type launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
  5. Type dscl . -passwd /Users/username password, replacing username with the targeted user and password with the desired password.
  6. Reboot

But when I try the step 4, it says launch_msg(): Socket is not connected.

I would like to know what command to enter in the single user mode to know what version the Macbook is running and the right command to reset the password. Thank you.

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In your forth step "dscl . passwd /Users/username" is the "passed" the new password? And is the "username" the username found in command "ls /User"? –  user53018 Jul 10 '13 at 17:11

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Once you mount the file system, you should be able to use passwd username and then put in the password twice.

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You recommand those steps : 1. Type fsck -fy 2. Type mount -uw / 3. Type passwd username Is there a way to know the user name ? I'm not sure if I should enter the space from the main screen name... –  Alexandre Aug 24 '12 at 17:06
If I remember right I tried that also yesterday and the system was asking me to enter launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ first :( –  Alexandre Aug 24 '12 at 17:08
You can do an ls /Users/ and view the users list there. –  hiiambo Aug 24 '12 at 17:14
Thanks a lot ! I was typing Is* instead of ls. (*Capital i) –  Alexandre Aug 24 '12 at 17:29
It's an l so it'd be LS if in all caps –  hiiambo Aug 24 '12 at 18:11

Try loading instead.

  1. Hold command-S on startup.
  2. Run mount -uw /. (fsck -fy is not necessary.)
  3. Run launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ in 10.7 and later, or launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ in 10.6 and earlier.
  4. Run passwd username and reset the password.
  5. Run reboot.

A second way to reset the login password of an account is to use Reset from the recovery partition:

  1. Hold command-R on startup.
  2. Open Terminal from the Utilities menu.
  3. Run resetpassword, which opens the Reset Password application.
  4. Select the volume and account and reset the password.

A third way is to create a new admin account:

  1. Hold command-S on startup.
  2. Run mount -uw /.
  3. Run rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone.
  4. Run reboot.
  5. Go through the steps of creating a new account.
  6. Reset the password of the old account from the Users & Groups preference pane.

None of these options resets the password of the login keychain.

If FileVault 2 is enabled, you have to enter a password to start up in single user mode, and you can't use Reset to reset the password of an account.

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Thanks, it worked on Mountain Lion! :D –  Nimbuz Dec 3 '12 at 18:15
Alas none of this worked in my situation. I just keep getting 'launch_msg(): Socket is not connected'. –  Dave Sag Aug 21 '13 at 1:06
Any reason that would not exist? –  Jake Wilson Oct 1 '13 at 21:55
Command-R method FTW -- thank you! –  Alan Donnelly Sep 5 at 10:03

I kept getting the launch_msg(): Socket is not connected message, so I used cd to get to the LaunchDaemons directory and typed in

launchctl load 
passwd username

This worked. Not sure why it didn't like the directory path as it had no errors.

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The answer was not given because everybody was trying to type in launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ This did not work as I had to go to the LaunchDaemons directory. –  Kelli Mar 2 '14 at 15:49

Hold ⌘-S on startup, then type

/sbin/fsck -y
/sbin/mount -uw /
sh /etc/rc

passwd [username of account you want to change here]

It should ask you to enter the new password twice.

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