I made the mistake of making two accounts- admin account and standard account after upgrading to Yosemite beta 10.10.1. (The reason? I read that it would be "preferable" to set this up because of the security flaw which still has not been addressed, but that's another issue).

When I login, I first have to login with my admin account & password. Then another screen comes up with both the admin account and the standard account and a black rectangular shape at the left-hand side of the bottom the page which tells me to login. A white rectangle outline is on both the standard account image and the password section. I then enter my apple ID password into that white outlined rectangle. This is how I get into my computer. (I had many many other problems from Yosemite which I have remedied slowly)

BUT the problem is:
I have locked myself out of the admin account somehow. The admin password I login with, does not work anywhere else. For instance it does not unlock anything that requires to unlock the padlock - such as System Preferences.

  • I cannot access Disk Utility, cannot unlock or put in my admin password.
  • I cannot turn FileVault off or the Firewall
  • I cannot upgrade software that requires admin password.

What can I do to regain admin access? (I cannot do this in System Preferences because I am locked out). Do I have to reset my default keychain? What do I need to do?

2 Answers 2


First, setting up separate admin and standard accounts was NOT a mistake. It is, in fact, a Good Idea™.

When you need to authenticate (for example, to unlock a padlock), you need to enter both your admin name and your admin password. If you're in your admin account, the name will be filled in for you. If you're in your standard account, both the name and password fields will be blank, and you need to enter them both. Be sure to enter the admin's name and the admin's password.


You can reset the admin (or any) password by using the Recovery HD partition (assuming you're on a newer Mac).

Restart your computer and hold down "R" key or "option-r" (if standard "r" doesn't work). This will start up the computer to the Recovery HD/Internet Recovery.

Once it is booted to the Recovery HD, select Terminal from the Utilities menu.

Once in Terminal, enter "resetpassword" and follow the prompts.

  • The OP knows the admin password; he's using it to unlock the disk, which is protected by FileVault. And he'd need it anyway to unlock the FileVault so he can reset the password.
    – ganbustein
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 2:55
  • My apologies - didn't catch that. If he had enabled both accounts for FileVault, he would still be able to unlock though. So there is that ;) Makes me wonder if the OP is confused about which account is admin. Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 3:52

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