I have a mac with single user on it (who is Admin). I see tutorials which ask for the root password, is this the same as my user password or something else?


The root user password has to be set by you and they could be the same if you choose so, but it is not advisable to do that.

  1. From the Apple menu choose System Preferences.
  2. From the View menu choose Users & Groups.
  3. Click the lock and authenticate as an administrator account.
  4. Click Login Options.
  5. Click the "Edit" or "Join" button at the bottom right.
  6. Click the "Open Directory Utility" button.
  7. Click the lock in the Directory Utility window.
  8. Enter an administrator account name and password, then click OK.
  9. Choose Enable Root User from the Edit menu.
  10. Enter the root password you wish to use in both the Password and Verify fields, then click OK.
  • I know this is now the case, because I had to do it when I recently set up my new Mac mini. But I swear this has not always been the case - my Mac Pro which has been upgraded continually from 10.6, which it shipped with, has always allowed me root access and I have no memory of going through those steps on this machine. It's possible, I suppose.
    – tubedogg
    Jun 21 '15 at 8:05
  • @tubedogg it’s certainly been similar to this since 10.4. I remember having to enable root access when I wanted to use it.
    – forquare
    Jun 21 '15 at 8:39
  • Thanks for the help. If I change my root password, does it also change my default user (admin) password?
    – Louis W
    Jun 21 '15 at 13:00
  • @Louis W, No, the root password and the Admin password can be two different passwords. If you change one it doesn't change the other. Jun 21 '15 at 20:42

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