So when I get this new machine...there is already a user on it called "mac"...for my convenience they said. There is also another user already there named "admin"

well..i'm new to apple but when it's my pc, I am the admin. so i erased the "admin" they made (and for which they gave me no password for this account".

so i deleted it. now no one can log in, i can't use apple id, I've changed the passwords several time successfully only to attempt to make an edit or log in and get the message that an admin has to give his username and password....but i made myself the admin!!!!! why can't i log in with my username and the correct password i regenerated?

it's been hours of trying to make new admins, resetting passwords, everything... mount -uw, rv/ etc. it is totally messed up.

and this company did this account making for my benefit...? i can't get system assistant to do anything or even activate again. I've reinstalled OS 10.10...nothing. does anyone? know if i have to start at square one, reinstall yosemite or is there a way to fix this? much appreciated.

  • 6
    FYI your only a victim of yourself, not Apple. On any system (apple or not) you need admin privileges to grant admin privileges. You should always test the new account also without assuming it works. Once all of that is done, then you can delete the account you don't want.
    – Tyson
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 0:01
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    I've bought new macs and installed OS X many times, and I have never seen anything like what you describe. If when you first started it you did not get the setup assistant with the option to create your own user accounts, then you need to complain to the person who sold you the computer. This is NOT how new Mac installs work. I'd suspect this may be a used Mac
    – barbecue
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 2:32
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    Why would anyone create a new user on a Mac prior to selling it? First time you run Mac you get setup screen that does everything for you. There's no convienience in store doing that for you. My thoughts: 1. (more likely) that Mac has been returned by someone else and the shop didn't bother to do factory reset 2. (less likely) they created new account to load some malware/adware/whatever for your "convienience". Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 8:23
  • Tyson, of course I added myself as an admin first. It would be ridiculous not to. And I did test it. First by altering the other user present...and then the other admin, which I blame the people I got from (not necessarily apple) for. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 7:37
  • el.pescado however, was dead on correct. that is exactly what happened and the reason for the other admin. I just used that title to gather attention from the fan_____. and it worked. I'm not blaming apple at all. But you are exactly right...the seller did this intentionally. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 7:39

3 Answers 3


I would suggest you to reinstall OS X and doing it not on the top of the existing version. Start Mac in Recovery mode (hold Cmd-R keys pressed on boot). When in Recovery mode - select Disk Utility, format your disk, exit Disk Utility and select Install or reinstall OS X.

P.S. If you have your files stored in Mac - backup ones before formatting the disk.

  • thank you. this is a brand new mac to me..i will lose nothing of mine...bu if i format the disk...where will it install from? from the apple server? Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 23:00
  • You need to be connected to Internet. The OS X installation files are sent from the Apple servers via internet.
    – Munas
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 23:05
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    Apple instructions on reinstalling OS X Yosemite: support.apple.com/kb/PH18869
    – Munas
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 23:09
  • You said it's a brand new mac TO YOU, but is it a brand new mac from the factory?
    – barbecue
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 13:57
  • barbecue...that's what I meant, it's new to ME. I never said "brand new mac from the factory". Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 7:41

Two things:

  1. Depending on where you were sold the Mac - you may have a legitimate claim for money back or a total refund. Bad sellers are no help generally, but perhaps they aren't bad and you could ask them for help - if they are reputable, they may bend over backwards to make you happy.
  2. Apple supports their hardware no matter how you got it. I'd start with AppleCare and above all else - make a full back up of the Mac before you erase it.

You can use that backup to see what apps were bundled (like Pages/Numbers/Keynote) and also iPhoto/iMovie/GarageBand that you might have to pay for if you don't have backups of them.

I personally wouldn't trust an OS I didn't install, so long term, you will want to erase it and start with just the things you can trust from the backup.

To get immediate admin control of the Mac - write down all the folders in /Users and then power off the Mac. Hold command S and follow the article below up to the two commands: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT2600

fsck -fy /  
mount -uw /  

Then do these two commands:

rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

Power up your Mac and then make a new account with a name different than the ones you wrote down previously. This account can be used to reset the passwords of the "admin" account or delete it. Deleting all other accounts won't delete the apps - just the settings. You can then set up a new admin account if you want.

  • Gentlemen, this is like unto the procedure as it ought to be done. We can do better than reformat. I'm sure there is better yet but it gets non-obvious from here.
    – Joshua
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 20:50
  • 1
    Shouldn't there be a sync before halt?
    – Joshua
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 20:50
  • If you do it this way, you're not sure what else has been added or removed from the system. Reformatting is the safest way to ensure that you're running a good system. Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:12
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    @Joshua nope but if any dinosaurs feel better with sync; sync; sync it won't hurt. See the man page, on OS X halt flushes before sending SIGKILL
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:47
  • 1
    Sorry, got used to too many systems that don't do that [sync when running halt] from single user mode.
    – Joshua
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:50

To do it, first type +R at startup. Then move your mouse cursor to the top and look for Terminal. Open Terminal and type this: resetpassword
Then on the account you need, you can perform the function.

  • 2
    Please use complete sentences and correct punctuation.
    – fd0
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 12:18

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