Issue - father in-law has alzheimers (early but impacting) Wants files from Apple laptop and can't remember password(s) Shop who set it up for him wants $$$s to unlock and reset and I said what a lot of BS, but they didn't supply an OS disk with the machine so can I (or he if there is something he can do) get an OS disk to reset the admin password? PS. This is a first time foray for me into the world of Apples - he wants the "family tree" files..... Any ideas - inbetween times we are scouring bits of paper with notes and old passwords etc..... D.
Although the bmike's answer will probably work, I suggest to try something more leightweight first. This article describes the procedure:
- Boot your Mac's Recovery Partition by pressing cmd+r at startup
- Go to
- In the GUI select the disk and user and enter a new password.
Save. (Reset of home directory should not be necessary)
You do not need a cd or dvd. That shop could have done you a solid and shown you single user mode.
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 exactly as written - spaces and punctuation count:
rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone halt
Power up your Mac and then make a new account with a name like "rescue admin". This account can be used to reset the passwords of any other accounts.