How can I reconfigure my MBP to require me to type username & password only once, going all the way from shut down to functional?

I think industry-standard naming is confusing in this area: the term "login" is ambiguous, sometimes meaning "the username," sometimes meaning "the username and password," and sometimes meaning "the act of entering username and password into the system." I will try to use these terms consistently:

  • username means the string which identifies the user
  • password means the string which proves the human at the keyboard is the claimed user
  • credentials means the pair of strings (username, password)
  • login means the act of entering credentials

I have seen various similar MBPs exhibit different behavior in this regard: some do it as desired (one login); some require two logins; some require three. I have learned, through search and experiment, that the "3" case can be improved to "2" by ensuring that the account password matches that of the keychain item which is (also) named "login." So far, so good.

I tried essentially the same trick to eliminate the second login: I made the FileVault 2 credentials match the account credentials. On one computer, this worked: I can now log in to this computer via a single typing of credentials. But on another computer, this did not work: all credentials are the same, yet it takes two logins to get in.

I believe OS X normally keeps all these credentials in sync, so the fact that they were out of sync to begin with may be significant. Unfortunately, in considering the computer that works as I want, it is impractical to recover the history of how it got there, due to limited expertise of the owner.

  • 1
    My recommendation would be to use a password manager like 1Password, DashLane, or LastPass (or just use the one built-in to your browser).
    – owlswipe
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 20:53
  • I am unclear here...what I understand is that you had to log in multiple times, but you are down to one login. Which is what you are going for. So... How can you get one what?
    – Allan
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 21:42
  • If there was only one user and it was set to log in automatically, then once you decrypt the drive it's boot and proceed to log you right in. (Obviously once you resolved the three different passwords issue). I strongly recommend setting FileVault and user passwords to be different and requiring both (which sounds like what you're doing now on your MacBook). The single-password MacBook you described has a single point of failure in security in that one password.
    – Vitalydotn
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 3:50
  • @Allan: two computers. One works as I'd like (type credentials only once), the other does not (type credentials twice).
    – jackr
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 4:09
  • @oa- Please stop making such trivial edits. They are totally unnecessary! Especially as old as most of the posts you're touching. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


This is pretty simple.

In System Preferences

  • go to the Users & Groups Preference Pane
  • click on Login Options
  • click to unlock (bottom left) if needed and authenticate
  • verify Automatic Log in is on the user you wish to use
  • go to the Security & Privacy preference Pane
  • enable your user for FileVault
  • reboot

You will select your user from the picker and then enter your password one time and then you should be logged in. If you have a bad user, you can add a new admin user, let it unlock FileVault - remove the problematic user but do not delete the home folder. Then rename the /Users/whatever (deleted) to be the short name you wish and re-create the user. Be sure the keychain is unlocked when that new user password is set up when you log in. Authenticate the new user to FileVault and remove the "new admin" user from above.

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