My Problem

I would like to be able to run sudo commands on MacOS Sierra 10.12 without having to type a password.

What have I tried

I've read the following:

And changed the relevant part of my /etc/sudoers file to:

root ALL=(ALL) ALL

My local user id (whoami) is adamatan.

I'm still being asked to type a password every few minutes when calling sudo. Any idea what's wrong?

  • 1
    I just recently upgraded to Sierra and ran into this. The default /etc/sudoers file has changed fairly radically from El Cap. There I just dropped a one line config file into the sudoers.d directory and it "just worked". Seems things have changed. I'll report back if I get anymore info. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 4:02
  • 1
    That defeats the whole point of sudo Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 3:05
  • 1
    I know this question is old but to anyone who is reading this: NEVER ENABLE sudo WITHOUT PASSWORD. This is probably the single most dangerous thing a person can ever do to their computer. Why is no one moderating here? IMHO this question and all answers below should include a short caveat saying something like "Do this at your own risk, this will make your computer extremely vulnerable to hacking and viruses."
    – ed9w2in6
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 14:56
  • 2
    @ed9w2in6 It's common to enable sudo access without a password for service accounts that is used to maintain a fleet of computers. For example, CI/CD systems may install dependencies on macOS build agents, and configuration management systems may run commands to "patch" the operating system.
    – bloudraak
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 18:23
  • 1
    @ed9w2in6 - it all depends on what that access can reach and what other layers of security are applied. There's always a why for everything. You still have to get into the other non-sudo user to get in anyway, and the machine may be on an internal network. Security is always a trade-off and a combination of things. It's just not true to make a blanket statement that you should never enable sudo without password. I do it routinely. Also, everyone should be using everything on stack exchange at their own risk. There's no guarantees for anything here.
    – NeilG
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 4:51

5 Answers 5


Open a terminal, run sudo visudo

Edit the line:

%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL

To say:


Now, you should now be able to run sudo without password.

  • 3
    reboot it not really needed Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 13:18
  • 3
    the key is to use sudo visudo instead of sudo vi /etc/sudoers -- especially now with the read-only root filesystem in MacOS 10.15.
    – Pierre D
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 2:26
  • I'm getting "visudo: /etc/sudoers: Operation not permitted" when running sudo visudo
    – omriman12
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 16:19
  • you probably need to open a new terminal after that Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 9:38
  • Works on my Mac Pro 2021. Monterey Ver 12.4
    – Hong
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 2:15

Better not to edit /etc/sudoers directly. Instead, the /etc/sudoers file does include a line:

## Read drop-in files from /private/etc/sudoers.d
## (the '#' here does not indicate a comment)
#includedir /private/etc/sudoers.d

So better simply add an empty file under /private/etc/sudoers.d/mysudo and use visudo to fill it with a content like:

mylogin            ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

Remember to always run sudo visudo after creating the empty file under /private/etc/sudoers.d/ so that visudo also checks for syntax on that file, or else you might end up with a broken sudo configuration and the inability to run visudo to fix it.

You have been warned

  • I was forced to do this on latest OS of mac, it wouldn't let me update sudoers file, kept saying invalid. Thanks!
    – cmac
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 22:14
root ALL=(ALL) ALL

stens ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL # my userid is stens

Execute the terminal whoami command to find your username (also known as ldapname).

> whoami

Chase that with executing the command below (be comfortable using VI/VIM before proceeding).

> sudo visudo -f /private/etc/sudoers.d/sudogo

NOTE1: The -f syntax will permit you to specify an alternate sudoers file location. With this option, visudo will edit (or check) the sudoers file of your choice, instead of the default, /etc/sudoers. The lock file used is the specified sudoers file with ".tmp" appended to it. In check-only mode only, the argument to -f may be -, indicating that sudoers will be read from the standard input.

NOTE2/WARNING: You could have created a file named "nopw" in place of sudogo. However, hackers are slick and will look for the letters "PW" (abbreviation for password). Feel free to change "sudogo" to something different, logical, and safe. Be aware that an extension was not added to the end of the file; It is not required.

An example is posted below. Activate insert mode with i, copy both lines posted below into the blank file. Substitute INSERT_USERNAME for ldapname. Hit escape, save and quit the file with :wq from command mode.

# user(s) below can can run any script on this machine

Execute sudo visudo (-f and path omitted) one final time. The command will open the sudoers file and check the changes. Proceed to type :q! to exit /etc/sudoers without saving changes.

> sudo visudo

Try setting NOPASSWD on the root user. In /etc/sudoers

root            ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

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