My friend has a mac which has some malware on it, we want to wipe the whole disk and create a fresh install. However the firmware password is set and she has no idea what it is. The apple store refused to reset it since she didn't have a receipt or other proof of purchase (it was purchased in 2013).

So there is 1 option left here to clean up the mac which I want to try, but I'm not sure if it is a good idea. Her icloud account is logged in, so with the find my mac site I can do a "remote wipe" of the machine. My question is: After a remote wipe, what exactly will happen when we boot the machine? Will we be prompted to go to recovery mode (which will fail since the firmware password is unknown), or will we be able to just log in with her icloud password and have a clean install of OS X?

My main concern is not bricking her computer, and no sites I've checked so far make clear what happens when a remote wipe is done on a computer with an unknown firmware password.


After further searches I found this message "If you erase then find your Mac, you can restore the information on the Mac using a Time Machine backup, if you have one. For more information, see the Apple Support article How to use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac. If you set an EFI firmware password on your Mac before it was lost, then erase it and later find it, you may need to take your Mac to an authorized repair center to unlock it before you can use it again."

Which indicates that no, this would brick my mac and we still need the firmware password.

  • that is correct, you can not just delete the Firmware password. What would be the purpose if it if anyone could just delete it. – Ruskes Nov 26 '18 at 0:45
  • Apple could implement it by wiping everything except the list of logged in icloud users after a remote wipe, which would mean that any thief with the computer would still be unable to use it. Inaccessible before the wipe, still inaccessible afterwards. They obviously don't do this though so it's a moot point. – klfwip Nov 27 '18 at 5:57
  • actually I do know how to reset the Firmware password, so it is possible. – Ruskes Nov 27 '18 at 6:23
  • Is the method you are talking about possible without help from apple or hardware modifications? – klfwip Mar 19 at 17:02

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