I forgot my password to my Macbook Pro and I dont have the recovery key. I dont ever remember putting my computer on FileVault lock...to the point well forgot my password. I need help :'(

I have tried the new method I found with the corestorage list on terminal. But I always need to key in a passpharse. I receive " Error: -69749: Unable to unlock the Core Storage Voulume.

I really dont want to try to erase everything I have so many memories in there.

Please someone help! Apple Store was no help at all.

  • 1
    You state the Apple store we’re “no help”. Are you sure they didn’t explain they didn’t make a back door, didn’t make a backup of your data and your data is locked until you provide the key? There’s a difference between not accepting an explanation and “no help”
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 8:17
  • 1
    Also, you don’t have to erase the data, you can still make a backup copy ( or several copies) of the entire encrypted drive in case you ever remember the key or want to farm out cracking attempts or just buy yourself time to research if the encryption could be broken.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 8:20
  • Wait for quantum computers to come out, and then they will probably be able to decrypt it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 4:38

3 Answers 3


When you loose both, your passphrase and the recovery key, chances are very high that your data is lost completely as FileVault is a very secure way to protect your data. This is Apple's support document describing possible steps in such a situation.

However, there are a few things you could try:

  1. In case you have multiple users set up, try their passwords, as they may be enabled to decrypt the volume as well.

  2. In case you have backups, they are not encrypted by default. You could recover your data from there.

  3. Also, you could recover the Recovery Key from the FileVaultMaster.keychain file from such a backup (see method 3).

  4. By default the iCloud recovery option is selected. In case you didn't change that during setup, you can use Apple's Reset Password assistant to get your recovery key from the iCloud.

Good luck!

  • If when I try #4 and click "I forgot my password" and the only option it gives me is to type in my recovery key, does that mean I can't get it from iCloud? Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 4:41
  • @KevinWheeler I‘d assume so. Feel free asking a new question on AskDifferent.
    – n1000
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 5:45

The purpose of a password and encryption is to prevent people without the password from decrypting the content.

Your question is basically "how do I bypass the password and encryption on my computer?" It wouldn't be very good protection if that was easy.

Your options are:

  1. Use the password
  2. Use the recovery key the computer supplied
  3. Recover from the unencrypted backup you have at home
  4. Pay someone to try to crack the password. If you chose a "bad" password, like "Kathy" they just might succeed.

You don’t have #1/#2 and you didn’t mention #3, so you will need a lot of luck with #4 - but chances are pretty good those memories are encrypted forever.


If you're completely locked out of your mac and are staring at the gray screen with the padlock. And, you forgot your file vault recovery key, there is a simple solution (as what happened to me), at the bar under the padlock, enter your full Apple ID then hit enter. The bar will go blank again, enter your Apple password, hit enter and...voila, you're in!

I suffered for over 2 weeks trying to read everything on the internet, and unless you're already in your mac, getting to Terminal is impossible.

You must expect that all your data is lost if you're staring at the padlock screen. You'll need to erase the ssd hdd and reinstall your OSX.

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