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This relates to a 2011 Macbook Pro running El Capitan.

I'm set up as the admin and my child has a standard account with parental controls enabled. My child forgot their password and I'm trying to reset it in System Preferences. I unlock the padlock with the admin password, but my child's account is still grayed out and I can't select it to reset the password.

This also happened about a month ago but one day suddenly I could select their user account and I successfully reset the password. I don't know why I suddenly could select it, and I don't know why I now suddenly can't select it. I tried locking and unlocking the padlock but it doesn't make a difference.

I know how else I can reset the password, but what I'm asking here is:

What circumstances could explain why I can't select the user account after unlocking the padlock with my admin password?

  • Firstly, welcome to Ask Different! :) I hope you come to find this site has a lot to offer! In case you haven't already, it's worth taking the time to read the tour. All the best with your question. – Monomeeth May 21 at 3:36
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    Do you have fast user switching turned on? If so, your child's account might be logged in (check by pulling down the fast switch menu, and look for a check mark next to it). macOS won't let you make changes to a user account while someone's logged into it, so that would explain the problem. – Gordon Davisson May 21 at 4:20
  • @GordonDavisson Yes I do. This was exactly the problem. I was able to reset the password now. Thank you! – Ryan Clevenger May 21 at 15:44

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