This is a MacBook Pro M1 with Monterey. The issue is: I cannot even power it down properly.

  1. Can I still retry log in (typing in the password)
  2. Or, somehow shut it down gracefully

It doesn't show any log in input fields any more, and there is no Shut Down icon. Only a Cancel button which will cause the computer to nap right away.

The details are:

This happens ONLY when I left the MacBook Pro there, and it ran out of power and therefore hibernated, and then I charge it up to 100% and try to log in. In such case it seems it cannot recognize my password. See the P.S. below about other people having similar issues.

I might have missed one character or two (capitial letter, symbol, etc) and after a perhaps 8 or 10 times, it now says, "Your Account is locked" on the log in screen.

There is only a "Cancel" button to put the computer to nap right away.

So I cannot log in, try again, or gracefully shut down the computer.

I do not want to press the power button for 10 seconds or press the Shift-Ctrl-Opt-CMD Power button to force it to power down, as that would hurt the OS and the hard drive. Imagine the OS writing something to the hard drive and you force it down.


  1. moving the mouse to the top screen edge doesn't bring out the macOS task bar.
  2. right click on the desktop background does not do anything

How can I proceed? I do have another MacBook Air M1 and iPad and iPhone if they can help. I also can use my iTunes / iCloud password to somehow reset my MacBook... I think Apple goofed at the UI design because they is no graceful way out when a user happens to forget the password.

P.S. It looks like other people are having the same issue. The second post is even about the "cache" being wrong, what a mess: Big Sur - Logging in after sleep sometimes doesn't work and Macbook Pro stuck after I enter my password

  • Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and force power off. I've done it many times, on many machines, and the only problems I've encountered have been on machines with underlying problems to begin with. YMMV.
    – IconDaemon
    Aug 13, 2022 at 0:06

2 Answers 2


Do not try to brute force a password on Apple Silicon Macs. You get ten failed attempts total with long delays to ensure you don’t do this unintentionally.

You will not harm the system holding the power off button if it was off and then you started it up as the OS isn’t running. Even if the OS is running, the chance of damage is very small when the screen is locked, so power down the Mac. Find another computer to read the process, make a beverage and snack and be careful if you’re already at 7 failed attempts (15 minute delay territory).

After 3 to 5 failed attempts I recommend people stop and use another unlock method. Apple has a very clear process for you (and others who will surely get locked out at some point) in this next link on how to reset the password.

If the 10 attempts are exhausted, 10 more attempts are available after booting into recoveryOS. And if those are also exhausted, then 10 additional attempts are available for each FileVault recovery mechanism (iCloud recovery, FileVault recovery key, and institutional key), for a maximum of 30 additional attempts. After those additional attempts are exhausted, the Secure Enclave no longer processes any requests to decrypt the volume or verify the password, and the data on the drive becomes unrecoverable.

If you have a backup, erase the Mac and restore from backup if you can’t get it unlocked with help from us or Apple support or the first link above.

  • "You will not harm the system holding the power off button if it was off and then you started it up as the OS isn’t running. Even if the OS is running, the chance of damage is very small when the screen is locked, so power down the Mac" it is like saying dropping the MacBook one foot away from concrete floor, the damage is very small, so don't worry, do it a few times Sep 5, 2022 at 17:11
  • 2
    it turned out I found the Apple website that talks about how to "go into recovery mode", and for M1, it is not to press CMD-r but to press and hold the power button, which is a duplicate method to force down a Mac, (nice design, Apple), and I accidentally force the Mac down as well. Anyway, the better way is to Shut down, power up and hold the power button, and then use Terminal and type in resetpassword and I was able to reset the password using my iCloud account Sep 5, 2022 at 17:13
  • Wonderful! +1 for your answer and you are correct that holding the power for 10 seconds isn’t natural and many people prefer the hold on start up option.
    – bmike
    Sep 5, 2022 at 17:28
  • 2
    @StefanieGauss M1-based Macs use SSDs only, so the potential damage of a forced shutdown is significantly smaller than on a HDD-based system. And if the Mac idled for a few minutes changes are high that any buffers have been flushed to the SSD anyway.
    – nohillside
    Sep 5, 2022 at 17:48
  • I just tried resetpassword on a 12.x M1 MBA and the command does not exist. Maybe it was added in 13.x? Anyway, I was able to do a local-account password reset by logging in as another (admin) user, and opening the Users and Groups page in settings, which has a Reset Password button
    – James B
    Jan 29, 2023 at 15:18

It turned out that it may be better to use my iCloud account to reset my password.

By the way, I am not sure if there was any loophole on the Mac with Monterey and some hacker changed my password, because I was quite sure about the possible password combinations and I tried them all, and it still could not log me in. That actually happened to both my MacBook Pro 16 M1 and my MacBook Pro 14 M1.

So follow this link: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212190

and it will guide you to reset your Mac password using your iCloud password.

(Basically, if it is Intel Mac, restart the Mac, and press and hold CMD-r to go into recovery mode, or if M1 Mac, then start up the Mac, and press and hold the power button. Once you are in Recovery mode, open Terminal and run resetpassword.)

  • If it happened on both Macs (and they had the same password), IMHO it is most likely that you actually mistyped.
    – nohillside
    Sep 5, 2022 at 17:44
  • @nohillside you can save your opinion. If my password is abc123mb with the mb for "macbook", how is it possible that I mistyped for 10 times? I checked the caps lock button too Sep 5, 2022 at 22:32
  • Point taken. My key suspect would actually be a switched keyboard layout, and a password containing characters like %, / or *. But if this doesn't apply to your case, I won't guess further.
    – nohillside
    Sep 6, 2022 at 5:08
  • guess what, it looks like whole bunch of people are having the same problem: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/406900/… and apple.stackexchange.com/questions/305097/… Sep 16, 2022 at 11:34
  • A system freeze is very different than the password failing. You can tell the difference in console app or looking at the logs since a failed password should get logged. A freeze, not so much directly.
    – bmike
    Feb 23 at 17:30

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