Resetting the original administrator account password
Follow these steps to reset a password when there is only one administrator account on the computer, or if the original administrator account (of several) needs a password reset. "Original" administrator account refers to the one that was created immediately after installing Mac OS X. If the original administrator password is known, the original administrator user may reset the passwords of other administrator accounts using the steps described above.
- Start up from a Mac OS X Install CD (one whose version is closest the the version of Mac OS X installed). You should first disable Open Firmware password protection, if it is enabled. Hold the C key as the computer starts.
- Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu (or Utilities menu in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger). Tip: If you don't see this menu or menu choice, you're probably not started from the CD yet.
- Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
Set the user name of your original administrator account
Do not select "System Administrator (root)". This is actually a reference to the root user. Do not confuse it with a normal administrator account.
Enter a new password.
If you want your default keychain to be unlocked automatically when you log in, synchronize your Keychain Access and account login passwords by doing this:
- Open Keychain Access (you can get to it by choosing Utilities from the Go menu in the Finder).
- From the Edit menu, choose Change Password for Keychain "login."
- Type the former password of the account that you are currently logged in to, then click OK.
- If you entered the correct password, a new window appears; enter the original password again in the Current Password field.
- In the New Password field, type the password that matches your current account password.
- Re-enter the newer password in the Verify field, then click OK.
In Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, if you change your account's password using your Mac OS X Tiger Install disc (or if your network-based account password is changed due to a network admin forcing a password change), your default keychain password (which uses the same initial password as your user account) does not change. Because of this, you will be prompted to enter a keychain password each time an application requires authentication that your keychain would normally provide.
I don't remember my original (former) account password
If this is the case, you'll have to delete the keychain.
- In Keychain Access, choose Keychain List from the Edit menu.
- Delete the "login" keychain.
The next time you log in to the account, you can save your current password in a keychain.
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