Forgot Your Mac Password? Learn How to Reset It Quickly and Easily

Cybersecurity Content Writer

Have you ever forgotten your Mac password? It can be a frustrating experience, much like losing the keys to your car or getting locked out of your own home. Just think of all the stuff on your MacBook.

But fear not, we are here to help. There are several ways to regain access to your Mac and keep it secure from unauthorized users. In this post, you’ll find out what to do if you forgot your MacBook password as we'll walk you through various steps to reset or change it. Also we’ll offer a few tips to help you remember your passwords easier.

How to reset Mac password with Apple ID

One of the easiest methods to reset your MacBook password is through your Apple ID. Think of your Apple ID as your personal identification card, a kind of personal gateway to everything Apple. Essentially, having an Apple ID is like having a spare key in case you lose the original. Here’s a quick walkthrough of how you can reset your Mac password with Apple ID:

  1. Start your MacBook and wait for the login screen to load.

  2. Select the question mark icon next to the password field.

  3. Now click the arrow icon next to “Reset it using your Apple ID.”

  4. Enter your Apple ID and password.

  5. Click “Next.”

  6. Now follow the instructions to reset your Mac password.

How to reset a Mac password with a FileVault recovery key

The FileVault recovery key is generated when you enable FileVault on your Mac. By using your FileVault recovery key you can reset your password and regain access to your device in no time at all. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Start your MacBook and wait for the login screen to load.

  2. Select the question mark icon next to the password field.

  3. Now select the option to “Reset it using your recovery key.”

  4. Enter your FileVault recovery key.

  5. Now create a new password for your Mac.

  6. Click “Reset password” for the changes to take place.

Reset Mac password in Recovery Mode

When all else fails, there's always recovery mode. Recovery mode is like the emergency exit in a building, your last resort when everything else fails. By accessing recovery mode, you can reset your Mac password and restore your device to its original settings. Keep in mind that access Recovery Mode differs for the new and old generation Macs.

Here’s how you can access Recovery Mode on an Intel-based Mac:

  1. Turn off your computer.

  2. Hold the power button, Command and R keys simultaneously.

  3. Wait for the loading bar to appear on the screen while your Mac boots to Recovery Mode.

Here’s how you can access Recovery Mode on an M1 Mac:

  1. Turn off your computer.

  2. Press and hold the power button

  3. Click “Options” and select “Continue.”

Here’s how you can reset Mac password in Recovery Mode:

  1. Go to “Utilities” in the Apple menu.

  2. Select “Terminal.”

  3. Type “resetpassword” (a single word), and click “Return.”

  4. Navigate to the main hard drive and select your user account.

  5. Reset your password and click “Save.”

Reset a Mac password with another admin account

If you have another admin account on your Mac, consider it a backup plan. It’s like a trusted friend who can help you out in case of an emergency.

Here’s how you can reset a Mac password with another admin account:

  1. Log in to your alternative user account.

  2. From the Apple menu bar go to “System Preferences.”

  3. Select “Users & Groups.”

  4. Now click the “Lock” icon.

  5. Use the password for the account to unlock it.

  6. Now select the account for which you have forgotten your password and click “Reset password.”

  7. Enter your new password and tap “Enter.”

  8. Log out of the current user account and restart your Mac for changes to take place.

Changing your password on your MacBook

You might want to change your Mac password for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to have a better one from now on, or maybe the previous password appeared in a data leak. Whatever the reason may be, changing your password is quick and easy. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. From the Apple menu go to “System Preferences.”

  2. Select “Users & Groups.”

  3. Click the “Info” button next to your username.

  4. Click “Change password.”

  5. Enter your current password in the “Old Password” field.

  6. Enter your new password in the “New Password” field, then enter it once again in the “Verify” field.

  7. Click “Change password” to confirm the change.

Extra tips to keep your Mac secure

To keep your Mac extra safe at all times, here are a few additional tips and tricks.

Turn on FileVault. FileVault is a built-in macOS feature that encrypts the data on your Mac's hard drive and as we already know provides a handy way to reset your password in case of emergency. By enabling FileVault, you add an additional layer of security to your computer, making it harder for unauthorized users to gain access.

Create and use password hints. A password hint is — just as it sounds — a sort of reminder that helps the user remember their password. A hint could be anything from a single word that reminds you of your password to a full-fledged sentence, a string of characters, or anything else that helps you jump-start your associative memory. The one thing that should not be in your password hint is your actual password, obviously.

Use strong, unique, and complex passwords, but don’t reuse them. Only a strong and unique password can adequately protect your Mac from unauthorized access. The standard requirements for a strong password are as follows: it should contain at least 12 characters, a mix of upper- and lower-case letters as well as special symbols and numbers. If you find password creation somewhat difficult and dull, you can simply use the Password Generator — a tool designed to come up with strong and unique passwords on the go. Follow these guidelines and bring yourself some peace of mind.

Never forget your passwords with NordPass

If you're someone who frequently forgets passwords, using a password manager like NordPass can be a lifesaver. NordPass provides a single secure place for your passwords as well as other sensitive data such as credit card details, personal information, and secure notes. One of the best things about NordPass is that with it, you will never have to type out your login credentials – the autofill feature will do it for you whenever you access a familiar website or app.

On top of that, NordPass comes equipped with advanced security tools that can further improve your overall online security. The built-in Data Breach Scanner can detect whether any of your sensitive data, such as emails or passwords, have been compromised in a data breach. The Password Health tool can aid you in identifying any weak, old, or reused passwords while the Password Generator can generate amazingly strong passwords in the blink of an eye.

Try NordPass Premium for free and start a life where passwords are no longer a burden.

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