Reset the Admin Password in OS X

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This tutorial will teach you how to reset your admin password in Mac OS X 10.6 without the installation discs. This method will be done through a system reboot in Single User Mode.

Reset Admin Password on Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6

The below instructions also applies to Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).


Boot your Mac while holding the Command + S keys down to access the Single User Mode. Then run the following commands:


Type mount -uw / and press Enter.
Type launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.DirectoryServices.plist and press Enter.
Type ls /Users and press Enter (this command list the all users accounts registered on the computer).
Type dscl . -passwd /Users/username password and press Enter. Replace username by the name of the desired user account. Replace password with your new password.
Type reboot and press Enter.

Reset Admin Password on Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

The procedure is slightly different for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). Restart the Mac in Single User Mode and run the following commands:

Type sh /etc/rc / and press Enter.
Type passwd username and press Enter. Replace username by the name of the desired user account.
Enter the new password (it does not appear on screen).
Type reboot and press Enter.
Jean-François Pillou

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