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OS X Mountain Lion: Reset a login password

Reset a login password

Sometimes a user’s login password needs to be reset—for example, when the user has forgotten his or her login password and can’t use a password hint to remember it.

When a user’s login password is reset, a new default keychain is created to store the user’s passwords. For more information about keychain passwords, see this help topic:

About your keychain password

Reset your login password using your Apple ID

Before you can use your Apple ID to reset your login password, make sure that FileVault isn’t enabled on your computer.

Also make sure that an Apple ID is associated with your user account, and that an administrator has given you permission to reset your own password using an Apple ID. For more information, see this help topic:

Associate Apple IDs with your user account

  1. Make sure your computer is connected to the Internet.
  2. In the login window, click the question mark in the password field, and then click the arrow in the dialog that appears.
  3. Enter an Apple ID and password, and then click Reset Password.

Reset your login password when FileVault is enabled

If FileVault is enabled on your computer, and if you’re authorized to do so, you can use the FileVault recovery key to reset your login password.

For more information, see this help topic:

If you forget your login password and FileVault is on

Reset the password of specific users

An administrator can reset the passwords of other users by using one of these techniques.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Users & Groups, click the lock to unlock it and provide an administrator name and password, select a user, and then click Reset Password.
  • If your Mac is a server, use the Server app to reset server users’ passwords.

    For instructions, see Server Help.

Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
  • Article: PH11390
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