Set a firmware password on your Mac

When you set a firmware password, users who don't have the password will only be able start up from the designated startup disk, and no other disk.

This feature requires a Mac with an Intel processor. For the equivalent level of security on a Mac with Apple Silicon, simply turn on FileVault.

How to turn on a firmware password

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery.
  2. When the utilities window appears, click Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility.
  3. Click Turn On Firmware Password.
  4. Enter a firmware password in the fields provided, then click Set Password. Remember this password.
  5. Quit the utility, then choose Apple menu  > Restart.

Your Mac will only ask for the firmware password when it's attempting to start up from a storage device other than the one that has been selected in Startup Disk preferences, or when starting up from macOS Recovery. Enter the firmware password when you see the lock and password field:

Startup screen showing lock icon and password field

How to turn off a firmware password

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery. During the startup process, you'll be prompted to enter the firmware password.
  2. When the utilities window appears, click Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility.
  3. Click Turn Off Firmware Password.
  4. Enter the firmware password again when prompted.
  5. Quit the utility, then choose Apple menu  > Restart.

If you've forgotten your firmware password

If you can't remember your firmware password, schedule an in-person service appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorised Service Provider. Bring your Mac to the appointment, as well as your original receipt or invoice as proof of purchase.

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