Change or reset a user account password on your Mac

Use these steps if you've lost or forgotten the password you use to log into your Mac, or if you know your password and want to change it.

A user account password is the password you use to log in to your Mac. You might also use this password when you install software, or change settings in System Preferences. You create this password when you set up your Mac, or when you add new user accounts in System Preferences. You can change or reset this password using one of these methods.

If you know your password and want to change it

If you know your current user account password, you can change it from the Users & Groups pane of System Preferences.

  1. Log in to an account on your Mac.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click the Users & Groups icon in the System Preferences window.
  4. Select your user name from the list of users.
  5. Click Change Password, then follow the onscreen prompts.

When you change your user account password, be sure to update the Hint field as well, so that the hint makes sense for your new password.

If you know your password, but it isn't working

If you're entering your password, but it's not working at the login screen, check to make sure the Caps Lock key is off. Passwords are case sensitive. If you see the Caps Lock indicator   in the password field but your password isn't all capital letters, press the Caps Lock key on your keyboard to turn this off.

If you don't know your password

If you don't remember your current user account password, try a blank password at the login window to see if it logs you in or gives you a hint. You can also use an administrator account you have a password for, or try the Password Recovery Assistant to change or reset a user account password.

Get a password hint

If you forgot your user account password, start up your Mac and try to log in. If you don't remember your password, leave the field blank and press Return. If your password is blank, this logs you in. If your password isn't blank and you previously set up a hint, the hint button (?) appears. Press the hint button in the password field to see your hint.

If you remember your password based on this hint, try to log in with it.

It's generally not a good idea to have a blank password. If you're able to log in when you leave the password field empty, use the steps at the beginning of this article to change your user account password to something that isn't blank. You can then set your Mac to log in automatically instead. 

Use an administrator account

If you've set up more than one user account on your Mac, you can log in as an administrator to change user account passwords for other users. 

  1. From the login window, log in using an administrator account that you know the password for.
  2. Open System Preferences and click the Users & Groups icon.
  3. Click the lock icon in the preferences window if it's locked. Then enter your administrator name and password at the prompt.
  4. Select the user name of the account you want to change from the list of users.
  5. Click the Reset Password button, then follow the onscreen prompts.

After you change a user's password as an administrator, the user also needs to update or reset the login password in the Keychain the next time the user logs in.

Try the Password Recovery Assistant

If your startup disk is encrypted with FileVault, you can enter your Recovery Key as your password or you can restart your Mac to use the Password Recovery Assistant. Use these steps to open the assistant:

  1. Wait a few moments at the login screen without typing your password. A prompt should appear telling you that you can turn your Mac off and back on again to recover your password.
  2. Press and hold the power button for three seconds to turn your Mac off.
  3. Press the power button normally to turn your Mac on. 

When the Reset Password window appears, follow the onscreen prompts to get help logging in.

Get more help

If you're not able to change or reset a user account password on your Mac, contact Apple Support for more help.

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