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 current 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.

If you don't know your current password

If you forgot your user account password, start up your Mac and try to log in. If you previously set up a hint when you created your user account, your hint appears when you don't enter the right password. If you remember your password based on this hint, try to log in with it.

If your startup disk is encrypted with FileVault, you can also enter your Recovery Key as your password, or you can restart your Mac to use the Password Recovery Assistant.

If you don't see a hint, or you're not using FileVault, you can reset or change a user account password by logging in as an administrator.

Use an administrator account to change a user account password

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 related keychain password the next time the user logs in.

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