Lost your administrator password? Working with a client who has lost their administrator password and need to install applications and updates? Here is a very simple workaround to resetting the password on any account in OS X.
So what do we do?
Basically start up your Mac in single user mode, deleting the local profile cache for the creation of a new user. Upon restart, you will be prompted to setup a new administrator account. This process of creating this account is the same as after a fresh install. Once you have logged in under the new account, open System Preferences>Accounts and change the password of your original account. No data is lost, and nothing is deleted. Logout/Login with your new password and then delete the temporary admin account.
Presto – Password recovered.
1. Reboot in Single User Mode – hold [cci]Apple Key(command)-S[/cci] after you hear the chime
2. Run the following:
mount -uw / rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone shutdown -h now
In terms of security, this is why restriction of physical access to a machine is critical. Passwords are not safe, and are not to be conceived as “safe”. Strong passwords are irrelevant if you do not limit physical access to machines. Play safe.