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How to change your macOS login password



Have you ever forgotten your Mac login password? You can reset it if you do not remember it or change it for security reasons.

The password for your macOS user account is known as your login password. This is the password you use to log on to your Mac and make certain changes, such as installing software.

Once you know your password

If you know your password and can use it to log in to your account, you can change your password under Users and Groups settings:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then click Users and Groups.
  2. Select your username from the list of users.
  3. Click the Change Password button, and then follow the onscreen instructions. If you are using a password hint, be sure to update the hint for your new password.
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  • Select your username from the list of users.
  • Click the Reset Password button, and then follow the onscreen instructions to create a new password:
    • Choose Sign Out from the Apple menu.
    • Log in to your account using your new password.
    • Create a new login keychain.

Reset your password using Password Assistant

If FileVault is turned on (you can find it in System Preferences> Security & Privacy), you may be able to reset your password using Reset password assistant. FileVault secures the date on your Mac drive by automatically encrypting the contents. Your login password is required to decrypt your data.

Your iCloud account can be used to unlock the disk and reset your login password if you forget it.

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Reset the password screen in macOS
You can use FileVault to reset your password
  • If you need to connect to Wi-Fi, move the pointer to the top of the screen and use the Wi-Fi menu to connect. To quit without resetting your password, choose Apple menu> Restart.
  • When done, click Restart.

If you were able to reset your password using the Reset Password Assistant, log in to your account using the new password.

Note: Be sure to create a new login keychain.

Reset your password using a FileVault recovery key

If FileVault is turned on and you have one FileVault recovery key, you can use that key to reset your password. Your login password is required to decrypt your data. Your iCloud account data can be used to unlock the disk and reset your login password if you forget it.

  • Continue entering a password on the login screen until you see a message stating that you can reset your password using the recovery key. If you do not see the message after three attempts, FileVault is not on.
  • Click the arrow next to the message. The password field changes to a recovery key field.
  • Enter your recovery key, and then follow the on-screen instructions to create a new password. Click Reset Password when done.
  • Create a new login keychain.

After resetting your password and logging back in to your account, you may be notified that the system was unable to unlock your login keychain. This is expected because the passwords of your user account and login keychain no longer match. Just click Make a new keychain button.

If you did not see a notification about your login keychain, or if you see other messages asking for your old password, reset the keychain manually:

  • Open Access to keychain, which is in the Tools folder in the Applications folder.
  • Select Settings from the Keychain Access menu, then click the Reset Default Keychain button in the settings window. Once you have entered your new password, keychain access creates an empty login keyring without a password.
  • Click OK to confirm.

If you do not see a Reset My Default keychain button, close the settings window and select “login” keychain from the left side of the keychain access window. Press the Delete key, and then click Delete References.

  • Choose Sign Out from the Apple menu to return to the sign-in screen.
  • Log in to your account using your new password. The account password and the login keychain password now match again.

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