I Forgot My Admin Password – How Do I Reset It.

This morning I got and e-mail from the site.  Doug has forgotten his Admin password for his make ( or it was changed by mistake) and he needed help figuring out how to reset it. Bellow are the instructions for Snow Leopard. If you need the instructions for a different version then scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to the apple support articles on this subject.

This is a 2 step process because your user password and your keychain password will both have to be reset. The first step is to reset the user password from your OS boot disk.

  1. Start up from a Mac OS X Install disc (one whose version is closest to the version of Mac OS X installed).  Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc’s main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C). Or, you can use Startup Manager or the Startup Disk preference pane to select the Install disc.
  2. Choose a language, click the arrow button to continue,
  3. Mac OS X v10.6 or later: Choose Password Reset from the Utilities menu.
    Mac OS X v10.5 or v10.4: Choose Reset Password from the Utilities menu.
    Mac OS X v10.3: Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu.

    Tip: If you don’t see this menu or menu choice, you’re probably not started from the disc yet.

    Note
    : The default keyboard layout is U.S. English while started from the installation disc. If you use a keyboard layout other than U.S English, use the Input menu (the flag icon on the right side of the menu bar) to select the desired layout before typing a new password.

  4. Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
  5. Select the user name of your original administrator account.Important: Do not select “System Administrator (root)”. This is actually the root user. You should not confuse it with a normal administrator account.Reset password preference pane
  6. Enter a new password.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Click the red button in the upper left corner to quit the application.
  9. Choose Quit Mac OS X Installer… from the Mac OS X Installer menu.
  10. Click Restart.

Now the second part is to reset your keychain Password. Now this is where it gets tricky because if you don’t remember the old password the only option for you is to delete the keychain and start from scratch with a new one. the following will help you try to figure out your old password and then help you to delete it.

If you want your default keychain to be unlocked automatically when you log in, synchronize your Keychain Access and account login passwords by doing this:

  1. Open Keychain Access (you can get to it by choosing Utilities from the Go menu in the Finder).
  2. From the Edit menu, choose Change Password for Keychain “login.”
  3. Type the former password of the account that you are currently logged in to, then click OK.
  4. If you entered the correct password, a new window appears; enter the original password again in the Current Password field.
  5. In the New Password field, type the password that matches your current account password.
  6. Re-enter the newer password in the Verify field, then click OK.

I don’t remember my original (former) account password

If this is the case, you’ll have to delete the keychain.

  1. In Keychain Access, choose Keychain List from the Edit menu.
  2. Delete the “login” keychain.

The next time you log in to the account, you can save your current password in a keychain.

To read the original apple support documents on this use the following 2 links
Mac OS X: Changing or resetting an account password
Mac OS X: Keychain Access asks for keychain “login” after changing login password
Deleting a keychain

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