don't remember my MBA password, is there a foolproof way to find or reset it to something else?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Taisiya, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Taisiya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    #1
    I have a 2014 MBA with 128gb SSD and 11.6" screen.

    I was originally purchased from B&H Photo back in 2014. During the 2.5 years, I've only been asked the password once but I just skipped over it. The MBA has been used almost every single day because it's my main computer.

    However, I'd like to know if there's a 100% foolproof easy way for me to find the password... or reset it to something else.

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a

    ipsychedelic

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #2
    1. Reboot into recovery mode
    2. Use the terminal to bring back the setup assistant via:
    Code:
    rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    3. Reboot and create a new account (which will be admin by default)
    4. Reset your main account's password
    5. Make sure you don't have fast user switching or whatever that annoying feature is called so you can:
    6. Log into your regular account, and delete the account in (3)

    Sounds too easy to be true, but I had to do it a couple nights ago when I fresh installed Sierra onto a MBA and due to the keyboard layouts (US in software vs ES in hardware) I locked myself, since I had no idea what the real password was. So I did all of that before.

    Which seems strange, since now that I think about it, could be used against you by someone trying to log in, can be done in 3-5 minutes depending on how fast the machine boots.
     
  3. Taisiya thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    #3
    Thanks for your help!

    But I guess I should have made it clear that I'm a computer idiot...

    You lost me at (1) when you said recovery mode... :(

    I don't think I've even restarted my MBA in months..
     
  4. akadafni macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    #4
    >Power On Computer
    >At the Startup Sound a press and hold CMD R on the left side of keyboard
    >When you see apple logo release and wait for Recovery to load
    >Select your language and press continue
    you will be at the OS X Utilities menu
    >ON the menu bar at the top left click the following Utilities>Terminal>Type "resetpassword" and press return
    >Click Macintosh HD>then select your user account and change the password and select Save
    close all windows
    >When you're back at the OS X Utilities window select the Apple in the top left and click Restart
    >At the login screen try to sign in with new password
    >if you get a message that says something like "can ot unlock login keychain.....select Create New and you should be back in

    If you cant get it, then call AppleCare at 1800MYAPPLE
     
  5. Phil in ocala macrumors 6502a

    Phil in ocala

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    #5
    BTW...you can set up any mac without a password....I have not had a password on my mac for over ten years.
     
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #6
    Not any more... that changed from 10.11 upwards, maybe even from 10.10 or earlier. On first setup you now have to set a password or it won't let you proceed.

    Of course you can remove the password when in the OS. However having no password has some awkward disadvantages. Unlocking the padlock for things like System Preferences to grant app permissions (Accessibility, etc.) will immediately lock it again, so you have to set a password to unlock a few things. And of course sudo commands in Terminal won't work either.

    If you want no password to quickly authenticate installers, it's far easier just to set a simple password of 123 or something — that way it's as effortless as having no password when prompted for permissions, but without any of the problems stated above.
     
  7. McScooby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
  8. Phil in ocala macrumors 6502a

    Phil in ocala

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    #8
    ******************
    I am running 10.11.6 on my Mac Mini and there is no password and I will never update my OS.....its just fine...if its not broken, I will not fix it.
     
  9. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #9
    I did say first setup. That means a new computer or from a clean install. You have to set a password in order to proceed.
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #10
     
  11. Taisiya thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    #11

    I plan to give it a try this weekend. (after I've had plenty of sleep and coffee and a clear mind)

    If I encounter the message that makes me create a new log in keychain, will any of my current settings on the MBA be changed? (like on a Windows machine where a new user account is created and start fresh?)

    Thanks!
     
  12. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a

    ipsychedelic

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #12
    Nope, it's just a security measure kind of message, but your account will remain untouched sans the new password.
    And in any case as long as you have an admin account you can reset the password on settings to an old account, then log back in on it.
     
  13. Taisiya thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    #13
    How do I know if I have an admin account? I have always been the sole user of this MBA since day 1.

    Thanks! :)
     
  14. akadafni macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    #14
    if you've ever installed any software on the computer then the admin password is what allows the install. Hopefully your user account is an admin. Good luck!
     
  15. Taisiya thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    #15
    oh.. that's actually what got me starting this thread to begin with.

    I was about to install Microsoft Office for free(through my office) but my MBA wouldn't proceed until I entered the password. Was it asking me for the admin account password or just a simple user password? I have neither... :(
     
  16. akadafni macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    #16
    If you go to system preferences and then users and groups it should show the current user and whether it's an admin account. If it's not then I recommend calling applecare
     
  17. ipsychedelic macrumors 6502a

    ipsychedelic

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #17
    You were given options already to create an admin account via recovery mode or reset your password. Did you do that?
    Otherwise, try that first.
     

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