How to make sure no passwords/accounts on used Mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shintsu, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. Shintsu macrumors member

    Shintsu

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    #1
    I am going to be looking at used MacBook Pro, but I want to make sure it doesn't have any passwords or accounts on it that would leave me hosed without the original owner. What all do I need to check to ensure I am fully the owner on it and the previous owner doesn't have any passwords locking something out that I won't be able to bypass? There's one that's particularly ominous IIRC that's a firmware password or something? Also, do MacBooks have the ability to be in iCloud where they can be locked out like an iOS device can?
     
  2. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #2
    This Apple support article holds some answers for you: https://support.apple.com/HT204455

    First thing to do is turn the Mac on.

    If the previous owner did an erase/reinstall as Apple recommends, the Mac will startup in setup mode, as if it was a new Mac. That would be an excellent sign that there are no other User accounts. (If the previous owner did not do this, you should do an erase/reinstall per this article https://support.apple.com/HT204904 to be sure the Mac is clean.)

    Firmware password can be tested for by trying to boot the Mac to Recovery - (Command + R at startup - https://support.apple.com/HT201314).

    Yes, MacOS has Find My Mac, which is very similar to Find My iPhone. If you put the Mac in Lost Mode, it adds a firmware passcode to the Mac (that article on firmware passcodes includes info on this).
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Yes, there is an iCloud feature called Find my Mac that can remotely lock a Mac. First thing you do when you take possession is reset the NVRAM to clear that out so the old owner cannot remotely lock it.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063
     

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