what to do if I have no idea what the password is?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SarahKirschbaum, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. SarahKirschbaum macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    #1
    I've been using my 2014 Macbook Air for a couple of years. It was purchased new from the local Best Buy store. (still have original receipt)

    I don't remember if I created a password for the MBA when I unboxed it. At that time, I had just switched from Windows to Mac OS and it was my very first Mac.

    Last week, I bought a new printer and downloaded the printer software from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, the MBA would not allow it to be installed because it's not from an approved list or manufacturers or something. It said I had to change my security setting for it to be installed.

    The problem is that it's asking me for my MBA's password. I tried my Apple ID password and every password that I have ever used in the last several years(as well as variations of them). I am the only person using this MBA and I have never lent it to anybody.

    I tried reading about this password issue online but can't figure out which one will actually help me figure out what the password is.(or to reset or create a new one from scratch)

    Can anyone help me with this?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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  3. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #3
    You've been using your MBA for a couple of years and have never had to enter your Admin password before?
     
  4. SarahKirschbaum, Aug 14, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016

    SarahKirschbaum thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 5, 2016
    #4
    I think it might have asked me a couple of times when I was connecting to a network or something... but those were things that I never really needed, so I just ignore it.

    but, yes, I've been using the MBA without having to enter any passwords during all this time.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 14, 2016 ---
    I saw that as well.... but that seems kind of scary to me.
    If resetting the password was so easy, why does Apple
    even bother with passwords in the first place? It seem like
    anybody can just reset my password if they have access to
    my MBA?

    wait... is the firmware password different from the administrator
    password that my MBA asked me the other day? it asked me
    the "Administrator" password when I wanted to change the
    security setting to install the printer software.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #5
    no you're not resetting the firmware password, just the admin:
    http://www.cnet.com/how-to/reset-bypass-password-mac-macbook/
    this has been possible for years (decades?) and basically requires physical access, which if someone has, you're basically pooched anyway!

    FYI as a security measure, this will delete all other previously saved passwords
     
  6. SarahKirschbaum thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 5, 2016
    #6

    ok, thanks! so it will let me change the admin password. I'll be sure to write it down somewhere safe.

    why you said "this will delete all other previously saved passwords"..... what do you mean? what kind of passwords are physically save on my MBA's memory? the only one I can think of is the wifi password?

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #7
    Yes, all wifi passwords, any passwords saved online (banking, social media, etc) and that sort of thing.
     
  8. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #8
    That is incorrect. The "resetpassword" process in the recovery system terminal replaces ONLY your login password for your account. The reset does NOT affect any other passwords or other settings.

    Something to keep in mind is that resetting the password, then restarting, will take you to a login screen, even if you normally don't see a login screen at boot. Entering your new password will log you in, and thereafter you will again boot without seeing a login window (if that is your normal setting)
     
  9. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #9
    Then why do I get a 'create a new keychain' warning when I do it?
     
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #10
    It will require keychain access to be reset but if you have iCloud setup correctly then it's a case of signing out before you change the password the. Signing back in after.

    Once you have reset the password then you should really set a firmware password as it'll stop people being able to do what your about to do should the steal your laptop.
     
  11. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #11
    ah, that should be correct (I don't presently use iCloud for much, and it's not fully set up. My choice :D )

    My own opinion about firmware password:
    If you do set that firmware password, use a password different from anything else that you use.
    Don't forget your firmware password.
    The reset of that is not something that you can do at home, and I am serious about that.
     
  12. SarahKirschbaum thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 5, 2016
    #12

    now I'm back to my original confused status. :)

    I have been using my MBA since new for over 2 years without knowing what these are: keychain, iCloud, admin password(or any other password)

    When I do the reset and get a new admin password, what other dangers will I face? :(

    At this point, my understanding is that I can use recovery to reset/create new admin password. Write down the new password somewhere safe. After restart, I'll enter the newly-created password. Is there anything else going to happen after that? Do I run the risk of erasing any data on my MBA?(which is backed up weekly using Time Machine and a 1gb WD portable USB drive)

    As for other passwords being erased... I only use Chrome browser and I clear the entire cache frequently. My wifi password is updated every few weeks, so it's written on the bottom of my router. The only other passwords that I can think of are Apple ID acct and iTunes....

    Thanks!
     
  13. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #13
    Nope. the reset password process just resets your account password.
    The only new change that might affect you, is that now you will be able to install other apps, and you will be successful if you are asked to enter your admin password for some other purpose (such as unlocking certain system settings)
    this won't affect your AppleID account in any way, and also iTunes won't be affected.
    It's just a reset of your login/admin password. Good stuff™ !
    Not sure if I could call that a danger - unless "danger" is when you are happier with your MBAir. Then, yes, that would be dangerous :D
    Otherwise, not so much... Change your password, go forward, be happy.
     
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #14
    Wrong. If keychain is enabled there will be a prompt saying it's been disabled!
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #15
    hmm...
    I have done a password reset a couple of times within the last couple of months, and never saw any prompt about keychain.
    So, that would only appear as a result of iCloud (which I usually don't use for much)?

    When would you see that prompt? At restart, at the login window, or when?
    Certainly not at the time of password reset, while booted to the recovery system?
     
  16. SarahKirschbaum thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 5, 2016
    #16
    I have never used iClound. I have no idea what "keychain" is and have never seen it... Could you tell me how those two may relate to me resetting the admin password using recovery?
     
  17. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #17
    Keychain holds all your passwords for automatic login for websites etc. When you reset the admin password the encrypted data can't be accessed.

    If you do not use it then you won't have an issue.
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #18
    Hit command-space to bring up Spotlight then start typing K E Y... and you will see the Keychain application. Hit return to launch the app. In the apps main screen you will see a list of all sites/apps the Keychain has saved passwords for.

    By default, the Keychain is unlocked by the login password as you login to the system. If you reset the login password, then that new password will no longer be able to unlock the existing Keychain. Since you don't have the old password, you will effectively be locked out of the old Keychain. So after resetting the login password, you will need to reset Keychain following the instructions at this link.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202860#keychain
     

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