How to Use Another Account to Reset Your Mac Password

If you lose the password for an account on your Mac you'll be just fine as you can reset an account's password from your Mac's admin account. If you have two admin accounts and you lose the password for one of them that can be restored too, assuming you can enter the other admin account.

An Admin account has much more access privileges and control over the computer than normal accounts do. You can do basically anything from your admin account like install or remove programs from the Mac, as well as other system-wide changes. It also means you can reset any account's password from the admin account.

If you're not logged into your admin account just log out and log back into your Admin account.

How to reset another account password as an Admin?

  1. Once you're logged as an admin and you want to reset a password you must first go to "System Preferences" and select "Users & Groups".
  2. From there press the lock icon in the lower-left corner to unlock the panel.
  3. Type in the password for the admin account you're currently using when prompted.
  4. Afterward, select the name of the account with the lost password from the sidebar and hit "Reset Password".
  5. And finally, enter the new password for the account and confirm it, then enter a hint for it if you wish to.
  6. Select "Change Password."

The password has been reset, but there's a bit of a catch. What, you may ask? Well, the password for the account's login keychain will not be changed.

For security reasons, resetting the account password the way I showed you in the above steps doesn't affect the password stored in the Keychain app, which means that login will remain locked if you don't remember the password. This isn't the worst thing ever but it will have a minor impact on you. Well, for one, you may have to go in and manually re-enter most of the passwords for that Mac account, like your iCloud password for example, or your Mail and Safari passwords. You'll have to deal with popups telling you certain apps cannot connect too. I know it sounds really annoying but it's not such a big deal when you consider the big picture.

These minor issues can be fixed relatively quickly. For example, to fix the issues with your iCloud account just select "iCloud Preferences" to get in there and enter the password. That will restore the missing info and fix the issue. You'll have to do this for all of the apps that are affected, which is frustrating but think of the alternatives.

Would you prefer you lose your account forever because you have no way to reset your passwords? I didn't think so. And would it be any better if an admin account on the Mac computer you use would be able to reset your account password and the gain access to every password you'd ever saved? No, that would be terrible for your security and private data. The way Apple did it isn't perfect but it beats the alternatives.

Anyway, I hope this guide was helpful. If you have any questions please post them in the comments.

March 8, 2019

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