How to Reset a Master Password on My MacBook

Use a combination of alphanumeric characters so others won't be able to easily guess the password.
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Setting a master password on your MacBook prevents others from logging in to your computer and protects your personal data from prying eyes. This extra layer of protection is especially useful if you plan to bring your laptop to class or work as it protects your system against unauthorized access by other wireless uses. Enabling, setting and changing the administrator password can be done using the "Users & Groups" pane of the System Preferences menu.

1 Reset a Master Password from System Preferences

2 Launch System Preferences

Launch "System Preferences" from the Apple menu and select "Users & Groups."

3 Click the padlock icon

Click the padlock icon if it appears locked and enter the current master password.

4 Select the name

Select the name of the user whose password you wish to change and then click "Reset Password" or "Change Password."

5 Create a new password

Create a new password and enter it in both the "New Password" and "Verify" fields. Add an optional "Password Hint."

6 Click Reset Password

Click "Reset Password" or "Change Password" to save.

7 Reset a Master Password Using Your Apple ID

8 Enter the administrator password

Enter the administrator password incorrectly three times from the login screen and then click the icon that looks like an arrow within a circle when you are presented with a message inviting you to reset it with your Apple ID.

9 Enter your Apple ID

Enter your Apple ID and password and then click "Reset Password."

10 Enter a new password

Enter a new password and then enter it again in the "Verify" field. Create an optional password hint.

11 Click Reset Password-2

Click "Reset Password" and then click "Continue Log In" to log in using your new password.

  • Information in this article applies to Mac systems running OS X v10.8. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
  • Be sure to select a new password that has a varied combination of alphanumeric characters so it is more difficult for others to guess.

Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.