How to change a forgotten password on a MAC

My memory isn’t as glorious as it once was, so this is more of a mental note for my future self. That is if I can remember that I wrote it here…

This will NOT tell you the current password or allow access to the keychain (without decryption). This creates a NEW password.

Let’s begin..

Power on the MAC and immediately press and hold both the CMD and the S Key. This will boot us into a terminal window.

Now type the following commands listed in BOLD:

mount -uw /

cd users


passwd accountname

Now type in your new password, and then again to confirm.


Now login to the account you changed the password for with the new password.
You’ll get a warning about the keychain, if you need to recover any data from the keychain you should ignore it and DO NOT create a new one. You can decrypt the keychain if needed using keychain dumper and view it using DB Browser for SQlite.

Done! – Easy huh?