Three Ways to Reset a Lost Admin Password in High Sierra

(Josh Centers) #1

Originally published at:

Have you forgotten your Mac’s admin password, or need to help a friend or client who has lost it? Here’s how to reset it, but beware that doing so prevents access to the account keychain’s collection of login credentials.

(B. Jefferson Le Blanc) #2

The Terminal version appears to be different—and more secure—than with previous versions of macOS. Heretofore the password assistant merely required you to select an account and you could create a new password. As well, when you logged in the the new password you could convert the old keychain if you remembered the old password. Of course, if you don’t remember the old password, as is usually the case if you are creating a new one, then you have to create a new keychain. Which might not be a bad idea if you want to delete accumulated chuff: Old passwords you don’t use any more. Then you’ll have to return to your current secure accounts and create new keychain entries for them, when prompted. High Sierra seems a bit harder to get in to.

(John) #3

Thanks for the article. Is there a way to reset the keychain password without losing all the stored info? I know admin user account and keychain passwords, but they are no the same (I changed admin account password several OS versions ago but that change never happened to keychain password). Is the keychain password machine specific? Asynchrony may be an artifact of the fact that I share keychain in iCloud settings, and I don’t want to mess that up.

(Curtis Wilcox) #4

Yes, you can use Keychain to change a keychain’s password if you know the current password; select the keychain, go to the Edit menu. You should have multiple keychains listed, ‘login’ is probably the one you want to change but there are probably others.

The keychain’s password is within the keychain file, it’s not machine specific.