How to Bypass MacBook Passwords

By Christopher Capelle

A MacBook is a laptop computer manufactured by Apple Inc. and has proven to be one of its all-time popular products. It is its "bargained-priced" laptop, although it is generally priced higher than comparably equipped Windows laptops. A MacBooks runs on the same operating system software (OS X) as Apples desktop computers. MacBooks (and other models of computers) can have several passwords, namely an administrator password, which is required to install or update software, and a password for every additional user account.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac OS X installation media

Step 1

Determine how many administrator and user accounts are on the MacBook. If the computer is booted up, select "System Preferences" from under the apple in the upper left corner of the screen and click on "Accounts." Note that you really only need to bypass the administrator password, as standard user accounts are all controlled by the administrator. If you are unable to boot the computer due to a password, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2

Insert a Mac OS X installation disc into your MacBook's drive. Select "Restart" from under the apple in the upper left corner of the screen. When the computer begins the boot process (as soon as the screen becomes active), hold down the "C" key until you see the spinning wheel on the screen.

Step 3

Click on the arrow in the lower right corner of the window to proceed. (Note that the startup process takes longer when you're booting off an installation disc.) When the menus appear at the top of the screen, select "Reset Password" from under the "Utilities" menu.

Step 4

Select the account whose passwords you want to bypass. If there are multiple user accounts, you will have to change them one by one and repeat the process for each account. Write down the passwords and remember that they're case sensitive, so check your Caps Lock key. You can also opt to leave the password field blank, meaning you don't enter anything in the field when it appears.

Step 5

Quit the Password Utility and then quit the installer. You will be prompted to make one of three choices here, so select "Restart" at this point. As soon as the MacBook reboots, hold down the track-pad button (or mouse button) to force the computer to eject the disc upon startup.

Step 6

Open the Keychain utility (found in Applications>Utilities) to determine if there are any other passwords that you need to know and/or change. By knowing the administrator password, you can access every password stored in the Keychain. To learn the passwords of these items, simply click on the item in the list of the Keychain. You will be prompted to enter the administrator password (as created in Step 4) and clicking on "Allow."

Tips & Warnings

  • Note that MacBooks can support multiple administrator accounts.
  • Once you know the administrator password, you can change it in "Accounts" in System Preferences.
  • Don't make your password an obvious one.