How to Recover an Administrator Password for a Mac

By Bennett Gavrish

When you first set up a new Apple laptop or desktop computer, you are prompted to choose a username and password. These credentials are used to create an administrator account, which is required for installing new software and updating applications. If you have forgotten the administrator password on your Mac, use the Mac OS X installation DVD to recover and reset it.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac running OS X 10.5 or later
  • Mac OS X installation DVD

Step 1

Insert the Mac OS X installation DVD into your desktop or laptop.

Step 2

Restart your Mac computer and hold down the "C" key on the keyboard when the gray startup screen appears. This instructs the computer to boot to the DVD.

Step 3

Choose which language you want to use and click on the arrow button to continue.

Step 4

Open the Utilities menu at the top of the screen and choose "Password Reset" or "Reset Password" from the list of options.

Step 5

Highlight the icon of your primary hard drive in the pop-up window that appears.

Step 6

Open the drop-down menu and choose the username for the administrator account for which you have forgotten the password.

Step 7

Pick a new password for the account and enter it twice in the appropriate fields. You can also provide a password hint to help prevent you from forgetting the new password in the future.

Step 8

Press the "Save" button and then restart your computer. The system now recovers the old administrator password and resets it to the new one you just chose.