If you've forgotten the password and are locked out of your Mac, you can fix it yourself by trying these solutions from our in-house tech wizards.
Reset your password
If you don’t remember your account password or if the password isn’t approved, you can always select the reset option on the login screen.
Check that you’re in the right place
The login window only appears when you turn on, restart, or log out of your Mac.
- If you see the "Shut Down", "Restart", and "Sleep" options you’re in the right place.
- If prompted with a "Switch User" option, select it to get to the login window.
- If you find none of the above, the best thing to do is restart your device by pressing the "Power" button for around 10 seconds — when it restarts you'll be in the right place.
- Remember: all Macs have this button, even if you have TouchID — you can also use it to restart your computer.
Choose a password-reset option
After determining that you’re in the right place, enter any password three times until one of the following password reset options comes up:
Step 1. Restart and Show Password option
- If you see the "Restart" and "Show Password" option, select it to restart your Mac then follow one of these instructions:
- Sign in with your Apple ID — you’ll receive a verification code to one of your other Apple devices that you can use to reset your password.
- If you enabled FileVault, enter your recovery key (a long string of characters including letters and numbers) so that you can unlock your disk without having to use your iCloud account (your Apple ID).
- Choose the user you want to reset the password for then select “Next”.
- Enter your new password then click “Next”.
- Once the reset is done select “Restart”.
Step 2. Reset with your Apple ID
- If you see the option to use your Apple ID, select it.
- If your computer restarts, follow the steps for option 1 above.
- If it instantly asks for an Apple ID, fill it in and then select the "Reset Password" option.
- If it asks you to create a new keychain to save all your passwords, select “OK” and your Mac will restart.
- If it asks you to choose an admin user, click “Forgot all passwords?” even if you know the password.
- When the Reset Password window appears, click “Deactivate Mac”, then select “Deactivate” to approve — don't worry, it’s only temporary.
- Enter your new password, then click “Next”.
- If you see different user accounts, select “Set Password” next to each account name to enter a new password for each account.
- Once you’ve finished resetting the password(s) click “Restart”.
Step 3. Reset with your recovery key
- Select the “Reset Using Your Recovery Key” option.
- Enter your recovery key for FileVault (a long string of characters including letters and numbers) so that you can unlock your disk without having to use your iCloud account (your Apple ID).
- Fill in your new password, then select “Reset Password” and you’re done!
Try using the Reset Password assistant
If none of the steps above help, refer to the instructions below.
Start up from macOS Recovery
First, determine whether your Mac has Apple silicon or an Intel processor, and then follow the instructions below.
- Apple silicon: Turn on your Mac and continue to press and hold the power button until the startup options screen pops up. Go to Options, then click “Continue”.
- Intel processor: Turn on your Mac and press Command (⌘)-R. Continue to hold the keys until the Apple logo or another screen appears.
Use the Reset Password assistant
Once the Utilities folder appears, you should see options like "Restore with Time Machine", "Reinstall macOS", and "Disk Utility".
- Select Terminal from the menu bar.
- In the Terminal window, type "reset password” then click “Return” to open the assistant.
- The assistant may ask you to choose an admin user that you remember the password for — here, select “Forgot all passwords?”
- Once you are in the Reset Password window, select “Deactivate Mac” then click to approve.
- In the Activation Lock window, enter your Apple ID (the email and your password), then select “Next”.
- In the Reset Password window, enter your new password, then click “Next”.
- If you see multiple user accounts, click "Set Password" next to each to enter a new password for each user.
- Once you’ve finished, click “Exit”.
- Select the Apple menu > "Restart", and all that's left to do is to log in with your brand new password.
If you still are unable to reset it, then erase your Mac
You can also reset your password if you erase your Mac:
- Shut down your computer, then start up from macOS Recovery.
- Select “Erase Mac” from the Recovery Assistant menu when it asks you to choose an admin user you know the password for.
- In the Erase Mac window, select “Erase Mac” then click to approve.
- If your computer restarts but a black screen with a question mark comes up, press the power button until it turns off.
- Start from macOS Recovery one more time, then reinstall macOS.
If you are unable to reinstall macOS because it doesn't recognize the hard disk, you may have to change the disk's format:
- Press and hold Command (⌘)-Q to quit.
- When the Utilities window pops up click "Disk Utility" > "Continue".
- Choose the first item in the Disk Utility window sidebar to see your Mac's built-in hard disk.
- Click “Erase” on the right side of the window then enter the following:
- Name: Macintosh HD
- Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
- Scheme: GUID Partition Map (Only when shown)
- Click “Erase” then click to approve.
- Once it's done, click Command (⌘)-Q to quit this screen and come back to the Utilities window — you should be able to complete the macOS reinstallation.
If you've already opened a service request with us and your device needs to be returned for a repair, replacement, or refund, follow these return instructions, using the return label you were provided with.