adminacc

How To Create A New Administrator Account

This method tricks the computer into thinking the computer it’s brand new and leads you through the setup again to create a new administrator account.

This guide should take only about five or ten minutes to complete, but as there is some music and you have to boot into single-user mode, you may want to bring headphones if you’re in a public place.

If you want to recover the password of any current user on the target computer in cleartext (that means actually viewing the user’s password instead of just resetting it), check out our easy guide on cracking Mac OS X passwords.

You might want to have your wireless network password on hand, which isn’t required, but certainly helpful if you want to have access to the internet on a secured network right away.

We do not recommend this procedure on machines running 10.4.x due to crash reports.

Procedure

1. Boot into Single-User Mode

Turn on the computer. Upon hearing the startup chime, hold the key combination CMD+S. This boots the computer into single-user mode, which in turn gives you access via the root user. It is important to note, however, that this can be blocked by a firmware password. If that’s the case, head on over to one of our other guides on getting into single-user mode while locked.

2. Mount the Hard Drive

Once single-user mode boots (it should look like a black screen with white text), we need to mount the hard drive. At the prompt type in:
/sbin/mount -uw /

3. Remove the “Setup Has Been Completed” File

Now that the drive is mounted, we can edit the file system. We’re going to delete a file that tells your computer that you have completed the initial setup. Type in:
rm /var/db/.applesetupdone
This command deletes the file “.applesetupdone” in the /var/db/ directory, which the computer checks for on startup to ensure that the computer has already been set up.

4. Reboot

Pretty self explanatory. We need the system to reboot so it can check for the file and then notice it’s missing. Type in:
reboot

5. Watch the Video

Your computer will shut down and reboot. A setup window should pop up asking what language you want your computer to be in, just as if you turned on your computer for the first time after purchase. After you select a language, a welcome video will play. If you brought headphones along, feel free to plug them in during the “Select A Language” screen. Otherwise, enjoy a little music.

6. Continue Setup

Go through the rest of the setup process.

Be sure to select “DO NOT TRANSFER MY DATA”.

Don’t worry, all of your old files will still be on the computer.

At one point during setup you will have to configure your internet connection, this is when you need your wireless password. It’s fine if you don’t have the password, you can enter it later if you need to.

7. Set up the Administrator Account

Near the end of the setup you will be asked to create an administrator account for your computer.

Be sure to make the name of the admin account different from the existing one.

You can name the account anything that you want, except for the name of the old administrator account. If the new account is given the same name as the old one it will overwrite the old account, causing all the old account’s files to be deleted.

8. Finish Setup and Log In

Wrap up the setup and the computer should automatically log you into your new administrator account.

Some important notes:
    • This administrator account is exactly like any other account.
    • It is not hidden in any way, and it does not have any special privileges.
    • With this account you will be able to change the password on the old administrator account, and access the files of any account stored locally on the computer (unless the old user has enabled FileVault on their account.

Again, if you’d prefer to recover the password of any current user on the computer, follow our other guide on cracking Mac passwords.

The contents of this guide are for educational use only. For more information, see our Disclaimer.

310 Comments

  1. Myrna Duran

    12.23.2010

    Reply

    eto..this doesn’t work…… /sbin/mount -uw/ rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone it tells me there’s no such thing as rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone i tried it without the rm and then it jus said permission denied….so just curious…..does this work on all macs cause i’m using a mac os x but it’s like a really old one cause it hasn’t been updated since 2004…so it’s only updated to 10.3.8? is there anything else i can do cause i’ve tried many things and stuff and nothing works cause it all usually ends up telling me file does not exist or permission denied…

    • Colin

      02.17.2011

      I had the same problem at first, when u put in rm /var/db/.applesetupdone their is no space between the / after db and the .applesetupdone that got me at first.. also try no caps in applesetupdone? it worked perfectly for me

    • God

      07.30.2011

      Dude, you have to make sure you put a space between “-uw” and the “/”

      So it looks like this:

      mount -uw /
      rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
      reboot

      Alternately you could reset an admins password by doing this:

      login to single/root user mode via command s A.K.A apple S and type this:

      mount -uw /
      ls /Users
      (at this point find an admin and remember his exact name)

      type: passwd (admin account name)
      type password (it won’t show up on screen) and retype
      reboot and login to the account.

    • Bob

      09.04.2011

      What you have to do is!!!

      Follow exactly.

      mount -uw /
      Press enter and then.
      rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
      Press enter again then type
      shutdown -h now

      Follow those steps exactly and then it will work.

    • Stewy

      03.07.2012

      i cant even initiate this pricess. It is almost as if the “command + s” function, is not registering. Any advice.

    • jang

      03.16.2012

      i made 2 acounts but when i tried to make a new one it did not work

  2. Bruce

    01.10.2011

    Reply

    Just followed these directions and they worked perfectly! Thank you!!!

    I had 3 accounts setup on my iMac. Mine as the admin, and one for each of my daughters that were parental controls. Mine and one of my daughters disappeared. I could not do anything, not even get to system prefs. I followed these directions and I am back up and running.

    Thanks!

  3. fes

    01.14.2011

    Reply

    how do i get my old files? I clicked the “dont transfer data”.. So how do i get them on the new account?

    • Jeff Browning

      01.29.2011

      Don’t worry, they’ll still be there as long as you created the new account with a different name than the old account.

      When you’ve created the new account and have selected “Don’t transfer data”, you can then log into the new account, then you can either change the password to your old account so you can log back in (It’s in System Preferences, under the Accounts preference pane), or, you can just open up the “Users” folder in Finder and open up your Desktop, Documents, or any folders with files in them from your old account and use them from there or transfer them over to the new account.

      Let me know if you have any more problems!

    • david

      07.22.2011

      Im a little confused. After these steps have been performed, can you delete the old admin account? Whats the difference in using systems preferences to just create a new admin account?

      I am having various spinning globe issues, seemingly around the admin account and network access. I would like a new admin account, and be able to “adopt” all of old documents and files! I believe my issues are in the system and since I cannot do an archive and install, this may work!

    • Jeff Browning

      07.31.2011

      Well, this guide is more intended for creating an administrator account when administrative access to System Preferences has been lost or is not available.

      If you have all of your documents and files contained in a few folders, you can just create a new account in System Preferences and manually drag all of your files over.

    • Hackeking

      03.18.2012

      Account hacking

  4. james

    01.18.2011

    Reply

    does this delete the old account?

    • Jeff Browning

      01.18.2011

      Nope, just as long as you name the new account you set up something different than the existing one. Check out my response to @Macland for some examples on how to avoid this.

    • jane

      03.16.2012

      how do you delete an admin acount

  5. Gudrun

    01.19.2011

    Reply

    Can your other accounts get deleted?

    • Jeff Browning

      01.19.2011

      Like I said, you’re fine as long as you name the new account you set up something different than the existing one. Check out my response to @Macland for some examples.

  6. Macland

    01.29.2011

    Reply

    Does this delete the other accounts?

    Like those standard ones or even all the files like music and movies etc ?

    • Jeff Browning

      01.29.2011

      Nope, just as long as you name the account something different than the existing one.

      So, say the name of a current account was jbrowning, if, when going through the setup again, I also named the account jbrowning, then YES, IT WOULD OVERWRITE THE OLD JBROWNING ACCOUNT. But again, as long as you name it anything else besides the current username (for example, you could name it: asdfasdfkjasdf, or esavage, just as long as it’s not the current name)

    • macland

      01.30.2011

      So it wouldn’t even affect any of the other standard users…. just if I remeber to rename it different…

  7. Ben Tomson

    02.06.2011

    Reply

    does this work on windows 7

    • Jeff Browning

      02.06.2011

      Nope, sorry. Mac OS X only.

    • really?

      05.08.2012

      You are a dork, really? Mac users are tards. Use a real OS, OpenBSD.

    • UbuntuLinuxGuy

      12.29.2012

      While Mac users may be elitists, they are not “tards”. OS X is based on the Berkley implementation to begin with, so they essentially already are.

  8. Jared Thornton

    02.08.2011

    Reply

    Ok, so I have a question. I am planning to do this, but I am a little bit worried. I am on a network and the current account I am using is on a network account, with a network administrator. Since This is done locally, will the network administrator be able to SEE or control the local administrator account? If so is there any way to avoid this?

    Ideally, I would also like to just view my root user password and just log into that. I don’t want to change any password or create any accounts. I just want to simply change a few files that currently are blocked, nothing bad though. Truly, I just want to install a custom Itunes skin, but the Network Admin doesn’t allow me to. Can I just view the root password in single user mode without decoding any hashes? That would be Ideal

    • Jeff Browning

      02.08.2011

      You can’t view the password without cracking it, but you can change the root password from within SUM.

      Check out this article and scroll down to “Additional Information” and see if the commands there can help you.

    • pleasantville

      02.04.2012

      is this jared thornton from nc but really from nj

  9. Hanna

    02.10.2011

    Reply

    i tried it and it worked..but the problem is i cannot create new account anymore..it says “Sorry an unexpected error has occured (unable to add standard user)” Please help! :(

    • Jeff Browning

      02.11.2011

      Where are you getting this error? In system preferences? Or the system setup?

    • Pro

      04.27.2011

      I had the same exact problem. It happens on the system setup and after the error it kicks you back to the start of the setup. What should I do? Running tiger.

    • Jeff Browning

      04.29.2011

      Are you running the latest version of Tiger, 10.4.11?

      Be sure to see our warning in the document about running it on 10.4.11 due to crash reports and startup problems. Gotta read those warnings!

  10. Kevin

    02.19.2011

    Reply

    I have deleted the .AppleSetupdone file and rebooted successfully BUT the new account that is created is a Standard account and not an Admin account.

    I have attempted this because my original admin account was deleted and I need another one to install updates, etc. I have been using the root account to perform various tasks, such as delete the /var/log/asl log files that get big fast When I try to create an admin account via the root account, the account is a Standard account even though I enable admin privileges. All this occurs on 10.5.8 on a MacBook.

    Any clue as to what I should do?

    Kevin

  11. Brandy

    02.26.2011

    Reply

    Tried this and now my computer won’t even reboot :( and it doesn’t recognize rm / vr/ db/.applesetupdone

    • Jeff Browning

      02.27.2011

      Hi Brandy, could you be more specific about your problem? What did you do that made your computer not reboot? Did you enter Single User Mode?

      For the command, you need to keep in mind that all of the letters and spaces are extremely important. Instead of what you typed above, try this:

      rm /var/db/.applesetupdone

      Also, did you remember to mount the hard drive using the command listed in the tutorial? It’d be good to print out the instructions before attempting this, or at least have them available on another computer.

  12. james

    03.04.2011

    Reply

    I tried this on OSX 10.4.11 and I’m having a problem with it. After reboot I select my language, then immediately following that the computer freezes while the computer is “starting Mac OS X…). Any advice?

    • Jeff Browning

      03.10.2011

      It turns out that we may be having some issues in 10.4.11, as a few people have mentioned it. For now, I’ll add to the article that 10.4.11 is not recommended while we investigate further.

    • james

      03.26.2011

      Assuming there’s no way to undo this myself, should I take the computer into an apple store or to some tech service? Also, is there still a way for me to get to the files on my computer?

    • Jeff Browning

      03.28.2011

      If you’ve got another Mac, you can target boot to recover any files (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1661). If you bring your Mac in, that’s likely what Apple is going to do to recover your data (or use some other data recovery tool). Target booting will mount your Mac’s hard drive to the other computer, and you can duplicate it or take files off it just like an external hard drive.

      The Apple Store may be your best bet with this one, though it really shouldn’t be happening. If they figure out what’s wrong, PLEASE let us know.

  13. Brayden

    03.07.2011

    Reply

    hi im trying to get my account to be an administrator i have done this before on my macbook os x but we just got the big home computer (which is a mac os x) and i tried this several times and it doesnt work for me. it says something about illegal use or something. this is what i typed in.
    Sbin/mount -uw/
    rm/var/db/.applesetupdone
    shutdown -hnow

    and once i type in shutdown -hnow it comes up with something saying that using that is illegal or something!!! so i dont know what to do at this point.
    HELP!!!

    • Jeff Browning

      03.09.2011

      That’s because you’re entering an illegally phrased command, try phrasing it like this: “shutdown -h now” (without quotes). If that still doesn’t work, just type in “reboot” (again, without quotes) and hit return.

      Let me know if that doesn’t do the trick!

  14. David

    03.08.2011

    Reply

    I tried this method and my computer will not reboot, it freezes at some point after I select my language. Is this method suitable for OSX 10.4.11?

    • Jeff Browning

      03.10.2011

      David – I just replied to James a bit above, but 10.4.11 might be a no-go. I’ll add a notice to the article while we investigate.

  15. Eliza

    03.12.2011

    Reply

    This is a question that I’m not sure if there is a solution to, but my son has been using this exact method to bypass the parental controls on the computer. He abuses his use of the computer heavily to farm gold in MMOs all hours of the night, and when I set up his account to prevent this he just uses this exact hack to get back in every single time. Is there a way to prevent him from doing this? If there isn’t then the only thing I know of to do is move the computer and/or take away the power cable every night. I would really appreciate the help. Thanks!

    • Jeff Browning

      03.13.2011

      Yep, this method can be blocked by creating a firmware password. The firmware password would prevent the computer from booting into Single-User Mode without it (something that is crucial to this guide). We have a guide for circumventing that too, but that involves actually opening up the computer, which I sincerely hope he wouldn’t do.

      For the firmware password, I’m going to direct you an Apple Support article: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1352
      It’s a pretty in-depth explanation and you’ll be able to follow the instructions for your computer.

      Something you might also want to check is if he changed the root password or not. If he changed the root password and you block Single-User Mode, he can still get in (and it doesn’t show up as an account!).

      What I’d do, is boot up into Single-User Mode (Hold down the Command key and the S key at the same time when the screen turns gray, before the Apple logo appears), and wait for the screen to turn black and white text to come down.
      When everything stops, enter this command:
      passwd
      It will then prompt you for a password, which you enter twice (it won’t look like you’re typing, but trust me, the computer’s getting it), and the root password will be reset. Simply type:
      reboot
      and the computer will restart and boot up normally, after which you can create a firmware password via the article above.

    • Mark

      06.10.2012

      The Firmware Password Support http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1352 states that “The Open Firmware Password can be reset and changed by any one of the following (except MacBook Air):
      1. By any administrator….
      Unfortunately ours is a MacBook Air 10.7.1 OS. Have you any ideas as to how we can password protected the Firmware as you have suggested to Eliza? Thanks

  16. Ashley

    03.13.2011

    Reply

    Hi, I did the above steps on my Mac and it will let me go through all the processes of setting up the mac, however upon creating an account it does not automatically log in rather it goes back to choose a language. Any ideas on how to resolve this issue would be appreciated, at the moment I am unable to log into my mac at all. Thanks

    • Jeff Browning

      03.13.2011

      Ashley, any chance you’re running OS X 10.4.11?

    • Danny

      03.24.2011

      Yeah, i have the same problem. I just bought a mac off of Ebay. with Mac Os x snow leopard installed. But when ever i set up my account it doesn’t direct me to the desktop. it just sends me back to the login page and my account no where to be found. Only an account that is called “other”.

    • Danny

      03.24.2011

      Just found out i am on 10.5.1

    • Jeff Browning

      03.28.2011

      Try selecting “Other” and entering in the username and password you created into the boxes that show up.

      If for some reason that doesn’t work, check out this post (http://www.hackmac.org/hacks/from-standard-to-administrator/), and follow the second half (resetting the root password). After doing that, select “Other” again and enter the username: “root” (without quotes) and whatever you set the password as. Don’t use that root account for normal things though, just use System Preferences to set up an administrator account for normal use and disable the root if you wish.

  17. Jason

    03.16.2011

    Reply

    Hey, it’s asking if I should override the root/wheel or something, and I press enter, and it returns to the command prompt line and when I enter “ls” it’s still there within folder db, I think there is a permission error or syntax I am unaware of to say “yes” to overriding it.

    What am I doing wrong? (Or what should I do?)

    • Jason

      03.16.2011

      Oh, after I enter yes, it says:

      rm: /var/db/.AppleSetupDone: Read-only file system

      This is weird, I should have root level access, so I tried adding a “sudo” in front, and that’s not working either.

      What nao? D:

    • Jason

      03.16.2011

      Just kidding for got to add a space between mount “-uw” and “/”.

      Should probably add that in as a note, how silly of me to forget to provide a valid mount point.
      Sorry for all the trouble heh.

    • Jeff Browning

      03.20.2011

      No problem Jason, sorry I didn’t check recent comments until today, so I didn’t have a chance to reply.
      Glad you got it figured out!

  18. Aaron

    03.17.2011

    Reply

    I plan to follow these steps but do not want any obvious sign that an additional account has been created. At the very least, I want to be sure it doesn’t show up as a login option upon bootup of the machine or, ideally, I’d like to delete the account when I’m done. I’d be doing this without knowledge of any other account passwords on the machine. For education purposes only, obviously. Thanks!

  19. john

    03.21.2011

    Reply

    Everything worked until the setting the account up.
    When i was done setting up the account, it takes forever(still loading) to get to teh log in screen.
    Did i do something wrong or is this a exclusive problem ?

    • Jeff Browning

      03.28.2011

      Try rebooting your computer (or unplugging and replugging).

      What version of the OS are you running? Did you follow all of the directions exactly? If it’s still hanging, it shouldn’t be.

  20. Antonio

    03.22.2011

    Reply

    Hi, I would like to say thank you for posting this article however I have one minor problem. I tried to get into single mode. I couldn’t not type the letter S. Any letters works just fine but S. Do you know why? Thanks

    -Antonio

    • Jeff Browning

      03.28.2011

      Hey Antonio – I assume you mean Single-User Mode? Can you type S when you boot up normally? I’m wondering if there may be something wrong with your keyboard, but if not, that’s VERY odd.

  21. Berry

    03.31.2011

    Reply

    Hi – I am not computer savvy.. bought macbook off craigslist – great except I didn’t have the administrative password. Looked online and found a way to reset it – it worked although it’s a little different than your instructions.
    Problem is that I selected ‘do not transfer my data’ as you recommended… but now all that was on my previous desktop is locked and I cannot access it… how do I access this?

    Let me know what further information you need from me to help me with this dilemma – Thanks a million
    -B

    • Jeff Browning

      04.02.2011

      Berry, you should be able to go to the locked folder, right click it, and select “Get Info”

      At the bottom of the window that pops up, you should see something called “Sharing & Permissions” — expand this if it’s not already expanded.

      You’ll then see a little lock in the bottom right-hand corner. Click that and enter in your administrator username and password. Then you can click the arrow in the bottom left-hand corner, select your new admin account from that list, and change the “Privilege” to Read & Write. You should then be able to open that folder and view it’s contents. You may need to do this for multiple folders, but it’ll get you your files!

    • Berry

      04.03.2011

      WOW!!!
      That’s really great, it worked… Thank you!

      But now the problem (which I can live with) is that when I open a word document and change anything – when I hit save it says “this file is read-only. To save a copy hit OK and give the file a new name in the save dialog box”

      When I hit OK and it sends me to the naming place and I change the name – but save is not highlighted…

      There is an append file extension box that is checked – and a the options, compatibility report and cancel are options, but not save…

      Is there an easy way that I don’t have to rename and resave all my documents – if I can even resave them?

      One more question I have is that are things like I itunes from the old desktop just no longer available? They didn’t seem to make the leap..

      Thanks – this is really an amazingly helpful service you offer!
      – Berry

  22. Taylor

    04.01.2011

    Reply

    When I reboot and hold cmd+S, nothing happens. I’ve tried many different timings with the keys, but nothing has changed. Is there something different with my mac?

    • Jeff Browning

      04.02.2011

      Do you happen to know if you have a Firmware password set on your Mac? That would prevent you from accessing Single User Mode.

  23. Matt

    04.02.2011

    Reply

    Hi, I’ve just completed these steps and it seems to looks as if it is reinstalling the OS as it has been around 3 hours with the apple and spinning circle. is this right

    • Jeff Browning

      04.02.2011

      Definitely doesn’t sound right…

      What OS are you on?

    • greg

      02.09.2012

      Same thing happened to me, i realy need this to be fixed

    • david

      04.16.2012

      i have the same problem on the ‘select a wireless network’ screen what can i do?

  24. James Pyne

    04.05.2011

    Reply

    Hello! I need some help ASAP!
    so i went through all the procedures….opened up with CMD+S
    but then i will write word for word of what it gives me with each command…to which im assuming is not correct.

    i write:
    /sbin/mount -uw/
    then it gives me the following:
    /sbin/mount: illegal option–/
    usage: mount [-dfruvw][-o options][-t ufs |external_type] special node
    mount [-adfruvw][-t ufs | external_type]
    mount [-dfruvw] special | node
    considering it said that sbin/mount was an illegal option i assumed it probably wasnt correct, but i continued on with the next step:
    i type:
    rm /var/db/.applesetupdone
    it gives me:
    override -w—-r– root/wheel for /var/db/.applesetupdone?
    then when i type reboot for the next step it puts it up nest to the older response like so:
    override -w—-r– root/wheel for /var/db/.applesetupdone?reboot
    so then i just type reboot again and there is no change to my computer…..what am i doing wrong?
    thank you

    • Jeff Browning

      04.08.2011

      Check your spacing! It should be:
      /sbin/mount -uw /
      The space in between the -uw and the / is very important. Let me know if that fixes the problem.

  25. Draik226

    04.14.2011

    Reply

    Ok so I’m fine with everything else but I have to hand my computer in at the end of the year so what do I do?

  26. Bryton Thoren

    04.14.2011

    Reply

    ok i reset the password for single user mode by using terminal and entering the command

    sudo -i file root chad

    by doing this i was trying to set chad as the key for starting in single user mode but it wont work. i’ve entered chad as the key more than four times in a row before but it keeps asking me for the key. is there anyway i can get around this without changing the amount of RAM on my macbook.

    • Jeff Browning

      04.19.2011

      I don’t know why you’re using that command… the “firmware” password is different than the root password, and it means SUM is locked out. If the firmware password is enabled, essentially you’re only option is the RAM trick.

  27. Bell

    04.15.2011

    Reply

    Hi Jeff,
    I’m afraid i’m stuck at step 1. When I press command and S there is no reaction, the screen simply stays black until i stop pressing them and then it turns on as normal.
    Does it matter which ‘cmd’ I press? or should it be a capslock ‘S’?
    How is usually required to hold them down before it open in single user mode?
    I really appreciate any help.
    Bell.

    • Jeff Browning

      04.19.2011

      Bell – Make sure you hold it down when the screen is gray (NOT black!), and before the Apple logo appears.

  28. Pedley

    04.18.2011

    Reply

    Hi, I followed all of these steps and got onto my new administrator account but i cannot find my old one anywhere to access all of my old files…i used a different name, Pedley Tom instead of Tom Pedley but all of my original files are still on my Hard-disk as the space they occupied s still taken and i have only 16gb of free space. I’m running Mac OS X 10.6.7… I a bit worried and clueless!

    • Jeff Browning

      04.19.2011

      Tom – It should be in your HD -> Users -> Tom Pedley folder. You shouldn’t have a problem copying the files over to your new account.

  29. Jake

    04.19.2011

    Reply

    Whenever I put in the information ( rm / var/ etc.) it says something along the lines of, would you like to wheel the rm /var etc. I don’t know what to put in there, yes, no or what. I can get to almost the final stage but it won’t finish. Any help is appreciated, thank you.

    • Jake

      04.19.2011

      same problem as James above me, I put in right, it just won’t work…

    • Jeff Browning

      04.19.2011

      Not sure which James you’re referring to… there are quite a few who have commented.

    • Jeff Browning

      04.19.2011

      Jake – I’m not sure what you mean… I’ve never heard of an error referencing a “wheel”, and the two times you typed the command in your comment you typed it differently, which doesn’t give me much faith that you typed it in correctly. What OS are you running?

  30. Aira Shin

    04.23.2011

    Reply

    I tried it until the last set up where you’re gonna put your password but after clicking “CONTINUE” the welcome video started again and still shows the same. I fill in on the boxes, but it restart again and again. I tried it many times but still the same. I need to create a new account so I could retrieve the password of my old account. please help me. What should I do. thanks in advance.

    • Jeff Browning

      04.23.2011

      Do you want to RETRIEVE the password, or RESET/CHANGE the password?

      Password retrieval is a more difficult process (check out our ‘Decrypting Mac OS X Passwords’ article), whereas resetting is far easier.

      For resetting, you can simply pop in your Mac OS X install DVD and reset the password that way.

    • Aira Shin

      04.24.2011

      I don’t have the disk to retrieve. I still know my password, the problem is my username, I can’t login in Alphabet because my username is in Japanese characters, now I can’t go back to the login screen. every time I open my Mac it automatically shows the Welcome Video. after answering the setup it restarts to the beginning of welcome video. I don’t know how to revert it and go back to original Login screen. could you please help me. thanks.

    • SurfinG

      10.14.2011

      I have the same issue. My mac is asking me for my username, that I have but my username is in Japanese.

      How did you enter your user name in Hiragan?

  31. Oscar the mac hacker

    05.02.2011

    Reply

    I am just about to do this but i’m kind of worried, if i do this i will have to overwrite my current account if not the real admin will see ive got too accounts and i will be screwed, can this harm the computer in anyway? If i fail to manage to do it the first time then i try a second time will it mess up the laptop? Will the admin get a notification saying that someone created a new account? And if it messes up is there anyway i can restore my previous acccount?
    Thank you,
    Oscar

    • Jeff Browning

      05.03.2011

      If you create the admin account under the same name as your current account, it WILL BE OVERWRITTEN, meaning that you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RESTORE YOUR PREVIOUS ACCOUNT. I would rather just create a new user account that’s completely different from your current account so that there’s no suspicion, and you should be fine as long as you’re not running the latest version of Tiger — people have reported some issues with that.

  32. MATT P

    05.13.2011

    Reply

    HI there,
    Have tried numerous methods to resetting admin passwd and am having the following problem:

    After entering SUM I type:
    /sbin/mount -uw /
    rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone.
    shutdown -h now
    and the MAC shuts down.
    When I reboot, the MAC brings up the old login screen instead of going through the welcome stage.
    I have also tried changing the admin password via SUM and that works until i shutdown the MAC because when I turn it back on, the new login details dont work and I’m back to square 1 again.

    What can I do to make sure the changes I make are permanent and I dont hae to enter SUM to change the Admin passwd every time I turn on my MAC?

    • Jeff Browning

      05.14.2011

      Hmm, I’ve never encountered this situation before — this would be a great question to ask in our “Content Support” thread on our forums. We’ve got a lot of knowledgeable guys over there who might be able to shed some light on the subject.

  33. fishy1rt

    05.17.2011

    Reply

    I now have my grandfather’s imac (10.4.7). He passed away. I was given his pass word, but it didn’t work. While following recipes such as the one here, I may have made it worse!

    Most recently, I have followed the above code while in the single user mode. After rebooting and watching the video, my machine gets hung up. After the screen in which I choose student use, business, etc. I get a screen that has a simple horizontal line, and a highlighted “go back” button. There is a “continue” button as well, but it is shaded.

    After waiting some time, I gave up and rebooted using the install start-up disk. When looking to change pass words in this fashion, it says the the HD has no users.

    I could use the disk to wipe the HD, and do a new install. But I would lose all of the family photos my grandfather may have stored on it.

    Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

    • Jeff Browning

      05.20.2011

      Sorry to hear about your grandfather, I wish you and your family the best.

      I’m also sorry if our warning wasn’t clear enough “We suggest not attempting this procedure on machines running 10.4.x due to crash reports” — some people have been experiencing similar problems on updated Tiger machines.

      This may be a bit of a long shot, but we can try to put back the .AppleSetupDone file. Try entering the following commands in Single-User Mode:

      mount -uaw /
      cd /var/db
      echo '' > .AppleSetupDone
      echo '' >> .AppleSetupDone
      echo '' >> .AppleSetupDone
      echo '' >> .AppleSetupDone
      echo '' >> .AppleSetupDone

      If that doesn’t work, head over to our forum (http://www.hackmac.org/forum). We’ve got some people over there who might be able to help.

      Good luck!

  34. Andy Goldstein

    05.27.2011

    Reply

    Beautiful! Thanks so much. I was able to recover my lost Admin account on my mac.

  35. Gleshka

    05.29.2011

    Reply

    I have my password working but my problem is that I don’t have administrator account, I have 2 accounts and any of them is administrator, so I can’t get updates of any program… that happens just like that that method would be work for me? I can loose my old files ? Please Help me I will appreciate so much.

  36. Tacos

    05.29.2011

    Reply

    Whenever I attempt to remove the applesetupdone file in single user mode,
    I receive an error that says that the appplesetupdone file is not there, what it going on?

    • Jeff Browning

      05.30.2011

      Are you sure that you’re trying to remove the .AppleSetupDone file? It MUST have the . (period) before the filename, as it’s a hidden file. Also, be sure that you have navigated into the correct directory.

  37. Thomas

    05.31.2011

    Reply

    I followed the steps above, but when it gets to the part where I tell it do not transfer files at this time, it freezes up, and the spinning wheel comes up. The reason why I’m doing this is because I accidentally deleted some stuff on my prior account, and when I shut it down, then restarted it, it wouldn’t load the login screen. Help?

    • Jeff Browning

      06.01.2011

      Thomas, what did you delete? Hopefully not any crucial system files… Also, what version of the OS are you running?

  38. pom32

    06.02.2011

    Reply

    !!PLZ HELP ME!! I did this exactly as stated and it worked! but then my mac starting starting up Very slowly! it has a Long blue screen before login window! What should I do!?

    • Jeff Browning

      06.03.2011

      Are you running OS X Tiger?

    • pom32

      06.04.2011

      no i’m at 10.6.7

  39. Jildert Visser

    06.08.2011

    Reply

    Dear Jeff,

    I’m using a administrator account and user account for myself and a guest account. (so in the login screen three login accounts).
    Today I discovered that the administrator account was not there anymore. I needed to put the username and password of the administrator for installing an update of TotalFinder. That didn’t work.
    I searched and found this article. Before doing the things in this article I tried to backup from the TimeCapsule; that didn’t work because putting the installation disk in and rebooting requires administrator name and password.
    So I followed the instructions: made a new account JILDERT2 and copied the very few files I had on my old JILDERT account; OK very good. The new account is administrator.

    I’m wondering how this could happen. Maybe it has to do with running the battery flat. Two days ago my wife had a visit and she removed the powerconnection while he MacBook Pro had an USB-drive connected; when I found it again the next day the battery was flat.

    Jeff, thanks a lot for this guide; it worked for me; and please go on with this work, I didn’t know hackmac.org; I’ve made a link in Safari to it.

    • Jeff Browning

      06.08.2011

      I’m glad that we were able to help you out!

      As for losing an entire administrative account, I have no idea. Was the account completely gone, or did it just no longer have administrative privileges?

    • Jildert Visser

      06.11.2011

      Dear Jeff,

      The subdirectory JILDERT on Users was still there, but the account JILDERT was missing in the login screen AND during installation of a program the JILDERT account with password was NOT recognised. So in my opinion during start-up of the Mac it failed in using this account. Hope this gives you a clue so you can help the community.

      Apart from this: during reading your numerous comments on peoples questions I read about the CMD-S key during start-up. That is a serious back-door wide open where (I believe) > 95%+ of the users is not aware of. In 95%+ of the occasions it is not a problem at all for home usage. But shure you can hack a mac.

      best regards, Jildert

  40. Katie

    06.10.2011

    Reply

    Hi,

    My friend did this to a new computer, after forgetting the password. It worked as normal until the part where it normally plays the “hello” messages – but when it got to there, instead it went to a grey loading screen. Now whenever it is turned on, no matter what mode – verbose, safe mode, normal, whatever – it just goes to that grey screen. We went through the steps at the apple support site but my friend doesn’t have his disks with him and nothing seems to be working. Any ideas?

    • Jeff Browning

      06.12.2011

      So this computer is brand new, and (I’m assuming) not running Mac OS X Tiger?

  41. Ron C

    06.10.2011

    Reply

    A big thank you I’ve been trying to get a disk to reset my computer but no avail.
    I tried something like this before but didn’t work. Follow it to the letter and it will work for you.

    • Jeff Browning

      06.12.2011

      Our pleasure Ron, thanks for reporting back.

  42. Giles

    06.13.2011

    Reply

    Hi thanks for this great article, everything worked perfectly until I get to the
    Language selection I choose English but keeps going back to the same
    Window , I even tried selecting spanish but same thing happened.
    The reason I am doing this root login is because finder keeps crashing on
    startup. I cannot get past the “finder quit unexpectedly” window and I only have one
    user account.
    Here is the advice I am using…http://hintsforums.macworld.com/archive/index.php/t-47781.html
    Specifically this posted comment …
    “I know this post is 4 years old, but I had the same problem and searched Google entirely to find out how to fix Finder. I FINALLY FOUND THE SOLUTION, so maybe this will work if you have a similar problem. There are many scenarios why your computer can be acting up like this, hopefully this is one of them and can help!

    Problem:

    Upon boot or start up, Finder – Not responding
    Dock items are frozen
    Computer freezes up
    Cannot use safe mode, computer shuts down after holding shift and no log-in menu posts up.

    Solution:

    Log-in using another user account (if you only have one, google how to create one without using Finder/System Preferences. it just so happens I had another user account set up before Finder problems arose)
    Enable the Root account *be careful, you can do serious damage logging in as root account, so don’t do anything else besides steps below once logged in this is a great link to learn how to enable the Root account http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1528
    Restart computer and log-in as Other and type Root as username and enter new password you just made.
    Once booted up, go to Finder>MAC HD> Users>____username of crashing Finder _____ > Library > Preferences
    Look for the com.apple.finder.plist, drag it to the Desktop/ or other folders, just as long as it is no longer in the Preferences folder.
    Log out of Root account and Restart computer **don’t forget this step, you must restart!
    Now try logging in as the username of the crashing Finder, and see if you can access Finder now!

    Hopefully that works! If you have any problems, or wanna shoutout that it worked, let me know!! I am so glad I didn;t have to re-install/re-format my mac!

    • Jeff Browning

      06.18.2011

      What version of MAc OS X are you running?

  43. izno

    06.13.2011

    Reply

    How do I undo this

    • Jeff Browning

      06.18.2011

      You may be able to recreate the file in SUM or Terminal using the ‘touch’ command, but otherwise, the startup process will recreate the file for you, so there’s really nothing to undo (other than simply deleting the new account).

  44. Me

    06.23.2011

    Reply

    what if my mac already has a admin account on it.
    I am worried about doing this. I am getting an iPad2 in the fall and may you please post how to hack it or at least a website for it?

    thanks- Me

    • Jeff Browning

      06.26.2011

      Then just be sure to name the new admin account differently, so the old one doesn’t get overwritten.

      And we already have one! Search “jailbreak” in our search-bar.

  45. Shelly Shells

    06.23.2011

    Reply

    Okay so lets say this worked, and i have the new admin. Does this mean that there will be two admins or just one? example: New Admin- shelly
    Current Admin- Mitchell
    Does doing this procedure mean that there will be two admins?

  46. james

    06.30.2011

    Reply

    please answer immedietly my dad has COMPLEtely locked me out of everything even terminal i can get into single user mode but when i try to reset the pass word it says like rmm————wheel? or something like that and what disk is it you use to reset btw im on the most current leopard operating system please help with either issue thanks you :)

    • james

      06.30.2011

      btw im gonna be honest with you here, when i mean completely locked out i mean like borderline douche level don’t even know root or SUM password please answer back within a short time limit :/

    • Jeff Browning

      06.30.2011

      You would use the operating system disk that came with your computer or you bought when you upgraded (depending on whether or not you upgraded) to reset.

  47. Max Ujhazy

    07.06.2011

    Reply

    hey, after this, do i have to recreate the apple setup done file? if i do, plz tell me how

    • Jeff Browning

      07.09.2011

      Nope, once you complete the setup the file is automatically recreated.

  48. max

    07.11.2011

    Reply

    you can just type: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
    and not need to go to single user mode
    PS: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
    is to undo the hack

    • Jeff Browning

      07.21.2011

      Well, since you need an administrator/root access to have permissions to delete the file, and the point of the hack is to gain administrative privileges, I don’t really see the usefulness in showing hidden files.

  49. charles

    07.11.2011

    Reply

    after i did the commands now all i get is the white screen with the apple and the symbol showing you it is busy processing, but it has been like this overnight!!

    • Jeff Browning

      07.21.2011

      Would you happen to be running Tiger? Check out our warning in the post.

  50. gardan

    07.22.2011

    Reply

    Hello Jeff, great work, but it doesnt work on my mac. Its the following thing:

    Mac OSX 10.6.8
    The first is that i have to type in ” /sbin/fsck -fy ” ( without spaces, sure )
    next is
    ” /sbin/mount uw / ”
    ” rm /var/db/ .applesetupdone ”

    after the ” enter ” i get the following message: no such directory applesetupdone, and in another case :
    root device is mounted read only

    Any suggestions for me ? thank you!

    Christian

    • gardan

      07.22.2011

      Sorry, sorry, forget it all. A little space makes it happen….ashes to my head. But !

      How can i set the machine to start up with the ” original ” admin pw and NOT with the new account ? So to prevent that the admin is able to see the change ? ( log on with several accounts on the start )

      thanks, christian

    • Jeff Browning

      07.31.2011

      Christian — head on over to our forums. Josh Fletcher, one of our active community members, has written an application (which is free to download from the thread!) that allows you to temporarily change the password to “toor”, and then reset it to the original when you’re done.

  51. kutty

    07.22.2011

    Reply

    Was able to remove the admin password, but when the macbook reboots, i noticed that my keyboard no longer responds( it makes sound but can not type). what could be the reason and how can i fix it please?

    • Jeff Browning

      07.31.2011

      Would you happen to be running OSX 10.4?

  52. moe

    07.25.2011

    Reply

    THANKS A BUNCH, been using this work around for months and my macs still working great :)
    I just updated to Lion though and wanted to ask if this’ll work on it too before trying.

    • Jeff Browning

      07.31.2011

      It should still work. I checked and the files are still there, but I haven’t had time to test it myself yet.

  53. Derek

    07.27.2011

    Reply

    Hello , fine thanks for the help I tried this but then something funny happened. I am lead trough the setup of a new account but when it comes to the page where I put my password in and choose a picture, I can’t continue. I am stuck and I can’t access the computer at all. By the way i am trying this on a 10.3.9.

    What to do next?

    • Jeff Browning

      07.31.2011

      We have commands listed for Tiger, as well as Leopard and Snow Leopard. Since you’re running Panther, which commands did you enter?

      I don’t believe 10.3 is supported.

  54. Jess

    07.27.2011

    Reply

    Hi there,
    Thank you for your useful post, however, I have followed the instructions and got to the setup. I set the language as English and pressed continue and now it is just sitting on a page that says:
    Welcome
    In just a few steps, you can register and setup your mac server.
    It has the buffering thing going round and round in the bottom left corner. I can’t click on go back or continue but it is letting me click on ‘help’.
    I’m running OS Lion. Any ideas? I’ve tried turning it off and back on again!
    Thanks

    • Jeff Browning

      07.31.2011

      We’re working on updating our guides for Lion. Seeing as the instructions listed are only for Tiger or Leopard/Snow Leopard, which instructions did you use?

  55. Alissa

    08.14.2011

    Reply

    So I see all the warnings and errors for Mac OS X 10.4.11, and of course, that’s the system I’m running.
    Is there any alternate method for this version of Tiger that will produce similar results to gaining administrative privileges. I don’t really care how I get there, but my brother made himself the only admin on our Mac and left town for the rest of the summer. He conveniently set things up so that I can’t make any changes to Finder, so I can’t even download an application or upgrade the ones I’m running.
    There are several accounts on the Mac, only his is the admin.

    I’ve searched the internet for days now to no avail.
    Is there any other way to make a new admin account that won’t destroy the computer entirely or lace it with errors? Preferably one that’s been successfully tested on a Tiger 10.4.11.
    Help would be very much appreciated.

    • Jeff Browning

      08.16.2011

      I’d just create a new root account. Boot into Single-User Mode (hold CMD+S on startup, after the gray screen appears and before the Apple logo appears), mount the hard drive, then type “passwd” — then, enter and confirm your new root password. You can then type “reboot” and log in with the username “root” (you might have to first click “Other…” if you have the login window set to the accounts list), and then the password you just set.

      You can then go into System Preferences and make any account modifications you need.

  56. Alissa

    08.14.2011

    Reply

    I did come across someone saying that they used
    “mount -w /
    rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    shutdown -h now”
    in replace of the code above, on a Tiger 10.4.11, and they said it worked. I have no idea what these minor code changes affect. So could someone with more knowledge of working in single-user mode tell me if this is safe to try?
    I’ve also seen the code with and without the last bit, “shutdown -h now”. What exactly does that do?

    • Jeff Browning

      08.16.2011

      Technically, there is no difference the the commands. “shutdown -h now” simply tells the computer to shut down now. You then have to manually press the button for the computer to power up again. By typing “reboot”, you are essentially shutting down the computer and turning it on again, therefore there should be no difference in result.

      I would not recommend trying it, just based on the feedback we’ve had from people running 10.4.11, although you are free to try whatever you want. I’d definitely recommend backing up the drive before hand if you were to try it out.

  57. shooting star

    08.16.2011

    Reply

    Hello sir…I believe my macbook was hacked so I started looking in the console. Found stuff referring to aqua. Later i saw everything uve shown in your examples like setup complete, but it goes further and references nvdanv50hal loaded and registered. I see applications I’ve never seen before, can not access folders even though I log in as admin. When I “get info” on a folder I’ve seen users defined as wheel and root. It was connected VIA airport at the time and even though its not connected to any line or router right now, I notice everytime I turn it on, certain folders show that “last modified” is exactly when I log in. Also, I think my sessions have been logged as there are folders that I visited yesterday that are not there today. Please tell me how I can find out who did this. Was a copy of my machine with my ip address “ghosted” to someone? I’m scared because I don’t want to be set up. Messages say I’m a server, and ical was installed, but the last time modified date changed from the original time (i was online when I saw the shared POP up) to a date a few years ago, and I even saw a file that had a last modified date of 2003!!! I didn’t even have my MAC until 2008 or 2009…please help. I’ve managed to keep copies of the files each day as they have changed. Where should I be looking and how should I go about getting them since some files I can’t burn…it’ll say can’t read and eject my disk.

    Your help is greatly appreciated

    • Jeff Browning

      08.16.2011

      Okay, first of all, calm down. You’re simply beginning to find your system files. The wheel and root users are the lower level system users that help run your computer. The reason you can’t access folders even though you’re an admin is because they are root only folders, and if you alter the files, you can seriously mess up your system if you don’t know what you are doing. That explains any permissions problems, where files do not belong to you and you cannot read them. Some folders are modified when you log in, because logs are updating to reflect log-in times and dates as well as beginning crucial system processes.

      There are many, many applications that you will have never seen before: have you heard of AppleSpell.service? That’s the new background spell-checker application in Lion. loginwindow? Exactly what it sounds like. There has to be some application that runs as part of the operating system to make functions happen.

      As for the last modified dates, those are pieces of the operating system that Apple last made changes to in 2003. While your computer may be new, some parts of the OS were written way back when, and Apple continues to build on older technologies and code.

      Is there any particular reason, other than what you’ve listed, why you think your computer was hacked? I’m not sure I totally understand what you mean when you were talking about how files were changing.

  58. shooting star

    08.16.2011

    Reply

    Thanks for taking time to help me out…so in my console I’ve noticed a couple of things going on. Ssh being used and my computer being upgraded to MAC x11…I found when it was done, and I know for a fact I didn’t do it cuz it was at 3 in the morning and all updates ask me first and are not set to run automatically. I’ve been googling some of the stuff I’ve seen and have come accross forums that post copy/paste scripts that look exactly like ones I’ve seen…things like nvdanv50hal loaded and registered, usr/bin/local with references to Ssh and root and keygen…stuff was showing up on my console even after I disconnected from any internet connection and the files that are changing are in a folder called bom and when I double click the file, the text edit program runs, the background is black and by selecting all, highlights the text that is filled with symbols and text…I was able to save files and folders so if it would be easier for me to display it I don’t mind. Im not really computer savvy so u would to repo me specifically what to display. Thank you so much. I got a MAC cause I’m not good with computers and heard they were safe machines but I don’t even want to turn it on cuz I’m afraid stuff is going to be done on it or to other ppl …I know I sound paranoid considering where I was born, my name and my “random” selections for airport screenings I don’t want to be accused of anything…please help

  59. Clive Stannard

    08.17.2011

    Reply

    I have two accounts, my administrator account, and a separate fieVault account. When I set the fileVault up (years ago), I entered a Master Password with a hint. I recently changed my administrator password and now have a problem: my admin password is not accepted for installation, backup, etc. It works for login, but when I try installation, backup, etc., after 3 tries, it gives me the correct hint for the password, but still refuses it.
    I reset the password with the Install disk. When I reboot, my password is not accepted. After 3 tries, I get the hint. After 3 more tries, it asks me for the Master Password, and allows me to change the Administrator Password. The problems are exactly the same as before.
    I cleaned the permissions, and zapped the PRAM. Nix. So I tried to create a new Administrator in single user mode, with rm /var/db/ .applesetupdone. I rebooted, but it took me into my old accounts, and did not restart installation. So I tried rm /var/db/ .applesetupdone again, and got “No such file or directory”.
    I still have exactly the same problem as before.
    I’m running 10.6.8 on a Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz MacBook Pro.
    HELP!

    • Jeff Browning

      08.17.2011

      Try the command without the extra space. It should be rm /var/db/.applesetupdone, not rm /var/db/ .applesetupdone (you put a space between the /var/db/ and the .applesetupdone).

  60. Anton

    08.18.2011

    Reply

    Hello! This sounds great! Just one question! Does this work on Macbook air?!!???

    • Jeff Browning

      08.18.2011

      Just as long as your OS isn’t 10.4.11, you should be all set!

  61. dave

    08.19.2011

    Reply

    Hey

    I had used this before on my macbook pro and worked fine when i bought it from a friend, how ever I now am selling it to upgrade and have tried and the problems that others are having now seem to have happened to me. How ever my question is this…

    If you have done this on 10.4 and the mac will no longer get passed the load screen with the grey background and load icon underneath. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this? Surely it cant be a case of the macbook being completey defunct?

    The mac book i have is second hand and i have no boot up disc either. Any help at all would be grand.

    Many thanks..

    • Jeff Browning

      08.23.2011

      Dave, unfortunately, that is exactly why we have the warning near the top of the post about 10.4 — none of the staff, myself included, have a machine that is still running Tiger. The oldest OS we have running on our machines is Snow Leopard 10.6.8, so we have no way of testing solutions for this problem, and have very little idea what is causing it.

      If we can get a Tiger machine, we might be able to run some tests, but until then, I’m not really sure how to help you. Sorry!

  62. Clive Stannard

    08.19.2011

    Reply

    Jeff, I just want to thank you. I managed to create a new admin account. But when I tried to set a new password for the original admin account the code of which not being accepted, the new admin account morphed into a Managed Account, so I still couldn’t make changes. So I made yet another admin account, and was able to set new passwords for both the admin accounts, and fix the corrupt login keychain. Much obliged, Clive

    • Jeff Browning

      08.23.2011

      No problem! Glad you found it useful!

    • ClUV619

      01.06.2012

      I was able to fix similar issue with original admin account with your instructions ( THANKS A LOAD) . But now when the original admin account logs in a popup box appears ‘Keychain Access wants to use the “login” keychain. ‘ box appears and it WONT accept the password. How do I fix a corrupt keychain?
      Macbook, OSX 10.5
      Please & Thanks for any information, Crys–

  63. rose white

    08.19.2011

    Reply

    can’t enter because of old msn account. note, says to sign in as new administrate, please help

    • Jeff Browning

      08.23.2011

      I’m not really sure what you’re asking. You can’t log in to your mac due to an MSN account? What application are you trying to run? Are you even on a mac?

  64. hayley

    08.22.2011

    Reply

    I have done all the things in the single mode. It looks like it was gonna work, then at the reboot step…just the eternal spinning wheel. What on earth? I don’t know what OS I’m running. I haven’t a clue. Not even sure how I would know that. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Jeff Browning

      08.23.2011

      It’s usually pretty obvious, because it says it in the login window every time you boot up and every time you update your OS.

      It sounds like you have Mac OS X Tiger, which is NOT compatible with this guide.

  65. Jeni Reese

    08.24.2011

    Reply

    Jeff, you are a genius. After locking myself out of admin controls I could not download a necessary app. This was the third “hack” page I visited and viola! Magic!

    I did follow one other poster’s instructions and omitted the space after /db/.

    I am now wondering if this is how you computer folks feel all the time, because I feel like a pretty serious bad arse.
    Thanks and be well!

    PS, love the screen shots to answer questions for people who have criminally underestimated the power of reading comprehension.

  66. zac

    08.24.2011

    Reply

    hi there,
    is there anyway i can delete the new account I made without logging into the other admin? tried in system pref but the – button was not highlighted even after i click unlock… maybe there is some command line i can use in root or terminal? i have osx 10.6.4.

    thanks,
    zac.

  67. Lindsey

    08.25.2011

    Reply

    I just did this for my roommates computer and it worked fantastically.. except all of her documents are gone!!! Is there anything I can do?

    • Jeff Browning

      08.25.2011

      Did you remember to use a different user account name, like we told you to in the instructions? If you use the same name as an existing account, it will overwrite that account.

  68. Lucky

    08.28.2011

    Reply

    You’re a bloody legend!
    thank you thank you thank you!!!

  69. Yo Homie

    08.31.2011

    Reply

    I have a 10.4.11 and used this method but I for some reason I missed the warning and now it will not load at all is there any way to fix this or undo the procedure without using a second mac or going to the applestore?

    • Jeff Browning

      09.05.2011

      Not that we’ve figured out so far — I might have to put the warning in multiple times, because it looks like a few people are just skimming the top section of the article.

  70. Kfir man

    09.01.2011

    Reply

    Hi all,
    in mac OS X Lion it is very simple, simply open “Terminal” and type:
    # sudo passwd root
    and set the new root password.
    now log out and log in again as root.

    • Jeff Browning

      09.05.2011

      Unfortunately, you can only use “sudo” if you already have an account on the computer that is an administrator. This article assumes that you do not have access to an administrator account on the computer already.

      While you can instead run that command in SUM after mounting the drive and log-in, it’s generally better to use a separate account from the System Administrator (root) to use on a regular basis, as this article assumes you will be doing. Again, you could then create a new account from root, but this helps consolidate the process a little bit.

    • sahhhh

      10.12.2011

      is terminal an app? how do you do that?

    • Jeff Browning

      10.20.2011

      Yes it is, you can find it in your Utilities folder within the Applications folder.

  71. CB3

    09.03.2011

    Reply

    So after you get rid of the file with making a new admin account how do you get that file back so you don’t have to make another admin account

    • Jeff Browning

      09.05.2011

      It is created once you go through the setup process, so only one account will be made.

  72. cody

    09.08.2011

    Reply

    so i did this at my school on a mac. it went perfectly untill i got to the first start up window.
    in the option to select country there are no options. and i cannot get passed that window. can you please help me get it back to normal

  73. AJClarke0912

    09.09.2011

    Reply

    I have successfully booted into Single User Mode after performing the RAM trick. However, upon loading the text, what I type doesn’t work. Instead, I am prompted with the text “Key”, and I see that when I type no characters pop up. I’m afraid it might be a password or something like that, considering that I remember typing in the root password last year and it displayed no text as I typed.

    Can I get around this “Key” thing? Also, if this has anything to do with it – I only did the CMD+Option+P+R hold for three chimes instead of four (because another reference said to do it three times). Does the fourth get rid of this Key that is blocking my access?

  74. mario

    09.12.2011

    Reply

    how do you return to the original account and can you still access both?

  75. Dave

    09.14.2011

    Reply

    Hi,

    I did something silly. I changed the permissions for ‘Everyone’ from Read to nothing, and now I can’t get past the grey Apple screen.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

  76. Clark

    09.29.2011

    Reply

    Hey Jeff,
    I am helping my buddy out and we followed the instructions that you gave in the article and they worked perfectly. We now have a new admin account that we can log into. In this account we can acces some of the programs he had on the old account but we are not able to get the documents for the old account. The old account DOES have Firevault turned on, which is the reason why he got locked out of the old account. How can we access the documents on the old account. Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Jeff Browning

      10.23.2011

      You would have to extract the hash for the account and decrypt it, then use that to unlock the Filevault account.

  77. Phormic

    09.29.2011

    Reply

    I had my laptop stolen which was eventually recovered by the police. Unfortunately my admin username and account were deleted. These instructions were a huge help in getting me up and running again. Thank you.

  78. Ricky

    09.30.2011

    Reply

    WOW< thats what I say, WOW! Worked like a champ, Unbelievable how simple!!

    Thank you very much!!!

  79. Emory Ligas

    10.11.2011

    Reply

    Please Help! When I type in /sbin/mount -uw / nothing else happens!! Please tell me whats wrong.

    • Emory Ligas

      10.11.2011

      btw i have 10.6.8

    • Jeff Browning

      10.23.2011

      Check the white text above the prompt in Single-User Mode and make sure it’s the same. Are you in SUM?

  80. Gagan

    10.12.2011

    Reply

    Hi!

    I press cmd+s as soon as i start my macbook pro after the chime, but it doesn’t enter the Single User mode, rather it continues with the regular boot.

    Please help, as i do not have any account on my macbook with admin privileges.

    • Jeff Browning

      10.23.2011

      Is a firmware password enabled on your computer?

  81. sahhhh

    10.12.2011

    Reply

    when i hold down CMD+S it doesn’t work, am I doing it wrong?

    • Jeff Browning

      10.20.2011

      Are you actually holding down the + symbol?

  82. evandro

    10.13.2011

    Reply

    so there is no way i can create a new administration if i dnt hv wireless internet because i dnt hv

    • Jeff Browning

      10.23.2011

      Hm? You shouldn’t need wireless internet to complete this procedure.

  83. Jas

    10.16.2011

    Reply

    I followed all the steps but after it lets me create a password and user name it starts all over from select a language. How do I fix this ? I tried installing the cd and still the same problem
    Persist

  84. JC

    10.17.2011

    Reply

    Will this delete my accounts already made on the mac?

    • Jeff Browning

      10.23.2011

      No, it won’t, unless you name the new account the exact same as an existing account — in that case, it’ll overwrite it.

  85. Curley

    10.18.2011

    Reply

    My son received his macbook pro and logged in as the original administrator, created files and set up his desktop. Now I went in and made myself the administrator, created a new user for my son with parental controls…the problem is that when he logs in all of his files and desktop are gone. You can only access them from administrator and administrator can’t have parental controls! I want to put all his stuff in his account. How do I do that?

    • Jeff Browning

      10.23.2011

      You should just make his old account into a managed user with parental controls, instead of creating a new account for him.

  86. paola

    10.18.2011

    Reply

    I did the reserting the password thing and reboot now it doesnt load it stays blue with half the LOG IN SQUARE…

    • Jeff Browning

      10.23.2011

      What version of the OS are you running?

  87. andrew

    10.23.2011

    Reply

    So I did this, and it works perfectly, but now it only loads right back to my account when I start up- not the one that allows me to select a user. Is there anyway to change that?

  88. Sara Nkindi

    10.24.2011

    Reply

    I’ve rebooted my macbook using the command +s method as you’ve indicated. I go through the creating a new account pages, but then it keeps going back to the choose a language page and have to go through all the steps again…it’s not actually creating an account, just keeps looping back. Any suggestions?

  89. Krim, Esun

    10.31.2011

    Reply

    Brother,
    I used the method on my 10.4 and cant go past the language screen (Hope had seen your warning before).
    Please please please, HELP Me!!!
    Tell me any possible route to start my computer. Even if i have to loose all previous data!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  90. Braiden

    11.02.2011

    Reply

    This is awesome i hacked my school computer lol

  91. Aidan

    11.03.2011

    Reply

    I successfully created the new account, but the problem now is that the new admin account doesn’t have permissions for any folders. There has to be a better way to change them without going through each folder one by one. Please help.

  92. Chris

    11.06.2011

    Reply

    Followed the instructions and got to the welcome screen. From this point though I select the country hit continue and it chugs away for a bit and the welcome video comes back on, and again takes me to the welcome screen for the country selection.

    Any suggestions of what to try next to get past this point?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  93. Apple help

    11.07.2011

    Reply

    i followed the above mentioned steps and created a new acct..but as soon as i enter the password it does not accept it..n yes it is the correct password..please help

  94. lizzie

    11.07.2011

    Reply

    duh…. WHAT IS 10.4 X AND HOW DO I KNOW IF MY MACBOOK3 LAPTOP IS RUNNING IT?
    HELP HELP HELP!!!

    BELOW IS THE WARNING, BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE NEXT STEP.

    We suggest not attempting this procedure on machines running 10.4.x due to crash reports.

  95. elisabeth

    11.08.2011

    Reply

    hi there, i just bought a refurbished mac with somebodies account and password.. i’ve looked at all the forums and tried to override password, but no such luck.. I have no idea what operating system i’m running either.. how do i find that as well. arrggg….. hopeless and frustrated and new to MAC!!

    thanks

  96. shelly

    11.11.2011

    Reply

    I did everything and it all worked up until it took my picture and I continued. It said enjoy you inactivity, blah blah blah and now It’s just stuck on the blue screen. What now? I am running MAC OS x 10.6 snow lepord.

  97. Martha

    11.11.2011

    Reply

    Ok for everyone who has having trouble deleting the file .applesetupdone i found something that worked for me. I was having problems deleting the file but I messed around and found a solution.

    1. Go into SUM (single user mode)
    2. Type in : mount -uaw /
    3. delete the file by typing : rm -rf /var/db/ .AppleSetupDone
    4. type in: reboot

    There you go. It worked for me, and it will work for anyone using OS X

  98. Kevin Wang

    11.14.2011

    Reply

    Hi,
    i’m currently on parental controls and the admin locked up everything i had,
    if i follow this method, will it affect any of the other accounts at all and will i still
    have all my stuff?
    thanx :)

  99. Myles Stafford

    11.15.2011

    Reply

    I did this but not on perpis i changed the password and deleted the one i made can i get the password back and the account in there a umm.. command Z or something to do ? please help

    • Myles Stafford

      11.17.2011

      this made no sense soo…… this is the real question

      Is there a way to get the old password back if you don’t know it?

  100. jhyun

    11.20.2011

    Reply

    Hi, thanks. I got it all fine, but does this delete the old files when I write down: shutdown -h now
    instead of writing: reboot
    ?

    or is it a same thing but just writing in a different code?

  101. new to macbook :)

    11.24.2011

    Reply

    Hey guys, I have a macbook from denmark and it has a strang key board, I mean there are some other letters like ø or æ, å. so when I wnt to do this thing, to write the mount -uw / rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    shutdown -h now I can’t find the – to write the -uw / ….. So can anyone help me?! what should I press then ?! P>S> now it’s possible to do that, but when I’m in the ,,root” mode. It’s not, HEEELP!

  102. Lennon

    11.26.2011

    Reply

    how do you fixs the keyboard issue i did the command and reboot my macbook pro and now the keyboard is not responding not sure what OS is on it

  103. Arturo Hernandez

    11.27.2011

    Reply

    Hi, did you already find out what to do if I did this process in Tiger 10.4.11?

  104. Lis

    11.30.2011

    Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I had a different issue, but this worked perfectly (and easily) on my 2009 MacBook Pro running Lion.

    Somehow, within Login Options, the box Show Input menu in login window had become unchecked. (In hindsight, I guess this allows for a back-door login, but I didn’t know what it was.)

    When I rebooted my Mac today, the login screen appeared with the three accounts I’d previously set up: my admin account, a test admin account, and a guest account; however, upon clicking the icon for my account, the username field would not display. I tried multiple approaches without success.

    Googling led me to your post, and I figured if the Mac thinks it’s brand new, it ought to let me in and I can then check the login settings, and voila, it did! Once I checked that box, logged out of the new account and back into my old admin account, I was fixed.

    Many thanks for your excellent instructions and to all who took time to post their experiences as well. I’m a new subscriber!

  105. Johnny D.

    12.06.2011

    Reply

    Hey,

    Say on my computer I had two accounts: one admin and one regular. If I were to make the regular one an admin using this process, would it work using this? Would I just type in the name of the existing user account and it would replace it w/ an exact copy except that it’s an admin. And would the existing admin be replaced w/an exact copy except that it’s the regular limited account. I hope you can clear things up that I am somewhat confused about.

    Thanks,
    -Johnny D.

  106. Animzo

    12.06.2011

    Reply

    I am running a Macbook with OS X 10.6.8. This got this laptop in July 2010. I need to get through the single-user mode (command+S does the trick for me), and I get to a black background with white text. The last line is “Key:” where I want to type in, but I cannot type anything in there. None of the letters I push will be entered. When I push “enter”, I jump down to a second line of “Key:” (so now there are two “Key:” on top of each other). How can I fix this so I can actually type different commands in the “Key:” line?

  107. Tessa

    12.09.2011

    Reply

    I’m using Mac 10.6.4 and I completed all the steps. After I’m done thesigns up It takes me back to the select language thing and plays the video. I have to keep doing this over and over again.

  108. Luca

    12.11.2011

    Reply

    I followed the whole processing in a MacBook with IOSX 10.6, afther the reboot
    I can’t see any window, but only a grey screen.
    Please help me.

  109. Tyler

    12.13.2011

    Reply

    when i enter mount -uw / it says
    mount_hfs: operation not permitted
    what should i do i am using the terminal app on a macbook snow leopard

  110. Kenton Jones

    12.15.2011

    Reply

    hi i tried to do these comands and my computer just shut off on me. The macbook pro will not turn on anymore at all. what should i do?

  111. Chelsey

    12.16.2011

    Reply

    So I’ve done all the steps and rebooted. My problem is where I am creating my (new) account. For Account Name, it tells me that the name I entered can’t be used and that its not available. No matter what I type in, it tells me the same thing. What has gone wrong? I rebooted and tried again and still the same.

    Thanks!
    Chelsey

  112. Isaac

    12.27.2011

    Reply

    Thanks for this! Worked perfectly… Just one thing… once I have created a new user with a different name so it wont over right my old vanished account… How do I get back to my ” old lost” account…?

  113. diana

    12.28.2011

    Reply

    I bought a mac a year ago and I get tired with it all the time
    it was already in a few specialists and nobody knows how to fix it
    I did not get a CD and a password of administrator when i was buying this…. ,
    I tried many ways, but it is impossible to change password option because ” it’s illegal”
    if someone can advise me how can I change the password or create a new administrator account without a old password?
    my system is mac os 10.1 and second other mac 9.2

  114. Leo

    12.31.2011

    Reply

    I had no problems with this originally, but I think a problem I have now is associated with this.

    I have an older Mac, but it is running OS 10.5.4. I had used your problems to disable parental controls that my dad had set. I opened the new Admin. account I had created and made my old account an Administrative one. I then went on to my old account and deleted the new account and it’s home folder. But I didn’t have any problems.

    Now, for some reason, my computer won’t connect to the internet. Whenever I open any application associated with the internet, they say that they can’t connect to it. I think this is because when I had selected “My Computer does not use Internet” when I was setting up the new account, some factory setting was activated and now my computer says it is connected to my Airport, but Safari says it can’t connect because “your computer isn’t connected to the internet”. I have gone through every option in System Preferences but nothing I do will reconnect the internet. I have even redone the process above but selected my network (I had not known the WEP key before) and the computer still won’t connect. I have asked my dad and my cousin, who is very good with computers, about this, and they do not know what to do short of reinstalling the OS or completely resetting the computer. I would reinstall the OS but I have lost the disk. When I fund this out I checked Firewall again to make sure that wasn’t the problem, and I have googled this many times, I can’t find even a hint of an answer to my problem though. I think it is probably some factory setting I activated when I selected “My Computer does not use Internet”, one that I can’t seem to undo. Thank you for reading this, and any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    I was hoping someone here could help me with this, because I don’t want to reset the whole computer.

    I’m sure this is a lot to think about, so I will check back regularly and answer any questions you may have.

    Other then this problem, this tutorial was great and really useful, thank you.

  115. annoyedperson

    01.04.2012

    Reply

    Ive tried holding down the CMD + S keys lots of times but it doesnt bring me to the black screen, just to login page.

  116. Chris M.

    01.07.2012

    Reply

    Great tip, thanks!!! I bought a open box Mac mini from best buy, an the user account was not erased so this was exactly what I needed to do! Great luck to you and best wishes :-)

  117. bbsuit

    01.10.2012

    Reply

    Aloha,
    I just wanted to thank you for getting me out of an admin/user password( I unchecked allow user to administer this computer and for some reason I couldn’t get the admin password to work) bind with the procedure outlined above.
    You folks are brilliant!
    Mahalos, bbsuit

  118. sam

    01.11.2012

    Reply

    after reboot and ENTER my Mac comes up to the white screen with gray apple loge and a spinning wheel which keeps spinning and spinning
    this is on 10.6.8 v1.1
    I eventually forced shut down and can boot in SUM again -tried command sequence again but to same result -white screen, gray apple logo, spinning wheel

    please advice/help (while I’ll try to not freak out over here)

  119. Lukesbart

    01.17.2012

    Reply

    when i tried to boot into single user mode i removed the .applesetupdone file but it did not let me make an new admin account

  120. Ryan

    01.19.2012

    Reply

    We inherited an iMac with an Admin account for which we had no password for – this worked a charm the first time – took maybe 10-15 minutes! such a huge help!

  121. tara

    01.21.2012

    Reply

    Jeff.

    What do you suggest for someone that has purchased a powerbook off CL, it has admin passwords to the point that I can’t load software of any sort or update anything without the password. The regular fixes you see here (and all over the web) do not work, I (of course) don’t have the original computer dvds AND it’s on OS 10.4.11 (kiss of death according to all these postings). I have other macs (and consequently various dvds, but this laptop started it’s life on OS9.2 or something (classic) and for some stupid reason I can’t start up from a cd/dvd.

    I’d appreciate recommendations.

  122. John

    01.21.2012

    Reply

    Is there anyway so that the new admin account is invisible?

  123. flolala

    01.24.2012

    Reply

    HELP!

    I just bought a mac book pro for my mom, and she didn’t write her password down, sigh, so i followed the steps, worked perfectly (thank you!)

    except now I have two admin accounts, and her original one is blocked with red lines (so I can not access the files). Everything is blocked, I can’t even get into login options or add or delete a user.

    Thank you, I tried looking for an answer, but I did not see it come up!

  124. Howard

    01.25.2012

    Reply

    Does this procedure work in Lion OS?

  125. Jeremy

    01.28.2012

    Reply

    I NEED HELP. SO basically i tried this and i also get “No Such File or Directory” error and when i try to restart my computer this happens : It just says at the Apple Screen with the turning thingy and doesnt move.

    HELP JEFF

  126. Shon

    01.31.2012

    Reply

    I tried this same thing but it took me a very long time to log in and it was in single user mode, so I couldn’t log in. So I went to System Preferences, and tried to make it go to the multi-account log-in box, but now I does is just sit there with the gray screen and Apple logo, loading and loading…

  127. Shon

    01.31.2012

    Reply

    And by login-in I mean into any of my other accounts.

  128. Keira

    02.01.2012

    Reply

    Is there any side effects to it or viruses that will occur?

  129. Francis

    02.06.2012

    Reply

    Well my mac was an snow leopard but upgraded into lion. When i enter that command, they said there was no such file or directory. help!

  130. bobmekensi

    02.16.2012

    Reply

    i am stuck at the second step i type in mount -uw / and it said ‘mount: unknown flag – ‘-uw’

    what do i do because i really need to get back on my computer, i have some very urgent work due in on friday

  131. Olieera

    02.16.2012

    Reply

    Hey i did this but now it glitches heaps and my mouse wont click and stuff and before i did this it was all fine – does this have any effect?

  132. ben

    02.24.2012

    Reply

    does it delete the old account

  133. mrthesplit22

    03.02.2012

    Reply

    After I have done this when I turn on my computer after the gray screen with the apple logo there is a blue screen that appears for about 1 sec but now it stays like that for about 5-7 seconds. How do I fix this?

  134. Michael

    03.06.2012

    Reply

    Hey Jeff,

    Yesterday I got a Macbook with OS X. I was too impatient to get the administrator name and password from the previous owner (BIG MISTAKE). I thought I’d follow your instructions as they seemed easy and straight forward. Now I’ve run into a bit of a problem and hope you can shed some light on the situation. (I have NO knowledge about Mac)

    I followed the first step and got into “single-user mode” (black screen white text). I saw that black screen with white text and thought, “Woah man, I’m out my my depth”. My brother typed ‘help’ in order to find out how to exit single-user mode, he said that’s how it’s done on windows? (I also have limited knowledge about Windows). I typed in various things such as ‘reboot’ in an attempt to exit. Eventually the battery died. I turned the Macbook back on and the grey screen with the apple logo with the spinning wheel appeared. The spinning wheel span and span but the computer will not start up.

    I need to have it up and running soon. Please can you help me out!

    Thanks in advance,
    Michael

  135. Mr. Thomas

    03.09.2012

    Reply

    It worked for me. Awesome bro.

  136. Michael

    03.14.2012

    Reply

    My laptop monitor is broken in addition to not knowing the admin password. I’ve tried this process multiple times waiting different amounts of time to ensure the screen you are referring to has loaded… But it still isn’t working. Is there a way to view this screen from clamshell mode, or switch it to the attached monitor which any other time is my primary screen?

  137. JudyT

    03.16.2012

    Reply

    I’m running an iMac with snow leopard. I accidentally set up several duplicate accounts, then deleted the spares except for one.

    BUT my mac seems to have LOST the most current account. When I turn on my mac, it automatically logs into the “old” account. I need the “newer” account. Will this method work for me??
    I searched the comments on this method and I found that Bruce seems to have had the same issue. He had 3 accounts and his account and one of the others “disappeared”. His post follows…

    “Bruce
    January 10, 2011 • 10:58 pm
    Just followed these directions and they worked perfectly! Thank you!!!

    I had 3 accounts setup on my iMac. Mine as the admin, and one for each of my daughters that were parental controls. Mine and one of my daughters disappeared. I could not do anything, not even get to system prefs. I followed these directions and I am back up and running.”

  138. Eganstien

    03.21.2012

    Reply

    2 things. 1. With the setup thing I shutdown when it says and it keeps repeating the setup
    2. Can I restore my old stuff

  139. hanif

    03.29.2012

    Reply

    i have mac 10.3 after doing these steps.now mac show me on screen, create ur acount.i fill all the fields but it does’t move forward.it require picture for my acount.and i m unable to add photo.

  140. hanif

    03.29.2012

    Reply

    after doing all stages.i succesfuly reboot my mac 10.3 after watching vedio, i fill the required fields accordingly in registration information.after this, new window “create your account” it requires name, short name, pasword, and picture. I filled all fields but unable to add a picture.on the right side “select a picture from the list above” there is no list.and i cant proceed further.plz sum body help me.

  141. Kate

    04.03.2012

    Reply

    So quick, so easy, worked first time and I’m extremely grateful! Cheeeers!

  142. John

    04.04.2012

    Reply

    Hey, Jeff,
    I’m running OS 10.5.8 and am having the same problem Kutty had (7/22/12) with a frozen up keyboard. (I’m using my wife’s laptop to get to the bottom of this).
    When I turned on my macbookpro this morning it wouldn’t accept my admin password, despite repeated attempts. Weird, I know, like “who changed my freakin’ pw???”
    So I went into SUM and followed your directions. After entering commands I was seeing the words: “root #” at the prompt; but everything rebooted just fine – watched the video – clicked on language preference, etc… until it came time to enter wifi pw. Just “chirps” when striking the keyboard. So, I hooked up to ethernet (a clickable command). But at the next window couldn’t get past the “enter your name” page.
    I was able to rip some important files from one laptop to another using firewire & target mode (for now). Any suggestions on getting the keyboard back?
    thx,
    John

    • John

      04.05.2012

      One other thing… when I first went to log on yesterday, the log-in screen accepted my password (window didn’t shake), I got a blue line, screen faded to the next, and the log-in screen came right back up (like an endless loop). So, technically it didn’t reject my password, it just kept sending me back to the login page.

  143. Anonymous

    04.12.2012

    Reply

    for some computers, /sbin/ is not needed, for others you just need to do
    Mount -uw /
    rm /var/db/.applesetupdone
    reboot or shutdown -h now

  144. cheryl

    04.19.2012

    Reply

    hi i followed the instructions above and started my macbook pro but when it asked for my username ect i couldn’t type at all my keyboard just chimes everytime i push any buttons.
    so i tried it again but it just says that applesetupdone doesn’t exsist :( please help

    • cheryl

      04.19.2012

      my version is 10.5.8 the computer loads but the keyboard isn’t working at all :(

  145. your mother

    04.21.2012

    Reply

    ok none of this worked at all i tried it and nothing came up or happened and i really need the admin setup any help….?

  146. Thomas Pleasant

    04.23.2012

    Reply

    Does this delete the old admin account? If not, is there a way to delete the newly-created administrator account once it has served its purpose?

  147. Boris

    04.24.2012

    Reply

    I followed your instructions and it worked like a dream… great info!
    Thank you!

  148. Gab

    04.26.2012

    Reply

    I tried everything and my MacBook pro 10.5 stays stuck on the language page? I tries the same procedure a couple times ? What can I do? Please help!

  149. Jen

    04.30.2012

    Reply

    Does this work on iMac?

  150. Jarod

    05.02.2012

    Reply

    Uh . . . My keyboard does not have the “cmd” key. Are there any substitutes I could use for it?

  151. Hardik Patel

    05.18.2012

    Reply

    Thank you so much for this guide! Something was wrong with my finder and made my mac act like it had a virus even though I know it didn’t. Applications were not working and had almost nothing on my mac was usable. Anyways I used this guide to create another user account. This account was affected but i was allowed to get into system preferences and do a software update. It installed the update and then my computer was back to normal. THANK YOU!! If I didn’t find this guide I dont think anything else would have worked because I tried doing all other other things I found online such as deleting the .finder.plist file and resetting the PRAM and NVRAM.

  152. Ryan

    05.28.2012

    Reply

    Jeff, I have read most of the posts from above. If you have answered this question I apologize for asking again. But I followed the steps above and it worked great. I now have access to my NEW User Account. I can see my previous folder in the User Folder, but the folder has a red minus icon on its buttom right corner, and when I double click the folder it says “the Folder “username” can’t be opened because you don’t have permission to see its contents”.. I then tried to access the old user account at the login screen, and it still gave me the “You are unable to log in to the user account “myaccount ” at this time”. (the reason why I began this crazy process in the 1st place). So, Basically I have access to my computer now, thank goodness..BUT do not have access to the old account or its folders.

  153. Person

    05.29.2012

    Reply

    Is there a way to do this without going into single-user mode? I have firmware and don’t know how to take away ram.

  154. Dennis Martin

    06.05.2012

    Reply

    I HAVE FOLLOWED THE STEPS TO THE T AND IT KEEPS ASKING SOMETHING ABOUT OVER RIDING IT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND IT WANTS A YES OR NO. I HAVE PUT BOTH ANSWERS IN AND IT WON’T DO IT AND I AM ABOUT TO SCREAM. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  155. Reece Koke

    06.07.2012

    Reply

    I did all the steps but when I finally rebooted it,it came back to normal is it because I have it so you have to type in the username and password

  156. Sarah

    06.07.2012

    Reply

    Hello,
    I am using 10.6.8 and I need to know or reset my admin account password to install updates.
    Ive tried these stpes exactly as you show but when I type rm /var/db/ .applesetupdone
    It keeps saying :No such file or directory
    And then prompts again for a root#

    Can’t get past this point.
    Thanks for any help.

    • Emily

      08.02.2012

      We are coming across the same issue! It keeps saying that there is “no such directory”. Please let me know if you have found a solution. Thanks.

  157. firsthill

    06.08.2012

    Reply

    Can you delete the new admin account created easily from that admin account?

  158. Enno

    06.10.2012

    Reply

    Hello guys can you help me with something ? i did exactly everything that is said in this tutorial and when i finish the process the computer reboots and do not send me to the loggin page but it starts again the instalation… can anyone help me plzzz ??

    thnx in advance :)

  159. Sam

    06.15.2012

    Reply

    Thank you so much! Got me administrative rights, right away!

  160. Merlijn

    06.20.2012

    Reply

    hello,
    i have a macbook for school instead of books and i accidentally disabled the option that i am an admin on my laptop. (i wanted to create a different account to enable the old account as an admin again.) i read this thing and it looks very useful at first but than i realized i didn’t know if this is gonna delete the option that my school (witch have a other account on this mac) can control my mac and look at it through remote desktop (an .app) and such. so i wanna know if its possible to make from the new account a different account admin again. and i want to know if the reset thing is going to disable the fact that school can control my laptop. (witch i don’t want) also maybe you know a better solution?
    thanks for your help in advance :)
    greetings, Merlijn

    • Merlijn

      06.20.2012

      btw i have version 10.6.8

  161. Joshua

    07.06.2012

    Reply

    This worked perfectly! It took me less than two minutes and I was running 10.4. Great post!

  162. Salty

    07.08.2012

    Reply

    Will this method work with Max OS X 10.7.3 ?

    On a 2011 Nov build macbook pro / 2.4Ghz Intel Core i5

    Thank You…. very good thread.

  163. Zack

    07.17.2012

    Reply

    When I create new admin account threw -su every things works perfectly set up screen new user account and password ok then when I try to log in the password will not work I tryied it twice 2 new accounts both times it dose not recognize new pass word for account I typed a single z and nope any suggestions I’ve tried every thing on internet with sudo -su passwd ect. Also when I do the passwd I don’t get invisable passwd it shows it I made a account and called it user haven’t worked mac in years after this it locked out of the admin it will not except changes ect. Any suggestions ?

  164. Alex

    07.29.2012

    Reply

    it worked but… i just created a new account. During the setup, it didn’t ask me if i wanted to make the account administrative. I’m currently running the latest version of lion.

  165. Emily

    08.02.2012

    Reply

    My brother has a MacBook Pro and now it just stays on the white screen with the Apple and the rotating gear for a long time and will not go to the log on page. Is there any way I can perform a master reboot without the original CD (he seems to have lost it)? Or could someone please present us with a viable solution to our problem? Thanks.

  166. Moe

    08.07.2012

    Reply

    Hi, i tried this and worked great. Only issue I am having is accessing all my itune files, I can see them and know they are saved in the other user folder, but when I open itunes it’s empty. Any tips? Also when i try to download a tv program it comes up saying that: There was a problem downloading, disc is full?
    Any help would be really appreciated.
    Thanks

  167. Hannah

    08.08.2012

    Reply

    I’ve got to the set up point where it asks for a picture on this account and I’m stuck with the multi-coloured wheel of doom and I can’t select anything. even the ‘Continue’ button. Any ideas…?

  168. Thomas Rode

    08.22.2012

    Reply

    Worked like a charm! Thanks a lot! :D

  169. Jeremie

    09.07.2012

    Reply

    This worked perfectly! Great post!
    Thank you!!

  170. chris clotario

    09.10.2012

    Reply

    hello

  171. Zach Green

    09.13.2012

    Reply

    Will all the other accounts be unaffected

  172. hi!,I love your writing so so much! proportion we be in contact extra approximately your post on AOL?
    I require a specialist in this area to resolve my problem.
    May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  173. kyle

    09.22.2012

    Reply

    will this change the password of the already made admin account?

  174. Rukkell

    09.23.2012

    Reply

    Hey Jeff, your tutorials work really well. But for this one, it says that the file .applesetupdone is nonexistant. I’m not sure why. I’ve repeated the process several times and it still says that its not there.

  175. Erica

    09.25.2012

    Reply

    Worked great, Thank you! I did it on a Mac pro 10.6,8 and it did stall on the create a new account screen I did panic a little,but after a minute or so I just hit the back button and it allowed the account t to be created.

  176. Fredrick

    09.25.2012

    Reply

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  178. November 12

    10.15.2012

    Reply

    Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest
    authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would really
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  179. TAERO

    10.23.2012

    Reply

    I managed to complete the process fine but when creating the new account I couldn’t make it an admin. account. Can anyone help?

  180. Leftis

    10.24.2012

    Reply

    Hi. Someone gave me an iMac 2008 os x 10.5.
    I don’t have the password to make updates and I don’t have the disc for a clean install.
    I don’t care about the files. I want to make it like its new.
    Should I follow the process and on the step with the new account name to type the old admin name so as it will delete all the files??
    or you have any other idea?
    thanks

  181. Iris

    11.06.2012

    Reply

    Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and
    I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  182. anonymous

    11.07.2012

    Reply

    Hi my 23 year old younger brother decided it would be funny to use this method to to get into my mac and make himself admin but when he did it my mac was stuck on the gray screen with the apple logo and won’t go any further any suggestions

  183. Anonymous

    11.12.2012

    Reply

    Thanks really helpful

  184. Grant

    11.12.2012

    Reply

    I did this my mom and dad found out deleted the account and now my mac won’t turn on!What should I do?

  185. Lael Costa

    12.02.2012

    Reply

    When I complete the procedure and reboot, it does not prompt me to create a new account. It simply asks me for my old login and password. What can I do about this?

  186. Komodo

    01.22.2013

    Reply

    Dear Jeff,
    Thanks for all the info. I have a Mac OS X with Mountain Lion and several days ago, to increase my security, I added a long keychain password written in 1337 and I created a new admin account with 1337 password 20+ characters long and stripped my main account, which also has a 1337 password, of its admin privileges. My computer also has FileVault and a firewall which originally allowed only essential services, but then I set it to block “all” incoming connections, but bonjour and some other things were left enabled for some reason. Also Stealth mode was left enabled. Anyway, a few days ago, my admin password was changed, or at least I think it was as well as my keychain password. I stupidly wrote my admin pass on a sticky note and I don’t know where it is anymore and I left my computer out for a while. I suppose that even with the best security, my absent mindedness renders it futile. Sorry for the minor details.
    Anyway, I want to create a new admin account cause I frankly don’t want to wait several days to crack the existing admin pass and I can’t download anything without the admin pass. However, when I tried using the CMND S combo, I get a black screen with white lettering that reads: “efiboot loaded from device: Acpi (#######,#) Pci (####)/SATA(#,#)/HD (Part#,Sig########-####-####-############) boot file path: \System\Library\coreservices\boot.efi. And then it disappears and displays the list of users. Does this mean that I have a firmware password or does it confirm my suspicion that I’ve been hacked and that my computer is being booted from a remote location? I’ve had several Stealth Mode connection attempts from a couple IP addresses to various ports on my computer. Maybe I’m just paranoid and it’s just the school’s router (I’m on a college campus and have to use their Internet). But idk, I can’t view the firewall logs on my console anymore, cause I have to login as admin. Btw, I had some essential passwords on my login keychain. Is there anyway to recover them without the keychain password? Btw, I repaired permissions on disk utility on my admin account b4 it was changed. Idk if that screwed it up. And I’m unable to repair my keychain. Please help. Many thanks
    - Komodo

  187. Komodo

    01.22.2013

    Reply

    As a side note, I also stupidly enabled a guest account under parental controls, which I assume an experienced hacker could use to hack into my computer. Additionally when my Airport was disconnected (at least it displays it as ), Bluetooth turned off no Ethernet, or FireWire plugged in, Activity Monitor still shows a lot of packets written in and out on my Network. Btw, I have GoogleDrive on my computer. Idk if that means anything. Java is disabled as well and both ClamXav and iAntivirus do not show any malware on my hard drive/system. The only things that show up are Heuristic Phishing emails, although I assume those are false positives. It kinda sucks, cause they’re .emlx meaning that they’re system wide and keep re-downloading themselves. It’s annoying. Sorry that this is so long, I’m just trying to be as thorough as possible. Thanks in advance for your help.

  188. Komodo

    01.22.2013

    Reply

    One last thing, I do have a WD My Passport that is configured with time machine. It has a back up of all my files from a week ago. I don’t know if this is what the efiboot is though, because the My Passport drive wasn’t plugged in at the time of the message. I suppose that the old back up will have all my old passwords so would you suggest using it as a last resort? Like wiping my computer and then recovering my files from the disk. Many thanks.

  189. Tonja

    02.09.2013

    Reply

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about hack. Regards

  190. Judy

    02.10.2013

    Reply

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for newbie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  191. Lois

    02.13.2013

    Reply

    This is just fantastic. Thanks for putting this online!!!

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