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Ask Max: Mac mini password lost, help!

Asked on 02/27/2007:

I received a Mac mini Model Number A-1103m and it was a gift from my daughter that is in the service and I have know idea when she will be back in the states. Yet I can't log on into any type of file on my computer because it won't allow me to enter a log in password. So what can I do to either reset a new password, or get another one.


It is not too hard to reset your passwords on a Mac mini if you've lost the password. What you will need to do is restart your computer and boot up off the grey Install Disc that came with your computer. First insert the disc into the disk drive. There may be more than one, but you will want to use the first one in the set, often with "Disc 1" labeled on it. Once it is in the drive restart the computer and hold down the "C" key. When you hold down the "C" key on start up, your computer will boot off whatever disc is in the drive, as long as it is a bootable disc. It will take a little time to start up but eventually it will ask you to pick a language. Take your finger off the "C" key and choose English (I'm making that assumption because that's the language with which you asked the question :)). Now you'll want to look in the menu for a "Reset Password" option. You can usually find it under the Utilities menu, but it can be in different places depending on what OS version you have. In the Reset Password utility you select your user account and enter your new password twice. I would recommend writing the password down and placing it in your wallet for safe-keeping. Now you can quit the utility and the installer and restart the computer. You do not need to hold down any key. Now use your new password to login.

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