Robot Has No Heart

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One Way to Reset a Macbook Password

Weird problem today: macbook was accepting my password to decrypt disk, but not accepting it for user account login. This started happening after adding lock button to my touch bar. I can’t see how that’s related, but that was the last thing I did so maybe relevant!? Tried the new button, locked my computer, couldn’t login again.

Things that didn’t work:

  • Reset password using recovery key. (I think this only resets the disk password?)
  • Recovery mode (hold Command+R on boot), resetpassword in terminal. Weirdly this did change the password hint for the account, but the new password was still not accepted.
  • Reseting PRAM (hold Command+Option+P+R on boot).

What did work (thanks to Apple care phone support, very good experience):

  1. Boot into recovery mode (hold Command+R on boot).
  2. Open Disk Utilities and mount Macintosh HD.
  3. Open Terminal and rm /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/var/db/.AppleSetupDone.
  4. Reboot computer, enter disk password, then go through new computer setup again.
  5. When prompted, create a new Temp Admin user account. You’ll end up logged in as this new temp admin.
  6. Via System Settings, User & Accounts, reset password of your original account.
  7. Log out and re-login as your original account (hooray!)
  8. Delete the newly created Temp Admin account.
  • Posted on May 30, 2019
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