Reset an OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard user’s Password Without a CD

Reset an OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard user’s Password Without a CD

If you have lost a password to an OS X user account on your Apple Macintosh, this will help you reset it. This guide works for all apple computers including but not limited to MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and MacBook Air.

  1. Start by having your computer shut off.

    Power it on, and hold Command (Apple Button) + S at the same time.

  2. Soon you’ll see the computer booting up with lots of lines of code scrolling by. When it comes to a rest, type the following.

    /sbin/fsck -y

    /sbin/mount -uaw

  3. Now we’ll get a list of the users on the computer based on their home directory. Type:
    cd /Users/
  4. When you see the folder name (99% of the time this will usually match the user on the system, unless you’ve renamed the account afterwords) of the user you want to reset, type the passwd command. Assuming that my account name was john, I’d type the following:

    passwd john

    Substitute john for the username you wish to reset.

    You’ll now be prompted to enter a new password for john twice. Once to enter it, the second time to confirm.

  5. After this is done, type:
  6. You can now login to that user account with the new password.

    2011-08-24: HTML error fixed causing vital information in step one to be omitted from view.

  • Doug


  • Jose Victor Herrera

    Worked like a charm, thanks!

  • Mike Elmore

    I don’t get this part. Why is it separated? Or is there a prompt just before the second line? This isn’t clear to me.
    /sbin/fsck -y/sbin/mount -uaw

  • Tanner Williamson

    Yes, each line is a separate command to enter. So enter /sbin/fsck -y *and then* enter the next line, /sbin/mount -uaw

  • Jason

    Works like a charm. Tested and verified its working! :)

  • Wendy

    I typed the first line, pressed enter to go to next line, but it loads additional information about checking folders, etc. and then ://root# comes up again so I type that second line, but nothing comes up but another line with ://root#…no user names listed. What am I doing wrong?

  • Lucas Lena


  • Pier-luc L. Saindon

    Hellow Guys, i’ve tried many times to go in the Single-user mode with command + s and it never happened….. please help me if you got another way to go into . i’m able to whrite ans read my hard drive with another version of osx on another drive.. HELP MEEE

  • Jonah

    When I type the second part of what you told me to do it comes up with no such file or directory.

  • Jonah

    You told me to write cd /Users/ ls right

  • Tanner Williamson

    If you’re using a newer version of the operating system, use Command + R when booting to get to the boot screen. Then, from the menu, open terminal. Once terminal is open, run “resetpassword” command in the terminal without the quotes.

  • Tanner Williamson

    Please restate your question more clearly.

  • Tanner Williamson

    Que version de OS X tiene?

  • Tanner Williamson

    Can you confirm which version of OS X you have? The instructions vary from 10.6 to 10.7 and 10.8.

  • Jay Hoffman

    Brillant! Thanks!!

  • Paul Haan

    thanks, you saved my life!

  • Amy Pezzicara

    This just came in handy, and saved me a trip to the Genius bar. Thanks!

  • Amy Pezzicara

    BTW, I stumbled at #3. It important to know that you type: “cd /Users/” then press enter and type “ls” with a lowercase “L” as in list, then press enter again (don’t type the quotes)

  • eddy

    thanks for publishing the tip. Now I regain the control.

  • nae

    When I get to reset password “new password” it doesn’t type anything

  • Tanner Williamson

    It is typing. The input is hidden, so nothing shows up on screen when you type in your new password. Just make sure you type your password, then press enter to confirm.

  • janet

    froze when prompted to type a new password

  • Nastasha Hillyard

    It worked thanks!!!!

  • Tanner Williamson

    It most likely isn’t frozen, it is just waiting for you to type the input and press enter. You won’t see the input as you type. Just type your password even though you don’t see it doing anything, and press enter. Then do it a second time to confirm when prompted.

  • Moe Better 11

    It worked for me – though it did change the boot up from auto login to having to actually type the userid & pwd. The old *nix is often silent when things work – or fail.

    Thanks for the tip! Yes, 1068 is the best MacOS ever!