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Reset my password (Mac)

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2013 02:57PM EDT


  1. Open the System Preferences application. You can find System Preferences in the Apple menu. It is also located in the Dock by default (although its icon can be removed from the Dock).
  2. Click on the "Accounts" icon in the "System Preferences" window.
  3. Click on your account to highlight it in the list of accounts in the left side of the Accounts System Preferences window. If you are logged in with that account currently, it should be first in the list, under the heading "My Account."
    PantherSysPrefsAcctsSelectMe: Panther System Preferences Accounts select "My Account"
  4. Click on the "Password" tab. Your account's long and short names should be listed, along with fields for the password and password hint.
  5. Click once in the "Password" field and press any key on the keyboard. When you press a key, a sheet will slide down and ask you for your current password.
    PantherSysPrefsAcctsAuthorize: Panther System Preferences Accounts authorize password change
  6. Enter your current password in the "Current Password" field of the dialog sheet that slides down and then click "OK" to close the dialog.
    Note: If you do not remember your account's current password, you will need to reset it when starting up from your Mac OS X installation disc.
  7. Enter a new password in the "Password" field. (See our Tips for securing computers for more information on creating strong passwords.)
  8. Re-enter the same new password in the "Verify" field.
    Note: If the contents of the "Password" and "Verify" fields do not match, you will be warned and forced to make them the same.

    PantherSysPrefsAcctsPwVerify: Panther System Preferences Accounts verify password change
  9. Enter a password hint in the "Password Hint" field. If you cannot think of a phrase that will remind you -- and only you -- of your password, without giving away your password, then leave the field blank. Under no circumstances should you repeat your password in the hint field.
  10. Click on another account in the account list; this will save the password change you just made.
  11. Click "OK" on the dialog sheet that slides down. The dialog warns you that your Keychain password will be changed to match the new password you just entered. (The Keychain allows you to securely store frequently-used passwords for e-mail programs, Web sites, file servers, and so on.)
    PantherSysPrefsAcctsKeychain: Panther System Preferences Accounts Keychain password change

That's it! You've changed your password.

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