How to Enable/Disable Root User on Mac

In Unix style operating systems Root is a unique user, different than an administrator who has high privileges and rights to make any change to the system. The Root user does not appear in user accounts list on Mac. By default Root user is disabled and recommended that after conducting the required change through Root, disable and log out from it and work on Mac system via regular or admin user accounts.

Here the method is written below to learn that how to enable or disable the root user on Mac, so follow the steps to do that after a jump.

What is root user account?

  • Mac root user account has the hight privileges than any user account on Mac.
  • Root account used to perform some system-level tasks.

How to Enable the Root on Mac

  1. Click on Finder icon on the Dock.
  2. Then click Go menu and select Utilities option.
  3. Click on Directory Utility.
  4. On the following window click on the lock icon to unlock to make changes.
  5. On this pop-up screen, enter administrator name and password and click OK.
  6. Now, it is unlocked to proceed further.
  7. Click on Edit menu option and then on Enable Root User.
  8. Enter Root password whatever you want and re-type in Verify text field and press OK.

How to Log in to Root user

Once you follow the above-given steps successfully and the Root user is enabled. Log out of your current user account. Just click the Apple menu and select Log Out option from the list.

  1. On the login screen click the username “Other.”
  2. Enter root in Name field and password which you have set in the above steps for root to get log in.

You might want to know how to reset root password or recover forgotten Mac password.

Make your required changes in system whatever you want and remember to disable root account once you have completed the task.


How to Disable the Root

  1. Just log out from Root and Login to the other Admin account. Then Click on Finder >> Utilities folder >> Directory Utility. The following screen appears, so click on lock to prevent further changes
  2. Now click Edit menu option, you will see the Root is disabled.
13 comments… add one
Dilin September 22, 2009, 12:06 pm

I new bought Mac and not familiar a lot with that and this is a completely new info for me that mac has a root user. thanks for sharing this process to enable root user on mac.

lilik September 30, 2009, 2:26 pm

thank you for this!

Nono October 2, 2009, 4:13 am

Very different idea of root on mac

mase October 3, 2009, 7:29 pm

Never used the root user account

Niya October 17, 2009, 3:01 pm

thanks for describing Root on Mac for new users

Gustaf Juell October 26, 2009, 10:46 am

I’m also new mac user and this is new idea for me about root on mac

80's Mac October 28, 2009, 5:41 pm

like mac’s root user windows 7 also has hidden admin

jonson November 12, 2009, 5:51 am

nice mac tricks

Anders December 7, 2009, 7:31 am

Mac is much complex for Windows users anyway your articles work well for us

Sandliya December 25, 2009, 4:33 pm

Thanks for helping me in enabling root in Mac..

Krisstofeles February 19, 2012, 2:55 am

If I reset the root user, will the password for said user be reseted as well?

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