How to Reset Root Password on Mac OS X

Root user in Mac OS X is special user, different than administrator and has high privileges and rights to make any type of change to the system. If you forgot the password of Mac OS X Root user, see how to recover Root password using different methods in Mac OS X. In this guide you will see how to reset OS X root user password using Terminal app or with the help of OS X boot DVD disc.

See also:
How to Enable/Disable Root User on Mac


Reset root password on Mac with Terminal

  • Go to Finder
  • Navigate to Applications > Utilities and launch Terminal
  • Copy and paste the following command in Terminal and hit Enter
    sudo passwd root

    It asks for your password so enter the password of your current login and press Enter
  • Now it asks to enter a New password for Root user, type new password and hit Enter
  • Retype Root password and press Enter
  • The Root password has been changed

Reset root user password with installation CD

Use installation CD of Mac OS X to boot your Mac and through Reset Password option set a new password for Root.

11 comments… add one
De Pula January 17, 2010, 6:47 pm

very useful mac os x article

Nono April 11, 2010, 2:54 am

thanks for sharing this tip to reset root password on mac

jahanzebmis June 23, 2010, 8:15 pm

Gr8… I search so many times @ different websites but this article actually solved my problem..


joseluis August 12, 2011, 4:33 am

steps very clear explained


lollipop :P April 4, 2012, 10:52 pm

Nice explained, I’m not the admin of the computer so it said that I’m not the admin and that it will be reported to the admin 🙁

barste10 November 7, 2012, 8:42 pm

I have 5 macs that need to have the root password changed i changed it but then someone went in and changed it back to the defult passwd so i am not sure what happen.

Steven Barber

ovy February 17, 2014, 2:51 am

Thank you! Very helpful!

sunflower September 27, 2015, 9:48 am

forget my password

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