How to reset a Lost OS X Lion Password Using an Apple ID

Aside from resetting a Mac OS X Lion password with the passwordreset command line tool or by creating a new user account, you can use a new feature in OS X 10.7 that allows a user password to be reset via the accompanying Apple ID, the same Apple ID that is tied to an iCloud, iTunes, App Store, and Apple Support account.

Mac password reset

Resetting a Lost OS X Lion Password Using an Apple ID

Understand the caveats before beginning: this method only works if you set an Apple ID to tie with the OS X user account, and this option won’t be available for users with FileVault 2 protection enabled. Also note that this leads to the creation of a new keychain, but the old keychain will remain intact if you do recall the old password sometime down the road.

  1. After incorrectly entering a user password three times at the Mac login screen, a message appears saying “If you forgot your password, you can reset it using your Apple ID”, click the arrow button to bring up a “Reset Password” dialog
  2. Enter the Apple ID login information that is tied to the OS X Lion user account and click “Reset Password”
  3. Click “OK” to confirm the new keychain creation
  4. Enter and verify a new password, fill out the password hint field, and again click on “Reset Password”
  5. Click “Continue Log In” to login as the user account with the reset password

If there is no Apple ID attached to the user account, use the passwordreset tool or new user trick, and some of the more complex older methods from Mac OS X 10.6 continue to work as well.

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