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Reset user password on mac with M1

Reset user password on mac with M1
Photo by Dmitry Spravko / Unsplash

Today I received a question from one of my friends, how to reset a user password on a M1 mac. After few emails, he successfully manege to reset the password on his M1 mac mini.

The process is actually very simple, but because it's not directly available from the login screen on your mac, it requires the user to reboot the mac into recovery mode.
Here is the procedure for how to rest your user password on an M1 mac, just bear in mind, this one is for users that do not have there drives encrypted:

  1. Turn off your mac
  2. Wait about 10-20 seconds after shutdown, to make sure that the mac is off
  3. Press the power button and hold for about 10 seconds, until you will see on screen the Apple Logo and under it something like 'loading setup options', after that release the power button
  4. Now you should see icons on screen like: your hard drive and the 'Options' icon, click on the icon, it should display under a field 'Continue' click on it.
  5. You will see the macOS recovery login screen, you will need to click on 'Forgot all passwords'
  6. Now the system will try to confirm that you are you and ask you to log into your AppleID, please do so.
  7. After successful AppleID login, click EXIT on the bottom
  8. The mac will now start the recovery menu
  9. When recovery menu will be displayed, you will have options like Restore the Operating System etc.
  10. Click on the TOP menu bar on Utilities, choose from the drop down list Terminal
  11. When terminal will open, type the following resetpassword
  12. After few seconds you will see a list of all users on the mac
  13. Click on 'Forget all passwords'
  14. The system will display another windows with the 'Deactivate mac' option, please click on the 'Deactivate mac' field.
  15. Confirm with click on 'Deactivate' again
  16. After few seconds the system will ask you again to log into your AppleID, please do so
  17. Now you will see a list of all your users on this mac, on the right you will have options to set new passwords for all accounts, please set new passwords for all accounts on the mac (not just one account, all of them)
  18. After setting all new password, you can click EXIT
  19. Click on the Apple logo in the left top cornet, and select restart
  20. System will restart and load the login screen for you mac, choose your user and input your new password.

Just a warning on the end, this procedure will reset the Keychain on all accounts, this means that any saved password in it will not be available any more.