How to Set up a Used Mac When You Don’t Know the User Name or Password


We’re tackling a fun difficulty with geeky hand-me-downs in this week’s Tech 911. I want I knew a person older than me—a figure, a brother, an outstanding neighbor—who had laptops and smartphones and gadgets galore that they might bypass my way once they have been ill of the use of them.
Unfortunately, I don’t, however Lifehacker reader Kyle simply does. And at the same time as free stuff is usually a laugh and appreciated, there’s one quirk with his state-of-the-art acquisition that he wishes assist solving. He writes:

For the purposes of this answer—at the least, the primary part of it—I’m going to assume that you’re asking a way to log right into a machine when you don’t have the person call and password. This query speaks to a larger factor, though: How do I get admission to a machine that someone else has locked down?

Thankfully, we don’t want to fear approximately any type of loopy recovery gear or password-cracking recommendation for this one, on the grounds that your last purpose isn’t always to get into an account that isn’t yours, but to use a gadget on which that account was previously created. In other words, we can just reset your cheese grater to its manufacturing unit defaults and set it up as if it had been a brand-new gadget, doing away with that login issue within the method.

The clean way to do that—assuming your Mac’s previous proprietor hasn’t set up a firmware password, which makes matters lots trickier—is to absolutely boot into your Mac’s healing mode when you start it up. Power for your pc and right away begin retaining Command+R. Continue doing this till you see something appear in your display screen (usually an Apple brand or a spinning globe), then you could release the keys.

If you don’t see the macOS “utilities window” when recovery boots, and as an alternative see something like “macOS Recovery” with a prompt asking you to enter a user’s password, click on Recovery Assistant and pick Erase Mac. Click at the blue “Erase Mac” link and let ‘er rip—this may wipe your machine and let you installation a new edition of macOS from scratch (with anything consumer call and password you want).

Otherwise, if you make it into the primary macOS “utilities window,” release Disk Utility. Pick your power that has macOS mounted on it, and choose Erase. When executed, stop out of Disk Utility and begin the process of reinstalling macOS thru the on hand hyperlink in the principal “macOS Utilities” screen.

I’m hoping the person that gave you your new Mac disabled iCloud (and the “Find My…” characteristic) before coughing it up. Otherwise, you ought to be able to reset your Mac’s NVRAM/PRAM, which deletes the “Find My” affiliation. You can then sign into your iCloud account, and you need to be able to installation your Mac as though it changed into usually and for all time yours. (You might also be able to just log into iCloud as everyday, with out resetting your NVRAM/PRAM, to accomplice the erased Mac together with your very own iCloud account. I’d attempt both steps.)

This must get you up and walking together with your new Mac. If not, or if you’re still encountering any problems or confusion, write again!