How to Change Your Mac’s Admin Password

By default, your Mac’s admin password is your iCloud password. This is a new feature introduced in OS X Yosemite, but it’s something that not all users like, so here’s how to go back to using an admin password of your choice.

The nice thing about past versions of OS X was that you could establish your own admin password during the set up process when you first installed OS X, but OS X Yosemite no longer does that and it simply just uses your iCloud password as the default admin password, which means you have to enter it in every time your Mac needs your authorization to open up a certain app or change a certain setting.

If your iCloud password is long and complicated, this really isn’t a convenient way to go. However, you can still reset your admin password and change it to something that’s a bit easier to type in, and you’ll no longer be forced to stick with using your iCloud password every time.

So here’s how to change your Mac’s admin password in OS X Yosemite.

1234 Is Not a Password

Firstly, before you even change your Mac’s admin password, think of an easy-to-remember password that’s also easy to type in, but you also want it to be somewhat complicated so that nobody can easily guess it.


I’m a big fan of using keyboard patterns for passwords, like “pqlamz,” which is essentially just alternating the last letter keys on each row of the keyboard. Something like that is complicated enough, but it’s also easy to remember and super easy to type in.

Technically, you don’t need a really strong password for an admin password, since it’s really only used for authorizing changes to settings and such on your Mac, but you need one in place, even if you don’t enable a login during startup.

With that said, here’s how to change your Mac’s admin password.

How to Change the Admin Password

The first thing you’ll want to do is open up System Preferences (the icon with a cog inside). Then click on Users & Groups.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.09.16 AM

From there, you’ll want to unlock the padlock in the lower-left corner, so click on that and enter in your iCloud password. After that’s done, click on Change Password. You’ll get a pop-up that gives you the option to use a password other than your iCloud password, so go ahead and click on Use Separate Password.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.09.52 AM

Next, you’ll be asked to enter in your iCloud password and then you’ll type in a new password of your choice below that. Type that new password again in the Verify text box. You can also set a password hint, which will allow you to more easily remember your password if you ever forget it, but that’s entirely optional.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.10.26 AM

Once you’re done, click on Use Separate Password to confirm the change. Your Mac will use that new password that you set. Once that window closes, go ahead and click on the padlock in the lower-left corner to lock up that settings window, and then you can close out of System Preferences.

Now, whenever you go to enter in your admin password, you’ll just need to enter in that new password that you specified, instead of having to use your complicated iCloud password.