A useful tip all Mac users should carry out is having an extra admin account on their system. While this may seem silly or useless, it’s actually a great troubleshooting method. When you have a spare admin account, that has no changes to its preference files and doesn’t contain any data besides what Mac OS X adds when the account is created, you have an account that can aid you if you ever have trouble logging into your main admin account.
For example, if your main admin account continuously freezes and you’ve already tried resetting your SMC, you can use the extra admin account, in order to fix the problem. This is also useful if you ever forget the password to your main admin account.
Unfortunately, most users only think of creating a spare admin account after encountering a problem with their main admin account. You may think it’s too late to create an extra admin account, at that point, but this is very far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that you can force your Mac a create a new admin account with a new username and password. This will allow you to then regain access to your Mac.
After you have administrative control on your Mac, you’ll be able to reset your old forgotten password and log back into your old main admin account. While this method is very useful, it won’t work if you have an encrypted Mac drive due to use of FileVault, or if you’ve set up firmware passwords that you don’t remember. If you have neither of these issues, and are ready to learn how to create a new admin account on your Mac, follow the simple instructions below. You’ll have to boot into Single User Mode in order to create this new account.
Boot into Single User Mode to Create Admin Account
Using Single User mode, you can easily make changes to shared user resources. Single User mode uses a Terminal like interface, where you will be running commands from a prompt. IF you’ve never used Terminal before, you don’t need to worry, as the process below can be carried out by beginners, as well. In order to get started and boot into Single User Mode, in order to create a new admin account, follow the simple instructions below.
1. Shut Down your Mac, as you normally would. If you have trouble shutting down, press and hold the Power button, in order to shut down your system.
2. Start up your Mac, while holding the command + S keys, in order to enter Single User mode.
3. Your Mac will now display scrolling lines of text. This is normal and there’s no need to be alarmed. You’ll have to mount your startup drive, in order to have access to the files located on it. At the command prompt, enter the following command,
/sbin/mount –uw /
3. Press the enter/return key on your keyboard.
4. You’ve now mounted your startup drive and can access the files therein. Enter the following command,
4. Press the enter/return key on your keyboard.
5. You’ve now removed the applesetupdone files from your Mac. This is the file that informs your Mac that the one-time setup process was performed. Now that the file has been removed, your Mac will think it’s the first time you’re booting into the system, and will prompt you to create a new admin account. Reboot your Mac, through the command below.
6. Press the enter/return key.
7. Upon reboot of your Mac, you will be guided through on-screen instructions to create a new admin account, on your Mac.
The process to create a new admin account on your Mac through the on-screen instructions will only take a few moments of your time, and is very easy to carry out. The process is just like the process that you carried out when you first purchased your Mac. You may be thinking that by carrying out the process above, your personal files and data will be affected, and maybe even deleted.
This isn’t true. Even though you’re tricking your Mac into believing it’s brand new, you actually won’t be impacting any of the current files on your system. All of the files in your original admin account will remain exactly in place. You won’t be changing anything on your Mac, besides the new admin account that you’re creating.
Ensure that you keep this admin account, for future references as well, in case something goes wrong again. You don’t want to continuously go through the process of booting into Single User mode in order to create a new admin account, when you can instead keep the one you just made. It’s better to be safe than sorry.