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Help please locked out of my imac


CAROL SAUNDERS
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Accidentally locked myself out thought I clicked shit down but clicked something else instead & it’s licked now just gas my name & asking for my password. I put this in by it’s not accepted it even though am sure it’s the correct one 

 

I don’t have any other options on the screen or toolbars either top or bottom. Google not helping but hoping you can as always ! 
 

carol 

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32 minutes ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

 

I think it's the word reinstall that's freaking me out, I'm assuming this means a complete reinstall of the whole operating system in which case I guess a need to do a complete back up of the whole system ? 

 

Carol


Have you tried what I suggested - trying to reset the password?  If that works then there is no need to reinstall. If it doesn’t, then I can’t see any other real option but it is not a big deal really, certainly nothing to cause major stress. If you leave it as it is, you will not be able to control the computer if you can’t unlock system prefs. 
 

You only need to back up your data, not the whole system as there is no point in restoring a flawed system. 

Edited by MDM
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Carol,

 

Do you know if you use Apple keychain to store your online passwords (for accessing online shopping/bank accounts in Safari etc.)?

If so, do you have access to those passwords from anywhere else (e.g via iCloud, iPhone etc.)?

If you're using keychain, and don't have any other access route other than via your Mac, I'm concerned that a user account password reset might lock you out of your keychain, so you could loose access to your existing passwords.

That's my reading of the last section in this page of Apple help (which applies to Mojave or earlier).

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211672

Maybe I've got this wrong, and I'm not sure what happens in Catalina or Big Sur. Maybe Michael knows the answer?

If you can still get access to you system, I suggest turning on iCloud access and ensuring Keychain is stored there, before trying a password reset.

 

Mark

 

Edited by M.Chapman
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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 


Have you tried what I suggested - trying to reset the password?  If that works then there is no need to reinstall. If it doesn’t, then I can’t see any other real option but it is not a big deal really, certainly nothing to cause major stress. If you leave it as it is, you will not be able to control the computer if you can’t unlock system prefs. 
 

You only need to back up your data, not the whole system as there is no point in restoring a flawed system. 

 

24 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Carol,

 

Do you know if you use Apple keychain to store your online passwords (for accessing online shopping/bank accounts in Safari etc.)?

If so, do you have access to those passwords from anywhere else (e.g via iCloud, iPhone etc.)?

If you're using keychain, and don't have any other access route other than via your Mac, I'm concerned that a user account password reset might lock you out of your keychain, so you could loose access to your existing passwords.

That's my reading of the last section in this page of Apple help (which applies to Mojave or earlier).

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211672

Maybe I've got this wrong, and I'm not sure what happens in Catalina or Big Sur. Maybe Michael knows the answer?

If you can still get access to you system, I suggest turning on iCloud access and ensuring Keychain is stored there, before trying a password reset.

 

Mark

 

 

Thank you both, I will give it a try now.  I have access to my passwords on my iPhone, I think iCloud is turned on but I will double check, it's very frustrating as I absolutely know my password and it worked when Big Sur had it's last update which wasn't that long ago.  I wish I hadn't clicked whatever I clicked the other night🙃

 

Carol

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2 minutes ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

 

 

Thank you both, I will give it a try now.  I have access to my passwords on my iPhone, I think iCloud is turned on but I will double check, it's very frustrating as I absolutely know my password and it worked when Big Sur had it's last update which wasn't that long ago.  I wish I hadn't clicked whatever I clicked the other night🙃

 

Carol

 

That may not have caused the problem - it may have just led to you discovering you could not unlock in System Prefs.

Edited by MDM
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2 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

That may not have caused the problem - it may have just led to you discovering you could not unlock in System Prefs.

Absolutely true Michael, in my case ignorance is bliss but now I know something isn't right it will bug me until it's sorted.  So I'm now just double checking and moving a few folders off the Mac then I will give your instructions a whirl, am sure all will be ok🙏

 

Carol

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OK well you could try resetting it using your Apple ID but that means shutting down the computer and restarting so you need to be sure you have everything you need backed up  before you do it. I've not had to do this myself but the instructions are here

 

 

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I would stick to the simple Apple method myself. I find that the advice given on the Apple website is the best. Try the Apple ID method at log on first. You would have to restart anyway to do what the guy is saying in that post and it is more complicated, especially using Terminal if you don't have to do that. Apple cover that in the second link I posted but suggest to do the simple thing first. 

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3 hours ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

 

I think it's the word reinstall that's freaking me out, I'm assuming this means a complete reinstall of the whole operating system in which case I guess a need to do a complete back up of the whole system ? 

 

Carol

Ahh, yikes. Shoot. Darn it. And a few #@*$.

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Seems there are other folks reporting password problems with Big Sur. Resetting the SMC seems to have fixed quite a few, but not all. If you've reached the point of trying a reboot, I'd try an SMC reset and then try booting up again to see if it's fixed. Resetting the SMC reset can't cause any harm and is slightly less invasive than a Password reset. If that doesn't work, try the password reset as Michael posted above.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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10 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Seems there are other folks reporting password problems with Big Sur. Resetting the SMC seems to have fixed quite a few, but not all. If you've reached the point of trying a reboot, I'd try an SMC reset and then try booting up again to see if it's fixed. Resetting the SMC reset can't cause any harm and is slightly less invasive than a Password reset. If that doesn't work, try the password reset as Michael posted above.

 

Mark

 

Worth a try I guess. When it happened to me I was worried I might have been hacked so I just reformatted the drive and did a complete reinstall. The Big Sur system it happened on was a recent upgrade over Catalina. I have not had a problem since. 

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7 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Yeah, tell me about it. No clean install=problems.

 

I did suggest a clean install but you decided on the Migration Assistant 😀 . Next time  maybe? It's really not difficult. The only way to learn this stuff is to do it. In fact if you still have your old Mac, why not take that on a clean install journey? 

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51 minutes ago, MDM said:

Nothing like a completely clean install.

 

9 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Yeah, tell me about it. No clean install=problems.

You are probably right as usual 😄 the more I read, the more I see that many have this problem.  🙃

 

Carol

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7 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

I did suggest a clean install but you decided on the Migration Assistant 😀 . Next time  maybe? It's really not difficult. The only way to learn this stuff is to do it. In fact if you still have your old Mac, why not take that on a clean install journey? 

Yes, I know you suggested a clean install until I went into a panic mode, then you told me to use the Migration Assistant, which was good advice at the time.

That’s a great idea of trying it on my old Mac. I’ll think about it when I have time. Right now, my in ground sprinkler system is out. Inversion been hauling a hose and sprinkler around for 10 days because we’re having a heat wave, temps around 100F. Fescue needs watered.

My retired electrician neighbor got back from his Alaskan vacation and is looking into it. He’s found some fried wiring, probably from a storm we had with constant lightning. Until this problem is resolved, I’m not starting anything else.
I can go back into my looong thread and search your advice on a clean install.

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1 hour ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

 

You are probably right as usual 😄 the more I read, the more I see that many have this problem.  🙃

 

Carol

 

I do get things wrong unfortunately but I have learnt so much from making mistakes - so far nothing fatal thankfully.

 

I wasn't aware that this password thing is a widespread problem in fact.  When it happened to me I did not read anything - I simply tried a few things, somehow managed to reset the password but then reinstalled clean because I was thinking I might have had malware on the computer. I do keep very little on the internal drive so it was not a big deal to wipe it and clean install. It is not usually necessary with macOS (or MacOS at least) but I used to do it regularly when I had a PC. It does mean you start completely fresh but you need to be confident that you are able to reinstall your apps. It is a lot easier nowadays when most apps are online rather than digging out CDs, DVDs or floppy disks.

 

One thing I would really recommend is to buy an external SSD drive and install onto that instead of the internal drive. Once you have done that you should be confident enough to reinstall from scratch on the internal drive. These G-Technology drives are very good value from Jigsaw 24 at £82 (Amazon and Apple have then at about £40 more). They are incredibly reliable and extremely fast so can be used as startup drives as well as rapid backup - tiny as well so great for backup when travelling.  

 

 

Edited by MDM
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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Yes, I know you suggested a clean install until I went into a panic mode, then you told me to use the Migration Assistant, which was good advice at the time.

That’s a great idea of trying it on my old Mac. I’ll think about it when I have time. Right now, my in ground sprinkler system is out. Inversion been hauling a hose and sprinkler around for 10 days because we’re having a heat wave, temps around 100F. Fescue needs watered.

My retired electrician neighbor got back from his Alaskan vacation and is looking into it. He’s found some fried wiring, probably from a storm we had with constant lightning. Until this problem is resolved, I’m not starting anything else.
I can go back into my looong thread and search your advice on a clean install.

 

I don't think we ever got as far as describing how to do it although with a new machine it is simply a matter of installing the apps. There is very good advice on the Apple website for doing it on an existing install. Best of luck with the heatwave. I read it is unbelievably hot in Nevada and parts of California. 

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On 25/06/2021 at 00:00, MDM said:

 

I do get things wrong unfortunately but I have learnt so much from making mistakes - so far nothing fatal thankfully.

 

I wasn't aware that this password thing is a widespread problem in fact.  When it happened to me I did not read anything - I simply tried a few things, somehow managed to reset the password but then reinstalled clean because I was thinking I might have had malware on the computer. I do keep very little on the internal drive so it was not a big deal to wipe it and clean install. It is not usually necessary with macOS (or MacOS at least) but I used to do it regularly when I had a PC. It does mean you start completely fresh but you need to be confident that you are able to reinstall your apps. It is a lot easier nowadays when most apps are online rather than digging out CDs, DVDs or floppy disks.

 

One thing I would really recommend is to buy an external SSD drive and install onto that instead of the internal drive. Once you have done that you should be confident enough to reinstall from scratch on the internal drive. These G-Technology drives are very good value from Jigsaw 24 at £82 (Amazon and Apple have then at about £40 more). They are incredibly reliable and extremely fast so can be used as startup drives as well as rapid backup - tiny as well so great for backup when travelling.  

 

 

Many thanks Michael, I have bookmarked the link for the SSD drive😉  

 

Carol

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This question should NOT be answered. Using passcode to lock one's computer is a personal security measure for those whose Macs have been lost or stolen and may be in the hands of criminals. Publicly posting instructions for defeating that measure would be tantamount to abetting theft.

 

If you have locked your own computer and need to unlock it, take it to an Apple Store. Be prepared to prove you are its rightful owner. Not sure if you can use Find My/iCloud to reset your Mac passcode by erasing it but Apple offers this guide for unlocking a disabled iPhone.

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