Proven fixes for Mac/MacBook Pro won't accept correct password

By Connie | Posted to Home > Howto, updated on August 17th, 2021

Summary: This post tells the basic checks and solutions about Mac won’t accept the correct password. And common frequently asked questions about this issue are also listed.

Reset forgotten password with Apple ID

"Mac won't let me login with the right password." Quite a few Mac users have encountered this problem. You may feel so ridiculous that you type the right password in the login box, but the Mac says it's wrong. It seems that your Mac won't recognize the password.

Although you may be confused, there are indeed some causes that make your mac password not working. Take it easy, this guide will provide 5 proven solutions to help your fix this login problem. After that, you can access your Mac again.

Some people also feedback that Mac freezes after entering the password. For such an occasion, restarting your Mac may solve it. If it doesn't work, you need to try some other solutions to fix Mac stuck on loading login screen.

Mac won't accept correct password

Basic checks

Before you move to the specific solutions, you'd better check your keyboard first in two aspects. If there are uppercase and lowercase characters in your login password, you need to check whether you have accidentally pressed the "caps lock" key. So, the upper and lower case of the characters you typed in may have been confused. Toggle the caps lock key and type your password again.

If the “caps lock” key is not the cause, then you should check whether your keyboard is damaged. With a damaged keyboard, you can't type the right password to access your Mac successfully. To make a confirmation, you can change a keyboard or use the keyboard on another Mac.

Solutions for Mac password not working

If you are sure your password is right but your Mac refuses to accept it, your Mac may have system-related issues. Usually, the following issues will lead to Mac's abnormal working like failing to accept your correct password.

  1. Kernel program incompatibility
  2. Operating system files damage
  3. File system errors of the startup disk

To enable your Mac back to normal and recognize your password again, you can try the following solutions.

1. Reset NVRAM/PRAM

NVRAM, non-volatile random-access memory, holds the information and settings about the state of the Mac for faster boot. PRAM stores similar information too.

Therefore, resetting NVRAM/PRAM may help you fix login problems. You just need to restart your Mac and press the Command + Option + P + R keys at the same time for about 20 seconds. Once your Mac reboot, you can enter your password again.

Note: For an Apple M1 Mac, NVRAM runs a test every time you start up your Mac. And it will reset automatically if there's a need.

2. Reset SMC

You can also try to reset your system management controller (SMC) to resolve certain issues related to power, battery, fans, and other features. Some users have successfully fixed the problem that the MacBook Pro password not working with macOS Big Sur.

If your device is MacBook Air (2018 or later), MacBook Pro (2018 or later), mac Mini (2018 or later), Mac Pro (2019 or later), iMac (2020 or later), or iMac Pro, you can reset the SMC with the steps below.

Reset SMC on notebook:

  • Shut Down your Mac.
  • Press and hold Control (Left) + Option (Left) + Shift (Right).
  • Keep holding them all for seven seconds, then press and hold the Power button with the other keys.
  • Keep holding all keys for another seven seconds, then release them.
  • Press the Power button again to restart your Mac.

Reset SMC on desktop computer:

  • Shut down your Mac, then unplug the power cord..
  • Wait 15 seconds, then plug the power cord back in.
  • Wait 5 seconds, then press the power button to turn on your Mac.

For an older Mac, you can reset the SMC on it with the guide from Apple.com.

3. Boot into Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode of macOS. It only launches necessary programs and software during Mac startup. Booting your Mac into Safe Mode can check that if the third-party software prevents you from logging into your Mac or not.

To start up an Intel-based Mac into Safe Mode:

  • Hold down the Shift key when restarting your Mac.
  • Release the key when seeing the Apple logo and loading bar.

To boot up an Apple M1 Mac into Safe Mode:

  • Shut down your Mac and wait about 10 seconds to let it completely shut down.
  • Press down the power button until seeing the startup disks and Options.
  • Hold down the Shift key to enter into Safe Mode.

Boot into Safe Mode on Mac

Usually, if you've enabled FileVault, you are required to type the admin password to boot into Safe Mode. If you can enter into Safe Mode successfully with your password, the third-party software you've installed recently is the culprit that disables your access to your Mac.

You can uninstall the third-party software in Safe Mode and reboot your computer. Then, you can access your Mac desktop with your password.

4. Reset your password

Unfortunately, you still can't log into Mac after uninstalling third-party software, or you even cannot enter into Safe Mode with your admin password. Then, you probably misremember your password.

With the wrong password, you can't access your mac successfully. Try to recall and enter all your possible passwords to unlock your Mac. If it fails, you need to reset the password when you forget Mac password. There are 5 methods you can apply, including:

  1. Use Apple ID to reset your Mac password
  2. Use the Reset Password assistant on Mac
  3. Reset your Mac password with a FileVault Recovery Key
  4. Reset your Mac password in macOS Recovery mode
  5. Use an admin account to reset the Mac password

Reset your forgotten Mac password with your Apple ID

5. Recover data and reset your Mac

Sadly, if your Mac even can't allow you to log in with the new password, your Mac might have experience system corruption or file system errors of the startup disk.

In this situation, you'll face the risk of data loss. If there is some important data on your mac, data loss will be a disaster for you. To get files from a Mac that can't be logged into, only data recovery software can help you. So before you lose all the data on your Mac after resetting it. You need to rescue your data in advance.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is such a helper. You can run iBoysoft Mac data recovery software in macOS Recovery mode to get back the documents, videos, photos, and other files from your Mac.

Then, you can reset your Mac in macOS Recovery mode and log into your Mac.

How to reset M1 Mac?

How to reset Intel-based Mac?

It's frustrating that your Mac won't accept correct password. This post provides efficient methods to help you fix your problematic Mac. We hope that you can access your Mac again after applying these methods.

FAQ

What happens if you forget your Mac password?

You can try to enter the might-be password in the login box. If the password is wrong, you can't log in to your Mac. After three times of wrong attempts, you will see a massage says “If you forgot your password, you can reset it using your Apple ID.” If you have associated the password with your Apple ID, you can use it to reset your password and access your Mac again.

How to change your Mac's login password?

  • On your Mac, click Apple menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  • Then Click Change Password.
  • Enter your current password and the new password, then enter it again in the Verify field.
  • Enter a hint to help you remember the password.
  • Click Change Password.

How to disable the login password on Mac?

  • On your Mac, click Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
  • Under the “General” tab, untick the box labeled “Requires Password.”
  • Enter your Mac's password in the pop-up window and click "OK."
  • Then click “Turn Off Screen Lock” to confirm your choice.