Can’t sign in to your Mac? Try these 4 tips

Can’t sign in to your Mac?  Try these 4 tips

Instead of panicking, follow these troubleshooting steps and regain access to your Mac.

The first step to working with your Mac is to log in to it. However, it becomes frustrating and time-consuming if you can’t log into your Mac. Not being able to log into your Mac is a common problem faced by many Mac users due to a forgotten password or other reasons.

You can try many troubleshooting solutions to unlock your Mac, regardless of whether your Apple ID is linked to your Mac or not. In this guide, we’ll take you through the various troubleshooting steps to help you regain access to your Mac.

1. Reset your Mac login password with your Apple ID

Lock screen window showing password hint

If you previously linked your Apple ID to your Mac user account, you can use your Apple ID to reset your Mac password. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. click on question mark next to the password field on the login screen.
  2. Then click the arrow next to it Reboot and show password reset options.
  3. In the new window, enter your Apple ID email address and password.
  4. Follow the instructions to reset your Mac login password.

But if you don’t see the question mark next to the password window, press the power button until your Mac shuts down. Reboot and follow the steps above. You can also reset your password through another administrator’s password.

2. Boot into safe mode

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode that helps you determine if a software problem or your Mac is responsible for a startup problem on your Mac. However, you can also use Safe Mode to sign in to your Mac when you can’t sign in normally. Safe Mode works by loading the essential apps needed to run your Mac.

Booting into Safe Mode is different on Intel-based Macs and Apple silicon-powered models. So before you begin, find out if your Mac uses Intel or Apple silicon by following these steps:

  1. Go to Apple menu on the menu bar and select About this Mac.
  2. In the open window, an item marked Chip tells you that your Mac uses an Apple Silicon chip. The item will be labeled as processor on Mac computers with an Intel CPU.

Our guide on how to start your Mac in safe mode takes you through the entire process regardless of your Mac processor.

3. Factory reset your Mac and reinstall macOS

The macOS recovery menu.

Malware interference and third-party apps are the usual culprits that make it impossible to log into your Mac. Such cases require a more dramatic measure. You can try a software repair by reinstalling macOS, and if that doesn’t work, a factory reset of your Mac is required.

While a factory reset and reinstall of macOS will make your Mac as good as new, there is a crucial difference. Factory reset allows you to completely format your Mac by erasing everything from your Mac, including all user data, files, and apps. However, you can avoid losing your data by backing up and signing out apps before reinstalling macOS.

4. Try a different keyboard

iMac with keyboard, MacBook and iPad on a desk

You can reset your password if you can’t sign in to your Mac because of an incorrect password. However, if you’re sure you’re entering the correct password but it still comes up as a wrong password, the problem could be your keyboard input.

You can try one of the following troubleshooting solutions to fix your Mac’s keyboard input:

  • Restart your Mac
  • Clean the keyboard
  • Verify that you are using the correct keyboard layout
  • As a last resort, try an external keyboard

Stay connected to your Mac

Not having access to your Mac can disrupt your workflow. Fortunately, you can try some of these troubleshooting tips to help you solve the problem.

However, if you still can’t sign in to your Mac after trying all of these potential solutions, you can get expert help by contacting Apple Support or taking it to an Apple Store.

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