How do I create or change a password for the user account on my computer?



Users of any University-owned machines are required to change their passwords on a regular basis. You are responsible for the security of your computer. (For personal computers, learn how to change your password manually at




In Mac OS X, the user account is set up when you turn on the machine for the first time. It is at this time that you also have the option of setting up a password for the account you create. With Mac OS X, there is no account called administrator, but the account you do initially setup has administrator rights, so it is extremely important to set a secure password for your account.


Follow the steps below to setup a secure password.


  • On the Apple menu, click System Preferences.
  • Under the System heading, click Accounts.
  • Under the Password tab you will see a Password box and a Verify box.
  • Type in your password, and re-type it in the Verify box.
  • At this point, click the red button on the upper left to exit the Accounts control panel.


For security purposes, change your password at least every six months.


Note: Due to the operating system architecture, true accounts do not exist on Mac OS 9.x and earlier. For this reason, Mac OS 9.x and earlier are not typically susceptible to this type of hack and do not apply to this rule.