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  1. #1
    Retrieve documents from old iMac
    Hello please can anybody give any advice on the following problem? A close friend bought a new iMac four years ago and because he is a technophobe his daughter set herself up as the Administrator and created a limited account for him. She created a lot of documents for him, under her account. After a difficult and messy divorce he got custody of the iMac but his daughter no longer talks to him and will not reveal the Admin password.
    Two years have passed and still he cannot access his documents. He has bought a new iMac now but still wants to retrieve the docs off the old one. Short of getting a Court Order against his daughter is there ANY way he can retrieve those documents? Like I say this is a genuine request and NOT an attempt to steal or defraud. Is there any advice - even if it is "take it to Apple" ? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Retrieve documents from old iMac
    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Your Mac's Specs
    Late 2015 5K 27-inch Retina iMac, 4GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB Flash Drive, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6
    A warm welcome to Mac-Forums.

    You need to tell us which operating system (OS) your friend has on his iMac because the method of resetting the Admin password (PW) varies.

    As your friend bought his iMac new 4 years ago, the OS should have a recovery partition.

    On that basis, you or he can change the Admin PW in the following way:

    1. Boot to the recovery partition on your original drive by holding down Command-R during the startup process (that's simultaneously holding down the Command and the R key). When you see the start up screen, you can let go of the keys.

    (Note: If you see a login window or your own desktop and icons, it's possible that you didn't hold Command-R early enough. Restart and try again.)

    2. When the machine boots, you will the OS X Utilities screen. Click on Utilities in the Apple menu and select Terminal.

    3. At the Terminal prompt, type ‘resetpassword’ (no quotes) then hit enter.

    4. This will launch the reset utility, which allows you to select a drive, a user, then a new password and password hint for your admin user.

    5. After saving, go to the Apple Menu and click Restart.

    This comes from a longer article to which I will give you the link:

    As you will see, I have copied & pasted the relevant info.

    As your friend is a "technophobe" and as he is a "close friend" of yours, you or someone who can follow these instructions, should probably do this for him.

    As a further precaution, it would be good if there was a Backup (BU) of all the iMac; but I guess that's impossible now if he can't get into the OS.

    Please post back any questions.


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