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Thread: Master Password

  1. #1
    Master Password
    KennyC's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2018
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    Florida West Coast
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    Your Mac's Specs
    iPhone xr
    Master Password
    Can someone tell me what a master password does that the administrator can't do. Sorry very new and trying to learn about this os.
    Kenny

  2. #2
    Master Password
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
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    Pawtucket, RI, US
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    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS Mojave, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Where do you see this "Master Password" mentioned, context may help? Also, what os?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    What master password? In the Unix/macOS land the first user you create on a Mac is also the administrator account that has the privileges to make any change on the machine. A lot of people, to protect themselves, will create a second daily user that doesn't have admin privileges. That way every time you need to do a privileged act, you have to enter the admin username/password and that's a good check to ensure that you are OK with doing what is being done.

    This prevents any random app from causing you issues because the non-admin account can only play with files in their home directory.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  4. #4
    Master Password
    KennyC's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2018
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    Florida West Coast
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    Your Mac's Specs
    iPhone xr
    Bob & Ashwin I was reading this: Hi,

    I'm upgrading computers from my very old MacBook (12 years old) to a newer iMac (I'm now running Yosemite 10.10.5). I'm in the process of transferring all my data and documents to this iMac but I have had some problems I've yet to solve. I used the Mac utility Migration Assistant to accomplish the document transfer but not with resounding success.

    I have a lot of business files that are documents using TextEdit, usually between one and five paragraphs (one-pagers). I add to or update these files from time to time, fairly regularly as part of my business. It seemed on my old MacBook if a file was opened within the last month, I could open, edit and re-save normally, without doing anything special. However, if it was a file that I had not opened recently (longer than a month, or so) then my computer would prompt me with a dialog box, asking for my password first, then allow me to open, edit and re-save as I saw fit to do. Now, on this iMac with the very same files brought over via Migration Assistant, I get a very different behavior. I get a dialog box saying I'm not authorized to make any changes and I cannot open or edit any of these files but I do have the option of making a duplicate file which I can edit. However, after a few weeks I'll have 10 or 12 duplicate files none of which will have the complete data I need so this is unacceptable. I need to have access, to get into these files.

    When I got this iMac, from a generous friend (all her data and documents had been wiped clean here/transferred to her current computer), I first re-set the master password, next, I made myself the administrator with another password. None of these have helped me gain editing access to my files and data. I've explored preferences in both the Apple menu and the TextEdit menu without any success. There must be a way to let the administrator use and gain access to these files but what is it?

    I should add that I'm not a power user, I used computers minimally, email and some business correspondence and data saving. Also, I'm the only one who uses this computer (as is also true of my former MacBook). I live alone, it's my home computer and no one else has access to this machine.

    Any ideas on how to unlock my documents would be greatly appreciated,

    Bob M.

    This was in another post here under "Apple Desktops" switching over to iMac - file problems. Sorry for not knowing how to point to it easier.
    Last edited by KennyC; Yesterday at 09:17 AM. Reason: readable
    Kenny

  5. #5
    Master Password
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
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    Winchester, VA
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    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    That post may be referring to the Root account. You can read about it here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204012

    However, 99.9% of us never need Root account activated. And it is a very powerful account, as the warning box in that article indicates. Basically Root can do anything, even so far as to wipe out the entire boot drive, including the OS, basically killing even the Root account.

    All you will ever need to do on a Mac can be done by an Admin account. So you don't need to invoke Root, ever.
    Jake

  6. #6
    Master Password
    KennyC's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2018
    Location
    Florida West Coast
    Posts
    40
    Your Mac's Specs
    iPhone xr
    Thanks Jake for the link and explanation. So many different things I'm reading here trying to learn. Probably getting a good book would help so not to ask so many dumb questions.
    Kenny

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