As on all computers, an admin session has (almost) all rights on the Mac. This is why the 1re created session is automatically an administrator account. However, a handling error and … your Mac administrator account becomes a standard account! You are very limited in the use of your computer. Panic on board? No, there is a solution to every problem. Each of the proposed solutions keeps your data.
1. It’s not your only administrator account
In case you have multiple user accounts, including another administrator, you are lucky. On Mac, an administrator account can transform a standard account without going through the test of command lines.
1.1. Turn on your Mac and open this admin account;
1.2. Go to > System Preferences > Users and groups ;
1.3. At the bottom left of this window, click on the padlock and enter the password for this session;
1.4. In “Other users”, still on the left, click on your account transformed into standard;
1.5. Check “Allow administration of this computer” to switch from standard to admin;
1.6. A confirmation window appears, confirm with OK;
1.7. Restart, normally, your Mac;
With the restart, the modifications will be effective.
1.8. Log on to your usual session now back in admin.
If one day you forget the password, it is also here that you can change it thanks to Reset password.
So far, it’s not very complicated.
2. It’s your only Mac administrator account converted to standard
Without another admin session, you have no choice, you will have to use command lines. Even if you’re not used to it, following it step by step, everything will be fine.
First of all, make sure your Mac is under macOS High Sierra or later.
2.1. The explanation
Then let’s start by explaining what you are going to do. This will prevent you from having the steps mixed with the explanations and risk losing yourself there.
You will start by turning on your Mac in mode Single user then you will mount the hard drive there.
The computer needs a file named .AppleSetupDone to light up normally. If it is not there, your Mac will believe that the installation is not finalized. You will therefore delete this file to create a new temporary admin session.
The last command will be used to restart your Mac normally to return to the first situation.
The very last step is to delete this temporary session.
Now let’s talk concretely!
2.2. From single user mode to restart
Nothing prevents you from reading everything the first time and then doing it step by step. Keep this page always nearby on another device.
2.2.1. Turn on your Mac in mode Single user :
2.2.2. Turn off your computer;
2.2.3. Turn it on;
2.2.4. Immediately, without giving it time to light up, hold down cmd⌘ + S ;
You will have to type exactly the same, to the letter, to the decimal point, to the space, to the nearest capital letter. The slightest syntax error invalidates command rendering it unusable or by launching another one instead.
Be careful, your keyboard has become a qwerty keyboard.
Between each command, press the key Entrance.
2.2.5. Mount the hard drive;
mount -uw /
2.2.6. Entry ↩︎;
2.2.7. Remove .AppleSetupDone;
2.2.8. Entry ↩︎;
2.2.9. Restart your Mac;
2.2.10. Entrance ↩︎.
You are done with the command lines.
2.3. The new administrator account, temporary and unlocking of the old one
Now that you’ve deleted the .AppleSetupDone file and asked your computer to turn back on, you’ll see something familiar. Indeed, it is this configuration screen of your Mac that you saw during the first ignition (or a clean install).
2.3.1. Follow the instructions of the installer;
2.3.2. When creating the administrator account, choose a name totally different user sessions that may already exist;
2.3.3. Remember the password;
The rest is the same as the steps 1. :
2.3.4. Log in to this new session;
2.3.5. Go to > System Preferences > Users and groups ;
2.3.6. Click on the padlock and enter your password;
2.3.7. Select your initial administrator account, currently transformed into standard;
2.3.8. Check “Allow administration of this computer”;
2.3.9. Restart your Mac.
Now your session has regained its administrator rights.
2.4. Delete this temporary account
This account was only there to give you the rights to your main session. You will be able to delete it. However, be aware that nothing prevents you from keeping it, but make sure that your password is a minimum secure.
2.4.1. Log in to your preferred administration account;
2.4.2. Return to > System Preferences > Users and groups ;
2.4.3. Click on the padlock and enter your password to unlock it;
2.4.4. On the left, select the temporary account;
2.4.5. Below, under Options, click on – ;
2.4.6. Make your choice among the 3 proposals. Having normally done nothing on this session, you can safely choose Delete the starting folder ;
2.4.7. Click on Delete user.
Everything is back to normal!