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#21464 - 04/08/12 12:52 AM Password change from BLANK to real password
Michael Offline


Registered: 04/06/12
Loc: Asia

The basic question is how to change a password from BLANK operating OS X Lion 10.7.3.

The secondary question is what to do if it goes wrong.

Basically, if a newly bought Mac (new from Apple) is set up with no password (BLANK where a password would normally go) how is the password changed? I know the steps seem simple (go to users, click on change password and "follow the directions"). Trouble is, the directions say to enter the password, which is BLANK. So, should the password be entered ( hit the return key) or should the field be left blank and tab thru to the next field?

I understand that when Macs get sold as second hand, it is common to change to a BLANK password which allows the new owner to enter a new password. I just want to get a bit of hand-holding to accomplish the task. I am concerned about entering a BLANK and somehow getting locked out and having to go to a new install etc.

Help via Google all leads to the process of resetting a password, specifically, to essentially ignore the password and set yourself up as the new administrator. That is not my intent. I just want to undo what the technician in the Apple Reseller store advised....."do the password later".

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#21465 - 04/08/12 01:27 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: Michael]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Hi, and welcome to FineTunedMac. smile

Y'know, it being Easter Sunday, I don't know how quick others will be to respond, so I'll offer up a suggestion (I'm running OS X 10.6.8):

Launch /Applications/System Preferences > Users/Accounts/Whatever it's called in Lion, unlock the padlock (which should unlock if you click on "OK" without entering anything), create a new test user account (which is always a good pre-emptive troubleshooting step, anyhow), give it a blank password, and (Edit: after logging in, of course) see if you can change it by tabbing past the "Old password" field, entering/confirming a real password, and clicking on "Change Password." (Remember that the only time the change pane offers you an opportunity to click on anything is after you've "completed" all three fields.) (Note that I used Snow Leopard terms that may be different in Lion.)

I'm pretty sure it will work, and you can then repeat the procedure in your boot account (and leave the test account intact against possible future need [but don't forget the password]).

Edit: If it does go wrong, it will have gone wrong in an account that can be deleted with no data loss.

Hope this helps.


Edited by artie505 (04/08/12 01:58 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21467 - 04/08/12 02:32 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: Michael]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Artie's advice is right on. I changed my Snow Leopard password from a blank to a real password using the same procedure. The key is to click in the Old Password field, type nothing, and then go to the New Password field. Also, see Apple's instructions.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#21468 - 04/08/12 03:10 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> The key is to click in the Old Password field, type nothing, and then go to the New Password field.

Thanks for adding in that apparently important step, of which I was unaware, Jon. (It's not particularly intuitive.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21470 - 04/08/12 06:31 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Just a minor 'tweak' ...

Any password has content, be it blank or otherwise, and so has to be treated in the same way.
Therefore it would always be the case that one would have to enter the blank in the old password field and click before entering the new password and confirming it.

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#21476 - 04/08/12 03:29 PM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: grelber]
Michael Offline


Registered: 04/06/12
Loc: Asia
Thanks for the helpful comments. The word "click" has so many vacations, I want to be sure....."click" means to press the "enter/return" key?

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#21477 - 04/08/12 03:38 PM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: Michael]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Minor oversight on my part: One would only click if the old password required one to do so in order to get to another screen to enter the new password. If both were on the same screen, one wouldn't do that until after establishing the new password (generally through a button, such as "Submit").

[By the bye, the word you were wanting is "connotations" (not "vacations", which is equivalent to "holidays".)

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#21478 - 04/08/12 03:52 PM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: Michael]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: Michael
"click" means to press the "enter/return" key?
"Click" means that you click the left mouse button in the field. This makes the field active, which must happen in order to convince the computer that something is being entered. When you leave the Old Password field blank (after clicking), the computer knows that the password is a blank space. Then, you can click in the New Password field and type the new password. "Enter", in this instance, does not mean that use the enter/return key.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#21479 - 04/08/12 04:15 PM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: jchuzi]
Michael Offline


Registered: 04/06/12
Loc: Asia
Duh. Just like it seems. Filling in a form. THEN hit enter/return or "click" the tab giving the command. Thanks......now if I can just figure out why my iTunes tells me my library can't be saved.

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#21480 - 04/08/12 04:35 PM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: Michael]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Michael
......now if I can just figure out why my iTunes tells me my library can't be saved.

Welcome to FineTunedMac.

You should start a new thread, describing your iTunes problem, and there will be plenty of folks to help. Starting a new thread with the appropriate title helps other folks later who have the same problem and search the titles looking for the issue.


Edited by ryck (04/08/12 04:38 PM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
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#21484 - 04/09/12 12:54 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> "Click" means that you click the left mouse button in the field. This makes the field active, which must happen in order to convince the computer that something is being entered. When you leave the Old Password field blank (after clicking), the computer knows that the password is a blank space.

I stand by unintuitive.

If my password is nothing, all I I should have to do to enter nothing is nothing, not something. tongue
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21485 - 04/09/12 01:25 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: artie505
If my password is nothing, all I ... should have to do to enter nothing is nothing, not something.

But your password isn't "nothing"; it is something (ie, it has content). See my earlier post (#21470).
If the field exists, it must be recognized (the way machines need to recognize that you recognize its existence). Ergo, enter blank and move on.
That's what's intuitive for me. wink

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#21486 - 04/09/12 01:43 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> But your password isn't "nothing"; it is something [....]

Your post didn't whiz by me; I just think it's unintuitive that nothing be something.

On the other hand, though, "nothing," in this instance really means "blank," so having to enter something to indicate "blank" is a bit less unintuitive. tongue

> If the field exists, it must be recognized [....]

But this particular field doesn't "ask" to be recognized...merely to have something entered in it if there's anything to be entered in it.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21488 - 04/09/12 01:58 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: artie505
> If the field exists, it must be recognized [....]

But this particular field doesn't "ask" to be recognized...merely to have something entered in it if there's anything to be entered in it.


Oooh, goodie ... "cat fight", just what the Lounge was created for (even though the cat part disappeared from the description subsequent to migration).

Back to the point: The fact that there is a field into which something is supposed to be entered is the very definition of "recognition".

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#21525 - 04/11/12 03:48 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
The empirical strikes back!

Having no option but to give up on common sense and do some research, I launched /Apps/SysPrefs > Accounts, authenticated, and clicked on the + sign to create a new account:
  1. OS X (10.6.8, I should mention) allowed me to create the account with a blank password without requiring me to click in the password field (which was not pre-selected).
  2. I logged in to the new account by simply clicking on its icon; I was not presented with a password dialog box.
  3. And the ironic thing is that when I went back to SysPrefs and clicked on "Change Password...," the dialog box did not present me with an "Old Password" field.
Apparently Apple thinks that what you consider logical is as unintuitive as I think it is. (I wonder whether Jon's misremembering in post #21467?)

Edit: As a further test, I made my test account an administrator, logged in, and tried to install a variety of stuff, at last some of which I know that requires an Admin p/w (OS X 10.6.8 v 1.1 Combo, Little Snitch, Applejack, and Macaroni), and not one of them asked me for one. and their password dialog boxes had the password field pre-selected. (Correction...I backed off one step too soon.)

And the last thing I could think of: I launched SysPrefs > Accounts and clicked on the padlock, and the password field in the dialog box with which I was presented was pre-selected, requiring me to do...nothing.


Edited by artie505 (04/11/12 04:51 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21575 - 04/14/12 02:20 PM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: Michael]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
There may be some talking at cross purposes in this thread.

All characters (except maybe some control characters, like return and tab) are valid in a password. In particular, the space character is a valid character.

Consequently, a password containing a single space is different from a password containing no characters at all.

When we talk about a "blank" password, we usually mean the latter, a password containing no characters at all. A password dialog for a user with such a "blank" password is usually skipped over. Even if there is a field for a password (for example, the "Old password" field in a Change Password dialog), you don't have to touch that field at all.

But a password consisting of a single blank character is not a "blank" password. When a password is required, you do still have to type that blank character. Merely clicking on or tabbing into the field will not suffice; the blank needs to be typed, just like for any other one-character password.

One place where the password is still asked for, even if it's blank (that is, zero-length) is when validating for the sudo command. sudo will not accept a blank password (although it will accept a password consisting of a single blank character).

I think some of the confusion in this thread is due to some participants mistaking what it means for a password to be blank, and getting different results with their definition.

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#21576 - 04/14/12 02:38 PM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: ganbustein]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
So, to be unequivocally clear about it, the Space character is the blank character. tongue
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alternaut moderator

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#21578 - 04/15/12 12:53 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: alternaut]
Michael Offline


Registered: 04/06/12
Loc: Asia
Hello, I really didn't expect the back and forth about the situation I have. My MBP was bought at a reseller, not an Apple Store. Maybe that makes no difference, but the sales rep where I both the MBP said it was fine to leave the password field BLANK. I could "change"it later.

I have read these and other posts referring to sudo passwords and that they will not allow a BLANK.

That is what has me freaked a bit. I want to simply take the steps to change from what is a BLANK password, to one with characters and such.

Although I have confidence in the Apple engineers to have anticipated the actions of a novice user like myself, I can tell you there have been many instances already when I am presented with what seems like a simple action, only to have some little surprise pop up and force me to make a decision. this happened a couple of times while setting up my Time Capsule and other Apple wireless devices. Simple to do, but my lack of knowledge of the terms and processes left me crossing my fingers a lot.

I am nowhere near an Apple Genius, so if I mess anything up, I am up a creek without a paddle.

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#21579 - 04/15/12 01:15 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: Michael]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> I want to simply take the steps to change from what is a BLANK password, to one with characters and such.

That sounds like you still haven't done it.

If Lion is like Snow Leopard, all you've got to do is click on the (/Apps/SysPrefs/Accounts (or whatever) > Password) "Change Password..." radio button, enter your new password, confirm it, and you're done. (Snow Leopard does not even present you with an "Old Password" field to contemplate.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21580 - 04/15/12 02:26 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: artie505
(Snow Leopard does not even present you with an "Old Password" field to contemplate.)
That's not true. I just checked in my SL installation and the Old Password field is alive and well.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#21581 - 04/15/12 02:53 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
But you're no longer running with a blank password, Jon.

My post #21525 documents my experiment with an account with a blank password...no "Old Password" field when I clicked on "Change Password...." (10.6.8)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21582 - 04/15/12 03:36 AM Re: Password change from BLANK to real password [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Ah, I stand corrected. Thanks for that.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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Moderator:  alternaut, dkmarsh, joemikeb