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If you’re in IT, or just fixing Grandmas Mac, it’s not too uncommon to get a machine where you don’t have the admin users password. If you find yourself in this situation, you can easily change the Admin password, or any other users, simply by booting into Mac OS X‘s command line Single User Mode. I consider this to be essential knowledge for troubleshooting Macs.

Change an Admin Password in Mac OS X Single User Mode

This is a multistep process but it’s easy to follow:

First you need to enter Single User Mode. Reboot the Mac and hold down Command+S at boot to enter into the command line.

You’ll see a note where Mac OS X tells you that you need to run two commands in order to make filesystem changes, this is necessary so let’s handle that first

The first command checks the Mac OS X filesystem for errors and fixes them, it can take a few minutes to run:

fsck -fy

The next command mounts the root Mac OS X drive as writable, allowing you to make changes to the filesystem:

mount -uw /

After the filesystem is mounted, you can reset any users password using the following command:

passwd username

You’ll need to enter the new password twice to reset and confirm the changes

Note that a password will not be visibly typed when using the ‘passwd’ command, it looks as if nothing is being entered at all. That is standard practice in the command line world.

Changing Admin Password in OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and later

For users with OS X 10.7.3 and later, including OS X 10.8+ Mountain Lion, there may need to be an additional step to load open directory. If you have issues with the above approach, try the following command sequence with newer versions of Mac OS X. Note the primary difference is using ‘launchctl’ between mounting the drive and changing the password:

#4 passwd username

The password should now change as expected, where you can then reboot and use the admin user account as expected. Rebooting is possible through the command line by by typing:

reboot

Or by using the standard manual restart methods of keyboard shortcuts, shutdown, or holding down the power button. On the next boot the changed admin password will be usable as anticipated.

If you’re fixing someones machine and you don’t know the username to reset, just look in /Users with:

ls /Users/

Here you’ll see at least three items, .localized, Shared, and a username. The username is what you’ll want to change with the passwd command.

After the password is reset and confirmed, you can exit out of Single User Mode by typing exit or reboot. The Mac will now boot as usual and you’ll have access to the machine with the new password.

This is an easier and faster method than the approach taken for resetting lost passwords or using the Mac OS X boot DVD, because it’s changing an existing root users password rather than creating a new admin user account. Both work fine though, so you can use whatever method you’d like.

You can use the same approach to navigate around a sleep/wake lock screen, although you’ll obviously have to reboot the Mac meaning you will miss whatever is currently on the users desktop.

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Change The Notification Center Background Pattern In Mac Os X

Tired of seeing that linen wallpaper in the background of Notification Center of OS X? You can change that linen pattern to something else, giving a nice customized appearance to the Notifications panel when you’re checking alerts on the Mac. There are actually two ways to swap out the Notifications background, the harder manual way by way of the command line, and the easy way using a free third party tool called Mountain Tweaks. We’ll cover both, but we generally recommend the easy MountainTweaks method because it’s faster and remarkably simple. The end result of either method will be a customized Notifications background in OS X:

Let’s get started.

Change the Notification Center Background Wallpaper the Easy Way

Let’s get started.

Before beginning, you’ll need the following:

OS X 10.8 or newer

A dark repeating wallpaper pattern – SubtlePatterns is a good place to start

Technically, the replacement wallpaper image could be lighter, but you’ll find notifications are very hard to read. It also doesn’t need to be a repeating pattern, though it will look much better if a tiling image is used because it becomes repeated if the screen size is larger than the pattern.

Once you’ve downloaded MountainTweaks, unzip it and toss it into your /Applications/ folder, it’s a handy app to have and basically serves as a simple front-end to many defaults write commands that we’ve discussed before. When you have a nice replacement pattern ready, you’re ready to begin:

Open MountainTweaks and choose the “Mountain Lion” tab

Enter the admin password to confirm the changes

That’s about it, slide open Notification Center and check the new background image. In this example, we picked a rather obvious red tiling replacement:

Revert Back to the Default

Hate the new look? It’s very easy to undo:

Open MountainTweaks again and long press the “NO” button next to “Change the Notification Center background”

Enter the admin password again to confirm the changes

This returns the original linen image to the background of Notifications, slide it open to confirm everything is back to normal.

Changing the Notification Center Wallpaper Manually

Find a suitable pattern replacement, open it in Preview app, and save it as a TIFF image named “linen.tiff” to the desktop – this is important because the replaced file must be converted to a tiff file with the same file name in order to work properly.

Launch Terminal and enter the following command string, this will copy the ‘linen.tiff’ file to your documents folder and serve as a backup. The command is intentionally overly verbose in order to prevent accidents:

sudo cp -R /System/Library/CoreServices/Notification chúng tôi ~/Documents/linen.tiff

Because this uses sudo you’ll likely need to enter the admin password.

Assuming your new ‘linen.tiff’ file is still on the Desktop, use the following command to copy it over the

sudo cp ~/linen.tiff /System/Library/CoreServices/Notification Center.app/Contents/Resources/linen.tiff

Now kill everything for changes to take effect:

killall NotificationCenter;killall SystemUIServer

Slide open the Notifications Center to see your new pattern.

If you want to revert the change manually, just swap out the replaced chúng tôi file with the backed up linen.tiff, then kill NotificationCenter again.

Want to customize the Notification Center a bit more? You can also change its alert sound to something else.

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How To Change The Dock Indicator Lights Color In Mac Os X

Change the Color of the Dock Indicator Lights in OS X with MacUtil

We’ll cover the quick method first, using a free third party tweak utility called MacUtil. If you’d rather do it manually on your own, or use different colors than what are offered by MacUtil, jump below for the manual approach:

Get MacUtil free from the developer

Enter the administrator password to authenticate the changes

Select the color you wish to change

You’ll now have a range of color options to choose from: Default (literally the OS X default), Green, Light, Light Purple, Purple, Turquoise, Violet, Vivid, Yellow, and “Custom” which will rely on your own image file input, and could be used to make the indicator lights any color at all.

If you’re simply aiming to make the indicator lights more obvious, “Vivid” is the obvious choice, which essentially brightens up the default option, making it a bit more obvious which apps are active and which aren’t.

Whatever color you choose, changes are made instantly and they take effect quickly, so there is little harm to trying a few and seeing which you like best.

Here is “Vivid”, which makes it much easier to see:

This is what “Yellow” Dock lights look like:

And here is what “Purple” indicator lights look like:

And here is what a “Custom” black indicator color looks like, we chose a black rectangle which looks quite nice if you like minimalism more than glowing glitz:

For those interested in the black color, it’s just a tiny 10×3 file that is black, you can download it here or save the little tiny black image below if you’re interested in using it yourself.

Do note that this sample black indicator is not retina ready, so if you have a retina Mac you will want to use a higher resolution version instead. I just made that file myself, which is very easy to do by grabbing one of the files in the manual approach mentioned below, making the desired color changes, then saving it and using it with MacUtil’s “Custom” indicator function.

This is obviously all really easy to change from the MacUtil app, but if you want to do it manually that’s what we’ll cover next.

Changing the Dock Indicator Lights Manually

For the Do-It-Yourself crowd, you can do all of this entirely on your own by modifying system files and replacing them with your own variations. Not to rain on anyones parade, but it’s sort of a tedious process, so unless you have some very specific desire to use a particular image, it’s easier to just use the MacUtil method described above. Nonetheless, we’ll show you how to change these files on your own if you’re inclined to go the manual route.

This requires changing system files yourself, it’s always a good idea to perform a quick manual backup to Time Machine or whatever you use before making changes to system folders and their contents.

From the Finder, use Command+Shift+G and to summon Go To Folder and enter the following path:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/Resources/

Use the “Folder Search” feature in the upper right corner, narrow the search down to only the “Resources” folder, and and look for “indicator_”

Select all and make a copy of these files to a folder on the desktop called “Indicator Backup” – this is so that you can easily revert back to defaults should you decide your replacement indicators are unpleasant

Modify or replace the Resources/ directory contents to change the indicators, focus on the following files:

[email protected]

Go to the Terminal and kill the Dock to refresh it for changes to take effect

killall Dock

Enjoy your new Dock indicator icons

For what it’s worth, the “@2x” suffix indicates whether the image file is sized for retina displays or not, and if you don’t have a retina-equipped Mac then you don’t really need to replace those for the changes to take effect.

You can modify those files however you want, whether it’s just making simple hue and saturation changes with Preview app, or replacing them with completely different images and your own art drawn up through Pixelmator, Photoshop, or your image editing app of choice.

Happy customizing!

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Change Or Spoof A Mac Address In Windows Or Os X

Every NIC (Network Interface Card) has a unique MAC address (Media Access Control). This applies to all types of network cards, including Ethernet cards and WiFi cards. The MAC Address is a six-byte number or 12-digit hexadecimal number that is used to uniquely identify a host on a network.

An example of a MAC address is 1F-2E-3D-4C-5B-6A and it falls into the Layer 2 networking protocol of the OSI model. In today’s networks, ARP, or Address Resolution Protocol converts a MAC address to a Layer 3 protocol address, such as an IP address. A MAC address can also be called a Physical Address. Read my post on how to find your MAC address if you don’t know it.

Table of Contents

All MAC addresses are hard-coded into a network card and can never be changed. However, you can change or spoof the MAC address in the operating system itself using a few simple tricks.

So why would you want to change your MAC address? Well there are many reasons for this, mostly related to bypassing some kind of MAC address filter set on a modem, router or firewall. Changing the MAC Address can help you bypass certain network restrictions by emulating an unrestricted MAC Address or by spoofing a MAC address that is already authorized.

For example, a WiFi network may allow only authorized computers to connect to the network and filters out computers based on the MAC address. If you can sniff out a legitimate MAC address, you can then spoof your MAC address and gain access to the WiFi network.

Another example is if you have an ISP that allows only a certain number of computers to connect to the Internet from your home. If you have more computers that need to connect, you can spoof the MAC address of an authorized computer and connect from a different computer.

Change Windows MAC Address

You can change the MAC address for the network card in Windows pretty easily following the steps below.

You can go to the command prompt and type in IPCONFIG /ALL to check that the MAC address has been changed. Go ahead and restart the computer in order for the changes to take effect.

This is the simplest way to change your MAC address in Windows. You can also do so via the registry, but it’s much more technical and probably not required by most people.

Change OS X MAC Address

Changing the MAC address on OS X is definitely not as easy as it is on Windows. Firstly, you have to use Terminal (similar to command prompt in Windows) to actually change the MAC address.

Secondly, you need to manually figure out the technical name of the adapter before you can change the settings. I’ll explain everything below step by step, but it gets a bit complicated at times.

In Terminal, you can get the MAC address by typing in the following command:

This will give you the MAC address for the en0 interface. Depending on how many interfaces you have on your computer, you might need to run this command several times adding 1 to the number each time. For example, I ran the following commands below until I reached an interface that didn’t exist.

Now you can simply compare the MAC addresses listed here with the one you saw via System Preferences. In my case, my WiFi MAC address of f8:1e:df:d8:9d:8a matches with en1, so that is the interface I have to use for the next commands.

Before we change the MAC address, you can use a useful command in Terminal to generate a random MAC address if you need one.

Now that you have a new MAC address, you can change the current one using the following command below. Replace XX with the actual MAC address you want to use.

sudo ifconfig en0 ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx

In order to do this, you need to be logged in as an Administrator or you have to enable the root account in OS X. By default, root is disabled and it’s better to leave it disabled if you can. Just login as an admin and you should be able to run the command just fine. It will ask you for your password, though, before changing the MAC address.

So here is a rundown of all the commands I ran in order to get the current MAC address, generate a random one, update the MAC address and then verify to make sure it had actually changed.

How To Stop The Cursor From Getting Bigger In Mac Os X

One of the new features that OS X El Capitan brings to the table is being able to find the cursor when you have lost access to it. It has happened to me and has happened to everyone who has ever used a computer. This mostly happens when you put your machine in idle mode and come back and see that the cursor is just nowhere to be found. You then start moving your mouse around to see where exactly it is.

With the addition of this feature to the latest OS X, you can now easily find where your cursor is just by shaking your fingers on the trackpad of your Mac. When you do that, the cursor will get a little bigger for you to be able to see it.

While that is a really nice feature, it sometimes becomes annoying as a little shaking on the trackpad makes the cursor larger and you don’t want that to happen everytime.

With the following guide, you should be able to stop the cursor from getting bigger on your Mac run ing OS X El Capitan.

Stopping the Cursor from Getting Bigger

You do not need a third-party app for doing the job as it can be done from the system panel of your Mac.

2. When the system preferences panel launches, select the option that says “Accessibility.”

3. When the Accessibility panel opens, select “Display” from the left-hand side menu. That is where the option you are going to disable is located.

When you have selected Display from the left menu, you should see an option in the right panel that says “Shake mouse pointer to locate.” This is the option that makes the cursor bigger when you shake your fingers on the trackpad. Just uncheck this option, and the feature will be disabled system-wide on your Mac.

The procedure does not require a reboot or logging-off of your system. It is an instant action and already toil place when you unchecked the box.

Now you can shake your fingers on the trackpad however you want, and the cursor will remain the same. It will not get bigger like it used to do as that feature is now turned off on your Mac.

In the future, should you ever need the feature back on your Mac, you can go back to the System Preferences panel and choose Accessibility followed by Display and select the option that you unchecked above.

Conclusion

If the cursor getting bigger has become an issue for you on your Mac, you can revolve the issue using the above guide.

Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who’s written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He’s been into the field for last eight years and hasn’t spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.

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How To Easily Revert An Accidental Language Change In Os X

Luckily for you, if you’ve encountered a similar issue, we’ve got the solution for you. The thing is, if you do change the language, the layout essentially stays the same. There are two methods to easily switch back to your preferred language, either via. System Preferences, or by Terminal. We’ve detailed both of these methods below.

Switch Back To Your Preferred Language Using System Preferences:

1. First, open “System Preferences” by opening the Apple Menu and selecting the fourth item on the list. It will be immediately under the first separator bar, as shown below:

2. Next, in System Preferences, you need to open the “Language & Region preferences” (Language & Text in previous OS X version.) The icon for this will look like a blue flag with an icon on it. In OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks, this is in the top row and fifth from the left.

Note: Its positioning may be slightly different in older versions of OS X.

(Note: If you’re using Mountain Lion or a previous OS X version, you’ll first have to select the first tab to see this list.)

Also, remember to switch your region using the “Region” tab so that your Mac has the correct time and date.

How to Revert a Language Change Using Terminal:

If you’re having an issue with the method above, another option is to use Terminal in OS X to revert the system language. To do this:

2. In Terminal, simply enter the following command to delete the hidden global preferences file that holds your language settings.

Now, log out and back into your OS X account, and your language should be back to normal.

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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