Booting Mac OSX into single user mode is fairly easy though I did run into an issue when using a Windows USB keyboard. Single user mode will allow you to modify the system without logging in for items such as changing the Mac OSX administrator password. Follow the directions below to boot into single user mode on Max OSX.

Boot Mac OSX Into Single User Mode:

  1. Restart Mac OSX: First restart your Mac OSX computer but be prepared to hold a key combination right after hearing the boot sound as specified in step 2.
  2. Hold Apple Key + s: Now directly after you hear the boot tone hold the Apple key (also known as the command key) and the “s” key at the same time. Be sure to continue holding them until you see the screen go black and text beginning to display in the top right corner. If you are not familiar with the Apple Key there is an example picture below.

    Apple Keyboard: Apple Key

    Again make sure to continue holding the “Apple Key” + the “s” key even past the Apple boot screen which is displayed below.

    OSX Apple Boot Screen

  3. Single User Mode: You will come to a command prompt shortly after the screen goes black and the computer boots into Single User Mode as shown in the below example image.

    Mac OSX: Boot Into Single User Mode

Thats it! You are now booted into Single User Mode. If you want to modify files on the hard drive you will need to mount “/” or “root” to do so. Booting Mac OSX into single user mode is useful for many things but be careful as you can damage your system if you don’t know what you are doing.

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Mac OS X for Unix Geeks (Leopard) (Paperback)

By (author): Ernest E. Rothman, Brian Jepson, Rich Rosen

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