If you can’t log into your computer, you can follow these instructions to reset the password for any user. Ubuntu allows for the root user to reset the password for any user account. In order to get to the root user, we need to restart the computer and use what’s called “single user mode”, which means the low level repair system for the computer.
There are two ways to enter into the GRUB boot menu. The first is to restart your computer and tap ESC while the computer starts. The second is to power it off while it is starting up, which will make the menu show up on the next boot.
Make sure to stop tapping ESC when the menu appears, otherwise a GRUB command prompt will appear:
If you get to the GRUB command prompt, type in
normal, then press ENTER and immediately press ESC.
Once in the GRUB menu, choose the second option Advanced options for Ubuntu, followed by the 3rd option Ubuntu, with Linux <current kernel number> (recovery mode).
At the recovery menu, choose the root option, then press Enter to drop to a root prompt.
A note on the root prompt: Since the system is operating with only a single console, all output is printed to the screen. This can be really confusing, but nothing has changed – it’s just output. If your screen looks like the image below, with a timeout notice or similar, press Ctrl+C to return to the prompt and continue working. You will need to re-enter the command you were typing.
Now, type this command to make your hard drive editable:
mount -o rw,remount /
Then type this command to show what usernames are present on the computer:
Then, to change your password, type in this command:
april to the actual user whose password you would like to reset, as seen in the output of
Enter a new password, then press Enter. Even though you are typing, no text will be displayed nor will the password be obfuscated as seen in the image below.
Enter the same password again to confirm, then press Enter.
If successful, you will see a message confirming `passwd: password updated successfully
You can now reboot: