How to Unlock your Mac If You’ve Forgotten the Firmware Password

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Have you ever experienced a situation where your Mac laptop simply won’t start up? It could be that it is firmware locked. Firmware locking is a security feature that prevents unauthorized users from altering the system in any way. It can be enabled by setting a password on startup, and if you forget the password, you won’t be able to access your system.

Fortunately, there are ways to unlock your Mac if you’ve forgotten the firmware password. The first step is to confirm that your Mac does indeed have a firmware lock. To do this, press and hold Command-Option-P-R as soon as you power up the laptop. Keep holding down those keys for about 20 seconds. Then let go and alow your Mac to continue starting normally. If you have an older Mac that chimes at boot, hold down the keys until you hear a second startup chime. If the Mac does not prompt for a password then there is no firmware lock set on it and you can continue to use it like normal.

If however, it does prompt for a password then there is indeed an existing firmware lock in place. In this case, it may be possible to reset the lock with some workarounds. One way is to power on the mac and immediately press and hold command-option-P-R until you hear three “bong” noises – then let go of the keys. This will reset PRAM/NVRAM and hopefully clear out any existing passwords associated with this process.

If this workaround doesn’t work then unfortunately your only option may be to contact Apple Support or an Apple Authorized Service Provider who can help you unlock your machine with their specialized tools and expertise.

It’s important to remember that firmware locking is an important security feature for protecting your data from unwanted access or tampering – so make sure that whatever solution you use gives you complete confidence in its security capabilities before proceeding any further!

How to Unlock your Mac If You've Forgotten the Firmware Password 1

Understanding Apple Firmware Lock

An Apple firmware lock is a security measure that can be enabled to protect your Mac from unauthorized access. It prevents anyone from starting up the computer from any internal or external storage device other than the selected startup disk, and it blocks the ability to use most startup key combinations. To start up the computer, users must enter a unique firmware password that is stored in non-volatile memory on the Mac’s motherboard. This makes it more difficult for someone to gain access to your data without proper authorization.

Resetting Mac Firmware

To reset your Mac firmware, you need to do a PRAM/NVRAM reset. This is done by powering up the laptop and then quickly pressing and holding Command-Option-P-R keys simultaneously for about 20 seconds. You should hear a startup chime aftr the 20 seconds, at which point you can let go of the keys and allow your Mac to continue starting normally. This will reset your Mac’s parameters, including those related to the firmware.

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Resetting a Mac Without a Firmware Password

If you don’t have a firmware password, then you can reset your Mac by powering it on and pressing and holding the Command-Option-P-R keys. You’ll need to keep holding these keys unil your Mac restarts three times, at which point you can let go. This process will clear the password and reset your Mac’s PRAM/NVRAM.

Do Macs Have a Firmware Password?

No, not all Macs have a firmware password. The presence of a firmware password depends on how the computer was set up and configured by the user or the business that manages the machine. Some users may choose to set up a firmware password to increase security on their device, whereas others may not need one. To determine if your Mac has a firmware password, you can use the “firmwarepasswd” command line utility in macOS to check if it is active or not.

Unlocking Mac Firmware Lock

To unlock your Mac’s firmware lock, you’ll need to start up from macOS Recovery and open the Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Once you have the utility open, click on the “Turn Off Firmware Password” option. You will then be prompted to enter your existing firmware password. If you’ve lost your password, you can reset it by restarting your Mac and pressing and holding the Command + R keys before the Apple logo appears. This will take you to Recovery Mode where you can use Terminal to reset your password by running a few simple commands.

Understanding Firmware on Mac Computers

Firmware on a Mac is a low-level program that provides instructions to the operating system and other software on the computer. It is stored in memory chips on the motherboard, and is responsible for booting up your computer when you turn it on. Mac computers typically use firmware called EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) to control the startup process and provide access to device drivers, among other tasks. EFI is based on industry standards, which ensures compatibility with other hardware components. Additionally, it includes built-in security features that help protect your data from malicious software.

Resetting Computer Firmware

In order to reset your computer firmware, you will need to access the BIOS or UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) menu. To access this menu, you’ll need to restart your computer and press a specific key as soon as it starts up. This key will vary depending on your computer’s make and model, but is typically either F2 or DEL. Once you have entered the BIOS/UEFI menu, look for a tab labeled something like “Settings” or “Advanced Settings.” From here, you should find an option that alows you to reset your computer’s firmware. Once you have selected this option, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. After the reset is completed, save any changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI menu before restarting your computer.

What Causes a Mac to Become Locked?

Your Mac is locked for security reasons. Apple takes your security seriously and has detected that someone may have been trying to gain access to your account. To protect your personal information, Apple has temporarily locked your Mac and requires you to verify your identity before you can use it again. You should contact Apple Support for help with unlocking your Mac.

Forcing a Factory Reset on a Mac

To perform a factory reset on your Mac, you can use the System Settings feature. From the Apple menu ? in the corner of your screen, choose System Settings. Click General in the sidebar. Click Transfer or Reset on the right. Finally, click Erase All Content and Settings. This will erase all data, settings, and installed applications from your Mac and restore it to its original factory settings.

Factory Resetting a Locked Mac

Yes, you can factory reset a locked Mac by entering the Recovery Mode. When you boot up the Mac, press and hold Command+R until the Apple logo appears, then release. This will take you to the Recovery Mode menu, where you can choose Disk Utility or Reinstall macOS. These options will allow you to erase your Mac and reinstall the operating system, effectively resetting it without needing to enter a password.

Resetting a Mac to Factory Settings When Unable to Log In

If you can’t log in to your Mac and need to reset it to factory settings, you can do so by starting up from macOS recovery. To do this, shut down your Mac and hold down the Command+R keys while turning it back on. When you see the Apple logo appear, let go of the keys. You’ll then be asked to select an admin user you know the password for. After selecting an admin user, choose Erase Mac from the Recovery Assistant menu in the menu bar. In the Erase Mac window, click Erase Mac and confirm your selection. This will reset your Mac to its factory settings and alow you to start fresh with a new user account.

Removing EFI Lock From Macbook Pro

Removing an EFI lock from a Macbook Pro is not a straightforward process and should only be attempted if you are familiar with the hardware and software components of your computer. To begin, you will need to shut down your Macbook Pro and remove the battery. Once the battery is out, locate the RAM slots on your Macbook Pro. Remove one of the RAM modules and set it aside. Put the battery back in and boot up your Macbook while holding down Command + Option + P + R keys to reset the parameter RAM. Wait for the chime to sound thre times before releasing these keys.

The next step is to enter recovery mode by pressing Command + R when you hear the chime. Once in recovery mode, open terminal and type in sudo nvram -d boot-args follwed by return key. This command will delete any existing EFI lock on your Macbook Pro. Finally, type reboot into terminal and press return key to restart your machine with the EFI lock removed.

Can Apple Remove a Firmware Password?

Yes, Apple can remove a firmware password if you have proof of ownership. They will need to walk you through a process (Shift-Control-Option-Command-S) which will show them a code that they can use to confirm your identity. Once the code is verified, they will be able to remove the firmware password and retain any data stored on the device. This service is available for Mac devices from 2011-2020.

How Do You Access Firmware On A Mac?

To access firmware on a Mac, you must first shut down the computer. Then, hold down the “Command”, “Option”, “0” and “F” keys at the same time while turning the machine back on. This will bring up the Open Firmware interface, which provides access to firmware settings on your Mac.

Unlocking a Mac Without an Apple ID

If you don’t have your Apple ID or have forgotten it, there are stil ways to unlock your Mac. One option is to use a FileVault recovery key. FileVault is a feature of macOS that encrypts the contents of your disk, and requires a recovery key or an Apple ID to unlock it.

To use a FileVault recovery key, start up your Mac whie holding down the Command and R keys until the Apple logo appears. This will bring you to the macOS Recovery utility. From here, select “Utilities” in the menu bar then select “Firmware Password Utility” or “Reset Password” depending on what version of macOS you are running.

Once you are in the Firmware Password Utility or Reset Password window, enter your FileVault recovery key. It’s the long string of letters and numbers you received when you turned on FileVault and chose to create a recovery key instead of allowing your iCloud account (Apple ID) to unlock your disk. Enter your new password information, then click Reset Password. This should allow you to access your Mac without needing an Apple ID.


In conclusion, a firmware locked Mac is a great way to help protect your data and ensure that only authorized users can access the system. It is a simple process to set up and can be used to protect your Mac from unauthorized access. If you ever forget or lose your firmware password, there are ways to reset it so that you can regain access to your Mac. It is important to keep in mind, however, that resetting the firmware password will also reset any other passwords associated with the computer as well.

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Sanjeev Singh

Sanjeev is the tech editor at DeviceMAG. He has a keen interest in all things technology, and loves to write about the latest developments in the industry. He has a passion for quality-focused journalism and believes in using technology to make people's lives better. He has worked in the tech industry for over 15 years, and has written for some of the biggest tech blogs in the world. Sanjeev is also an avid photographer and loves spending time with his family.