How to enable password hints on macOS

Password aren’t easy to remember especially if you prefer to not use Facebook and Google to sign into everything and instead create separate accounts whenever you can. Both macOS and Windows 10 let you use your Apple ID and Microsoft account with the respective desktops but on macOS you can only use your Apple ID to reset a user account password. You can’t use it to sign in to your Mac which is why it may be a good idea to enable password hints on macOS.

Password hints on macOS are for user accounts only and are in no way connected to your Apple ID unless you yourself put something there that’s connected to it.

Set up password hint

Setting up a password hint is different from enabling it. You may have a password hint set up but it may be hidden from the log in screen on your Mac. If you do not have a password hint set up though, you have to fix that before you can get it to show up on the login screen.

Open the System Preferences app and go to Users & Groups and select you account from the column on the left.

how to enable password hints on macos How to enable password hints on macOS

Click Change Password. You will have to change your password when you set up a hint.

how to enable password hints on macos 1 How to enable password hints on macOS

Enable password hint

Once the hint has been set up, it’s time to enable it. On the same Users & Groups preference, click the Login Options button at the very bottom of the left column. You may have to click the lock icon at the bottom and enter the admin username and password to make the change.

On the login options screen, enable the ‘Show password hints’ option.

how to enable password hints on macos 2 How to enable password hints on macOS

Password hints

If you’ve ever used a Windows system, you know that password hints are available on all login screens. The same does not hold true for macOS. The password hint only appears on the login screen if you’re booting your Mac. If you’re already signed into your Mac, and you lock it, the login screen you get will not let you view the password hint.

This is likely a security measure because it stands to reason that if you were able to login to your Mac and then lock it, you should be able to unlock it as well without needing the password hint.

Apple recommends that you set a password hint so that may also be another reason it’s more cautious with which screens it displays the password hints on.

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