A Root user is what many know as a Root User but should not be confused with an Administrator User. The user who has such privileges has almost total control of the operating system allowing to modify or edit practically any aspect of the OS code. How could it be otherwise, MacOS devices also have this user hierarchy and therefore there is the figure of the Root User.
Related: How to enter Mac without knowing the password.
In macOS, certain parts of the file system are not available by default, even if you are a user you are the administrator. This is because the Root user is disabled by default. In order to have access to certain parts of the file system, we will have to activate the root user, only in this way will you be able to obtain read and write privileges in the entire file system.
A root user in MacOS will not only get access to read and edit the file system of your user account, but you will also have elevated access that will allow you to do so in the accounts of all Mac or MacBook users. This can be very useful in the event that some of the users forget their login since from the Root User you can recover them without any problem.
By activating the root user in MacOS, you will have full control of your Mac. Although this may be useful for advanced users, it should be noted that if we perform certain operations we can also damage our Mac if we do not know what we are doing. Apple is fully aware of this and this is the reason why it disables root access by default.
If after arriving here you still want to activate access or root user of MacOS to get full access to your Mac and MacBook, below we will show you step by step how to do it:
Method 1. Activate the root user in MacOS from the terminal.
1. Log into your Mac
2. Go to your Mac’s Spotlight search (magnifying glass icon)
3. Search using the term: Terminal
4. Open the Terminal from the search results.
5. When the Terminal has opened, you will have to enter and execute the following command:
6. After pressing the Enter key the Terminal will detect your username automatically and then it will ask for your user password.
7. Enter your password and press Enter.
8. Now you will be asked to create a password for the Root user as well as to verify it.
9. Once the process is complete, you should see the following message:
Root is now activated on your Mac or MacBook and you can start using it immediately as we show you later in this tutorial.
Method 2. Activate the root user using the directory utility
1. Open Spotlight on your Mac by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
2. Here proceed to the search for: Directory Utility.
3. Select the tool from the search results.
3. Go to the tab: Services
4. Click the lock icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
5. In the pop-up window enter your user password and click the button: Modify configuration.
6. Next, in the toolbar you will have to go to: Edit> Activate Root User
6. You will now be prompted to create a password and verify it for your root user.
7. Finally, you only have to click the Accept button to complete the creation of a Root user.
How to Login to the Root User Account
Once the Root user is activated, you will have to log into said Root user account from the macOS login screen. Thus:
1. Log out of your current user account.
2. On the macOS login screen, select the user: Other …
3. As user name you have to use “root”.
as password you will have to enter the root password created in the previous methods.
5. Log in to the root account.
Once logged into your Root user account, although the account is seen as a normal user account, the truth is that from it you will already have access and you will be able to edit and even delete files that would normally be strictly prohibited.
How to disable MacOS root user
From Downloadsource.es we recommend that after using the Root user account for whatever you need; that you quickly deactivate it in order to avoid malicious activities or accidental damage.
1 Deactivate the MacOS user Root using Terminal.
Perform the same process necessary to activate said Root user (shown at the beginning of the post.)
The only difference lies in the command to be executed, which in this case will be:
After pressing Enter and entering your user password. From here, the root user will be disabled.
2 Disable MacOS Root User Using Directory Utility
If you want to deactivate the root user at any time using the Directory Utility, you will only have to start the Directory Utility again and go to Edit> Disable root user.