Recover Lost Passwords in Ubuntu 12.04 (Recovery Mode)

This brief tutorial is going to show you how to easily reset your forgotten password in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin.

Let’s face it, some of us do forget our passwords. Unlike Windows, resetting your forgotten password in Ubuntu 12.04 isn’t too difficult. All you have to do is login to the recovery mode at your boot prompt and reset it.

This short tutorial is going to show you how.


  • Reset Your Forgotten Password in Ubuntu 12.04
  • Enjoy!

To get started, power on your Ubuntu computer while holding down the Shift Key on your keyboard. At the boot menu (GRUB) select (Recovery Mode)




Then scroll down to root and press Enter.




Next, run the commands below to remount root

mount -rw -o remount /




Finally, run the commands below to create / change your password.

passwd username




Exit and login with your new password.




  1. Andrea - May 20, 2013 @ 2:32 AM

    la procedura è abbastanza semplice, ma ho un piccolo problema premendo shift ubuntu 12.04 non mi apre il grub come mai help me please!

  2. kvkganesh - August 12, 2013 @ 12:04 AM

    I tried the above process in ubuntu12.04 to reset password for user/admin account after holding the “shift” key i am unable to see the boot menu (GRUB).. and it showing the input not supported message and going to ubuntu… user’s login…. but it’s working on ubuntu 13.04 os… what is the problem..? can u just help me out… pls…..

    • Randy - May 26, 2015 @ 9:43 PM

      Same is happening to me

  3. Amarnadh - August 28, 2013 @ 8:59 AM

    Above procedure worked well for me .. Thanks for this techinal tip. Saved lot of time

  4. carl - August 31, 2013 @ 5:00 PM

    Thank-you, very much. Prevented embarrassing loss of documents.
    For those worried about security; this action requires physical access to your machine. Simply don’t let that happen.

  5. Anon - September 15, 2013 @ 7:32 PM

    Your directions are VERY incomplete. What a terrible job you do.

    • arjunprasad.ahirwar - September 26, 2013 @ 7:02 AM

      its work fine

  6. Chester - October 22, 2013 @ 12:52 AM

    Great Job my LIB Brother, I hope you come up with more ideas. We could also work together. I am a Networking student.

    • Richard W - October 22, 2013 @ 6:21 AM

      Email me about working together.

  7. Hamzah - November 12, 2013 @ 6:35 PM

    Hey, it says password changed, but when i try to login it just blinking and cannot login,
    It doesn’t say wrong password. Please help me,

  8. Joseph Hurtis - December 17, 2013 @ 10:38 PM

    when i get to the root prompt its asking password or cntrl D to continue , i could’nt exit from this prompt

  9. bob - December 28, 2013 @ 1:30 PM

    Couldn’t be easier. Thank you.

  10. Patrick - December 30, 2013 @ 6:51 PM

    Thanks for your help!

  11. captainmohit - January 30, 2014 @ 11:41 PM

    when i am coming to root drop to root its asking for root password for maintenance how do i resolve it pls confirm me back

  12. Diya - March 16, 2014 @ 8:44 AM

    Hey Thanks a lot Richard for this sharing this. It worked for me. :)

  13. Andy - April 10, 2014 @ 1:35 PM

    Thank you very much!

  14. Raghvendra - May 6, 2014 @ 8:26 AM

    Thanks a lot

  15. azer - May 29, 2014 @ 7:18 AM

    very very tanks
    i’m doing learning linux under command line of iran
    very good

  16. Kevin - August 16, 2014 @ 9:24 PM

    hi folks, password authentication fails even after successful password reset. Have changed password in root I am informed password reset successful but when I boot back to Ubuntu and try to update .. I get Password authentication failed

  17. Arindam - October 11, 2014 @ 3:00 AM

    After entering the command “passwd username”, it says ‘Enter new UNIX password’. But I can’t seem to type anything in that. Please help.

  18. Stephen Taylforth - November 14, 2014 @ 8:12 AM

    @ Arindam
    Linux does not repeat passwords to the screen. Just type it blind.

  19. Santa - December 4, 2014 @ 3:09 AM

    I keep getting authentication token error after re typing the password what does that mean ?

  20. lee Mimbs - May 18, 2015 @ 8:33 AM

    Thanks for the easy directions. I was building a laptop for a friend and set it aside for two weeks and could not recall the password I set up originally. :)

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