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Delete last Admin user from OS X [10.6-10.12]

In “Delete All Users from Mac OS X [10.5]”, we outlined how to boot into Single User Mode and use Terminal commands to delete the last admin user from a Mac running OS X 10.5. The OpenDirectory system has seen some changes since then and the commands have changed too.

OpenDirectory has gone through some hack job of an update by Apple, and still retains error-check messages that you can safely ignore according to Apple’s own documentation (HT4749):

When running dscl(1) from Single User mode, you’ll see this message:

launchctl: Couldn't stat("/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.DirectoryServicesLocal.plist"): No such file or directory nothing found to load

This message can be safely ignored.

So the procedure is as follows:

Start your computer into Single User mode by holding Command-S during startup.

Check the startup disk

fsck -fy

Mount the root file system

mount -uw /

Launch DirectoryServices

launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.opendirectoryd.plist

Delete the last admin

dscl . delete /Users/username

If you’d like to resuscitate the Setup Assistant

rm -rf /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

Posted in Apple, English.


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