Make Mavericks Re-run the Setup Assistant

This post was published more than a few years ago (on 2013-11-10) and may contain inaccurate technical information, outmoded thoughts, or cringe takes. Proceed at your own risk.

Updating my old blog post, Make OS X re-run the initial Setup Assistant, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks (and perhaps even earlier versions, back to 10.5) require a slightly different method, since the NetInfo Manager has now been done away with. Thanks to this comment on Mac OS X Hints for the updated information.

  1. Boot into single-user mode (hold ⌘-S during startup)
  2. Once the command-line prompt appears, type the following:
  3. mount -uw /
  4. rm -R /Library/Preferences/
  5. rm -R /Users/your username/
  6. cd /var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default
  7. ls to list the files
  8. Delete the file that is named after your user account, with a .plist extension. So, for user name "tempadmin", type rm tempadmin.plist
  9. rm /private/var/db/.AppleSetupDone
  10. reboot
  11. Mac OS X will restart and the setup assistant will launch automatically.

If you’re doing this to get the Mac ready for a new owner, just press ⌘-Q once the opening animation finishes, and click Shut Down. The Setup Assistant will automatically run again the next time the Mac is started.