How to Add a Mac Firmware Password to Protect Your Hard Drive

If you have not locked down your computer with a Mac firmware password, you are doing yourself a disservice. For example, let’s say your laptop or desktop is stolen. The thief cannot access your files but may want to try to reformat your hard drive and reinstall the software.

A firmware password will stop that from happening. The thief will be prompted to enter a password. On the new line of Apple computers with SSD drives, this makes the computer useless unless you know how to swap out an SSD drive.

Let’s go over how to add a Mac firmware password.

1. First, you need to boot into recovery mode. Power off your Mac, then power it back on and hold down Command + R. The Mac will boot into recovery mode.

OS X Utilities window

2. Next, choose Utilities > Firmware Password Utility from the Apple menu bar.

Selecting Firmware Password Utility from Apple menu bar

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3. Now select Turn On Firmware Password.

Mac Firmware Password Utility dialog box

4. Enter a password and confirm it.

5. Click Set Password and you’re done.

From there you can restart your computer normally. Now if your laptop is ever stolen, you have essentially rendered it useless for the thief. Just be sure you don’t forget your Mac firmware password, or you may render your computer useless for yourself, and you’ll have to take a drive to the nearest Apple store!

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