How to fix Admin login in OS X El Capitan

04 Oct 2015

After updating to the latest version of OS X - El Capitan, I realised there was a major bug in the OS. I could login, but I could not use my admin credentials to authorise installations, or unlock the padlock to change preferences.

I believe that this is a Centrify issue, as it affected myself and a few colleagues at work, but my personal Mac (without Centrify installed) has not had an issue on El Capitan.

Luckily, I have found two fixes to resolve this issue.

Fix 1

  1. Open Terminal and run this command:
    sudo mv /var/db/auth.db /var/db/auth.db.old
  2. Restart and log back in, the above command will force OS X to regenerate the user database, fixing the bug.


Fix 2

  1. Open Terminal and run the command:
  2. Enter a username and a password for the root account.
  3. You should see a message saying:
    dsenableroot:: ***Successfully enabled root user.
  4. Now logout of your user account, and login as the root account.
  5. Register here, to obtain a download link for the latest version of Centrify.
  6. Install it using the root account, it should not be necessary to enter any passwords.
  7. Restart, and your admin accounts should now be working again!

Did these fixes work for you in El Capitan?

Lewis Lebentz