macOS Big Sur User No Admin Error and Fix

It took me a week to resolve this error. It was painful. I hope this post would help reduce the pain for someone out in the universe.

Issue:

  • After updating to Big Sur, in “System Preference” -> “Users & Groups,” no user was an “Admin.” There were only “Standard” users.

The Fix:

  1. Remove a file to trick the computer to think that it has not have any user set up. This way you would be able to set up a new admin user
  2. The file to be removed is .AppleSetupDone
  3. The steps to remove the file are:
    1. Re-start your computer in Recovery Mode, by holding down Command-R during boot-up
    2. Open “Terminal” from the top menu under “Utilities.” See image below:
5 Ways To Mac Recovery Mode Terminal Commands
  1. Type this command including spaces and quotes:
rm "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/var/db/.AppleSetupDone"
  1. Then re-start your computer, and you will be taken into Setup Assistant in which you can create a new user.

If you receive the errorNo such file or directory,” try the following:

  1. Re-start your computer in Recovery Mode, by holding down Command-R during boot-up
  2. Go to “Disk Utility”
  3. Check and see if any of your volumes from the list on the left hand side are “unmounted.” Mount any volumes that are unmounted.
  4. If you do NOT see any unmounted volumes, go ahead and unmount and mount the volumes one by one.
  5. Exit “Disk Utility” and open “Terminal”
  6. Type this command including spaces and quotes:
rm "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/var/db/.AppleSetupDone"

If it returns on error, restart your computer, and you will be taken into Setup Assistant.

Thank you to user rossonet. S/he was the one that figured this out.

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