Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cannot Login to Mac OSX Mavericks (Password Accepted)

Earlier this morning I plugged my Macbook Pro Retina (Late 2013) to an external monitor by a mini DisplayPort cable while being in sleep mode and then turned it on. The surprise was that on the main display there was the Dashboard and on the external monitor there were 3 spaces, but each of them were called "Desktop 1". The biggest problem was that I couldn't switch to a different space on the main display, it was stuck on the Dashboard. So I unplugged the external monitor hoping that it would fix itself, but what happened was that I got logged out. Trying to login again only kicked me back to the login screen. The password was accepted, the screen flickered and I got back to the password prompt. Restarting or even booting to Safe Boot didn't help either, I could not login anymore.

This is how you should be able to fix this in less than 5 minutes:

  1. Boot to single user mode by holding "⌘" and "s" while turning on from power off.
  2. mount read/write by typing in terminal:
    /sbin/mount -uw /
  3. move /Users/<user>/Library/Preferences/com.apple.spaces.plist somewhere else (replace <user> with your actual username)
  4. reboot
You even get back the open windows as you left them before the problem.

Please share if it helped you.

Good luck!