Friday, March 20, 2015

Login Screen Shows “[Update Needed]”

I recently ran into this issue where the Mac’s login screen shows, in the place of a user account icon, a generic question mark icon with name “[Update Needed]”. Despite the scary icon, I was able to select the “account,” enter my password, and log in as normal. There was no OS update available.

This seems to be related to having FileVault enabled and having multiple user accounts, not all of which have the FileVault credentials. I was able to fix it by decrypting and then encrypting the hard drive. After reading some more, perhaps it would have been possible to go into the FileVault tab of the Security & Privacy preferences pane and make sure that each user account has access to decrypt the disk.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

I solved the problem without rebooting. I used the command “fdesetup” (terminal) from an administrative account. You can find more about this command here:


I made a small mistake. I did not meant rebooting but decrypting. This command "Sets up FileVault for the current boot volume” and allows for very efficient management of filevault volumes.

@Matyas Which fdesetup command did you use?

Something that will work is to delete the user and add it again:

1_ sudo fdesetup list : get the list of users and their respective UUID
2_ find the user with problems
3_ sudo fdesetup remove -uuid [add here the UUID of the user] : remove the user with problems from Filevault
4_ sudo fdesetup add -usertoadd [add user here, works without UUID] : add the user back
5_ sudo fdesetup list : check that everythin is good
6_ reboot, test and done!

I imagine there is a cleaner way to do it, but it did the trick for me without decrypting/encrypting the drive. I would suggest to have a backup admin account that can unlock the disk. In my case I work from an user account and have a separate admin account. Let me know if it works for you!

Leave a Comment