Windows Password Reset

Category: Security

I changed my Windows login password yesterday, and now I can't remember it! Is there any way to reset the windows password, so I can regain access to my computer?

windows password reset

How to Reset Your Windows Login Password

It's a sickening, powerless feeling to be locked out of your own computer. Sometimes people forget passwords. Sometimes the stored password on your hard drive gets corrupted in a system crash. Sometimes, malware changes your password without your knowledge. Whatever the cause, you CAN reset your password and get back into your Windows system.

Password resetting was not built into Windows prior to Vista. To get the reset job done you need to exploit a "bug" in Windows XP's Setup process, or use a third-party password recovery program. First, here is how to use Windows XP's Setup to reset your password:

  • Insert your retail Windows XP CD in your CD drive
  • Start or restart the computer
  • When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press Enter
  • Setup offers to repair a damaged installation. Select your Windows XP installation from the list and press R to begin the Repair process. Pay close attention, you will soon interrupt this process!
  • You will be required to reboot after the "copying files" stage; select "reboot" or wait for it to happen autmatically in 15 seconds. Put your fingers on the Shift and F10 keys and be ready!
  • When you see "Installing Devices" progress bar in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, press Shift-F10 together.
  • A command console window will open. Enter NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter.
  • The User Accounts Manager console will appear. Pick the account you need to change and enter a new password. Ta-da!

This method seems tedious but it's no more so than third-party password recovery utilities. Some of those cost up to $200 - you might as well just buy a new operating system! But there are many free password recovery utilities out there, which will either recover your existing password, or bypass the Windows password.

Free Windows Password Recovery Utilities

Here are two free password recovery utilities. They work with Windows XP and may work with other versions or even other operating systems. Be advised, you will have to download them; burn them to a CD or USB flash drive; figure out their often geeky instructions; and then execute commands. You might as well just use the Windows CD you already own.

Ophcrack tries numerous passwords until it gets the right one. There's no telling how long that will take.

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor simply deletes your password. Then you can log on to Windows XP or Vista without entering a password, go to User Accounts management and set a new password for security. This program has not been tested on Windows 7, but my guess is that it will work there as well.

Password Reset for Vista and Windows 7

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have password reset features built into them. But you will have to exercise foresight and create a password reset disk before you need it. Here is the general procedure; to find instructions in your version of Windows Help, search Help for "password reset".

  • Click Start and then Control Panel
  • Open the User Accounts console
  • Look for the "create password reset disk" link and click it
  • A wizard will pop up to prompt you through the rest of the process.
  • You can use any sort of removable media to create a password reset disk: CD, DVD, USB drive, even a floppy disk if you still have such a thing. A keychain USB thumb drive is the most convenient and popular choice.
  • When you see an "incorrect password" message again, don't panic. Just click OK to bring up the "reset password" link. Click that and follow instructions. You will insert your password reset disk, Windows will read it, and you be allowed to create a new password. Ta-da!

The Dark Side

Have you figured out there's a dark side to this password resetting business? If YOU can reset the password on YOUR computer, without having the current password -- then so can anyone else who has physical access to the machine, or to your password reset disk. Bottom line, Windows login passwords should not be relied upon to secure your system from intruders.

Got something to say about Windows password reset/recovery? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Windows Password Reset"

(See all 26 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

calvin
13 Nov 2009

If windows is running and the "start" image appears at the left bottom corner, click on "start" and press "run".enter the command nusrmgr.cpl.You can change not only your password, but those of ALL OTHER USERS !!


Posted by:

victor emmanuel
16 Nov 2009

Hi Bobs! Thanks for your article, they are always worth reading. I know and use a very good one called EBCD (Emergency Boot CD) see www.pcministry.com or http://www.prime-expert.com/ebcd/ It's a linux based Live CD. I downloaded mine when it was free but now i think u need to pay some tokens to get. Mine can't reset Vista password but the one on their site now should and they have a good support team. There are many other ones but I am yet to try them but am very ok with EBCD.

Thanks.

Love your articles,

Your reader from Nigeria.


Posted by:

tony88
18 Nov 2009

This is an awesome tool.It resets your password on Windows using USB Drive

http://www.lostwindowspassword.com/


Posted by:

davi
10 Dec 2009


1. Log onto a computer that can link to the Internet. Download Windows Password Recovery Tool 3.0 from http://www.windowspasswordsrecovery.com for Windows XP, Vista, 2003, 2000, 2008 and decompress it on that PC. Note that: there is a .ISO file. Burn the .ISO file to a CD.
2.Get out the newly created CD and insert it to the locked computer. IT IS SHAREWARE.
3.Re-boot the locked computer and then follow the process of instructions. Just after a few steps, the old password will be removed.
4.Set new password:
Step 1: Open the "Control Panel
Step 2: Click the "User Account
Step 3: Select the account you wanna set a new password.
Step 4: Click "Changing Account " and "Set Up Password", then fill out the form as listed. Click "Create Password".


Posted by:

Linky Wu
21 Dec 2009

I just found something about windows password reset methods.
It also support windows 7 password reset
Those all are free and very helpful!


Posted by:

Glenn P.
24 Jan 2010

You wrote:

> "Password resetting was not built into Windows prior to Vista."

This is INCORRECT. Windows XP Pro DOES HAVE PROVISION for a Password Reset Disk! I KNOW this, for I'm ON WinXP Pro, and I've DONE it! You must have an Administrator-level account for this to work, however.

Here's how to create one:

1. Go to Control Panel.

2. Click on "User Accounts" from among the categories given.

3. Click on "User Accounts" AGAIN, this time in the "User Accounts" section (!).

4. Under "Pick an account to change", click on your account.

5. The "What do you want to change about your account?" dialog opens. In the "Related Tasks" box in the upper-left corner, click on the line that reads "Prevent a forgotten password."

6. The Forgotten Password Wizard opens. Follow the directions (you'll need a floppy disk).

Enjoy eating your Crow, you silly ole Rankin you!!! :)


Posted by:

Glenn P.
09 Feb 2010

Thanks to Process Explorer, I've determined that
another, shorter and more direct -- but much more complicated -- way to accomplish the same thing is to type in (or better still, copy-&-paste) the following line into your Start menu's "Run" dialog (even if it word-wraps here, it needs to be all on one line -- note, there IS a space between the ".exe" and the "keymgr", and also one between "ExW" and "User" -- but NOT between "Wizard" and "ExW"):

"C:\WINDOWS\System32\rundll32.exe" keymgr.dll,PRShowSaveWizardExW User Accounts

And, yes, you CAN paste the above line into a Windows shortcut (I just tried it!), which in turn means you put an option for it just about anywhere, your DeskTop or Start Menu included!

Hope this helps -- Enjoy!!! :)


Posted by:

lndsmth04
26 Apr 2010

The first thing which you check if you forget login password. When we install Windows, it automatically creates an account “Administrator” and sets its password to blank. So if you have forget Your user account password then try this:
Start system and when you See Windows Welcome screen / Login screen, press ctrl+alt+del keys Twice and it’ll show Classic Login box. Now type “Administrator” (without quotes) in Username and leave Password field blank. Now press Enter and you should be able to log in Windows.
Now you can reset your account password from “Control Panel -> User Accounts”.
Same thing can be done using Safe Mode. In Safe Mode Windows will show this in-built Administrator account in Login screen.

Windows XP and further versions also provide another method to recover forgotten Password by using “Reset Disk”. If you created a Password Reset Disk in Past, you can use that disk to reset the password. To know more about It, please visit:http://is.gd/bHPdM


Posted by:

zhuismile
12 Jun 2010

Gaining access to an acount or computer if you have lost the windwos password is not very difficult.In fact,it is easy if you have windows password key 8.0 which can be download from
http://www.lostwindowspassword.com

As a system administrator,I have tried a couple of these utilities through the years and this is my favorite.


Posted by:

Paul Mayer
02 Jul 2010

Your best is to rememeber your password! If you really can not reset your windows admin password, I recommend a free download called Reset Windows Password 1.3 at http://www.top-password.com/reset-windows-password.html

It is very useful for novice! Hope it helps! You simply do as follows:

Step one – Download the program (not free, but worth it)
Step two – Burn your Reset Windows Password 1.3 CD:To burn your CD, you’ll need a blank CD-R and the .ISO file of Reset Windows Password 1.3.
Step three – Put in your newly created CD and remove your Windows password.

If having some questions,you can read carefully: http://www.top-password.com/how-to-reset-windows-password.html


Posted by:

Talha
17 Jul 2010

Dear Sir i am using this side 1st time i am using laptop lenovo 3000 N-200 ... such a really nice and help full side i need some laptop software ...if you don't mind then send me different software ...

Regard's

Syed Talha Saeed...


Posted by:

Joris
27 Jul 2010

I know a simple way to reset windows password to blank when you forgot administrator password,it need not to reinstall windows OS,and wont loss any data,by using the Windows Password Reset Kit 1.5. Maybe this could help you.


Posted by:

rcmz
26 Aug 2010

Wow,I know something good for you: http://password-genius.com/


Posted by:

maggiena
29 Nov 2010

Have you tried starting up in safe mode (F8)
If you can get in that way you might be able to make a new administrator account, then try starting up as normal and logging into the new account. Or else, you need to use some password recovery tools to help you solve the problem.
http://www.windowspasswordrecovery.net/


Posted by:

Clarke
31 Jan 2011

I usually use the Windows Password Resetter 1.7 boot CD to reset Windows password, It worked great for me, with no reinstall and no data loss.
http://www.resetlostpassword.com


Posted by:

passwordbuster
17 Mar 2011

Windows Password Buster Professional is the best Windows Password Recovery Tool. It is used to recover lost user and administrator passwords used to log on to Windows operating systems. It's a fast, easy and efficient solution to recover your forgotten or lost Windows password. It can backup the Password Storage File before clearing the password. The backup allows you to restore your computer to the state before removal.
official site:http://www.password-buster.com


Posted by:

Anddy_2011
26 Aug 2011

I think I must introduce a software, today. Windows Password

Seeker. it not only supports XP, 2000, and NT, But also in

Vista and win7,it works perfectly to reset any local user

account to a blank password. I wrote it to a USB flash drive do

this. Booting up and clearing a password takes a minute. You

can download it from :http://www.passwordseeker.com


Posted by:

syonxu
08 Dec 2011

The first thing you should do is check whether you really forget login password or not. When we install Windows, it automatically creates an account “Administrator” and sets its password to blank. So if you have forget your user account password then try this:
Start system and when you See Windows Welcome screen / Login screen, press ctrl+alt+del keys Twice and it’ll show Classic Login box. Now type “Administrator” (without quotes) in Username and leave Password field blank. Press Enter and you will be able to log in Windows.

Or you can get into the Safe Mode to reset your account password from “Control Panel -> User Accounts”. In Safe Mode Windows will show this in-built Administrator account in Login screen.

Windows XP and further versions also provide another method to recover forgotten Password by using “Reset Disk”. If you created a Password Reset Disk in Past, you can use that disk to reset the password. To know more about It, please visit http://www.daossoft.comIf you want to save time and without lose anything,recommend you to use a third party software--Windows Password Rescuer 3.0.It can recover windows 7/vista/xp/2008/2003/2000 password within several minutes. No need to reinstall your operation system.Only four steps to recover the password:
Step 1: Download Windows Password Rescuer
Step 2: Burn bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive
Step 3: BIOS setting,setup your computer boot from CD/DVD or USB
Step 4: Reset Windows password by a few clicks.


Posted by:

Jim Martinson
16 Nov 2012

The prosoft3d company you advertise with this report is listed multiple times in the Ripoff Report as being a scam. Could you verify this?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I've never mentioned Prosoft3D in any of my articles. Did you maybe see it in one of the ads? Remember, just as in newspaper, magazine, radio and TV venues, you should not assume that the publisher has endorsed any of the products that appear in the advertising.


Posted by:

charles lake
01 Apr 2013

I can not get into my windows 10 dont know my user name or password


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