Many times we face this problem when we or our friends forget Administrator account password in Windows and can't log into Windows. So here we are posting a few methods which can be used to change, reset or recover forgotten Windows password in Windows.
DISCLAIMER: Following information should be used only if its your system and you have forgotten account password. Don't use this information to access a system which is not yours without permission.
Method 1: Using Welcome or Login Screen
This method is the first thing which should always do whenever you forget your Windows login password. When we install Windows, it automatically creates a hidden user account "Administrator" and sets its password to blank. So if you forget your user account password then try this:
1. Start your computer and when you see Windows Welcome screen (Login screen), press <ctrl>+<alt>+<del> keys twice and it'll show Classic Login box.
2. Now type Administrator in Username box and leave Password box empty. Now press Enter and you should be able to log into Windows.
3. 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.
Method 2: Using Password Reset Disk
Windows XP and later Windows versions provide a built-in method to recover forgotten password by using "Password Reset Disk". If you created a Password Reset Disk in past, you can use that disk to reset the password.
If you don't know how to create a password reset disk, lets tell you in details. You can create the password reset disk using Control panel -> User Accounts applet.
First open Control Panel and click on User Accounts icon. It'll open User Accounts window. Now click on your user account and then click on "Prevent a forgotten password" link given in left-side pane. It'll open forgotten password wizard as shown in following screenshot:
Follow the instructions and you'll have a password reset disk in your hand.
Method 3: Using "Net User" DOS Command
You can also use a built-in DOS command "Net User" to change any desired user account password within seconds. You'll need access to Command Prompt window in this method:
1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator as mentioned here and run following command:
2. It'll list all available user accounts in Windows.
3. Now run following command:
net user user_name new_password
Replace "user_name" with the desired user account name and replace "new_password" with your desired password.
net user "Vishal Gupta" 12345
Here "Vishal Gupta" is the user account name and 12345 is the new password.
4. That's it. It'll immediately change the user account password.
Thanks to our reader "rkk djb" for sharing this trick...
Method 4: Using Windows XP Setup Loophole
If the above mentioned tricks don't work for you, try following trick which is actually a loophole in Windows XP Setup and also a big security hole:
1. Boot using Windows XP Setup CD and follow the instruction like Accepting EULA, etc.
2. When it asks to repair your existing Windows installation, accept it and press "R" key to run the repair.
3. Setup will start repairing your Windows and will start copying files, etc.
4. After a few minutes setup will restart your system and when it restarts, don't press any key when it shows "Press any key to continue...". Otherwise Setup will start from the beginning. Don't press any key and setup will resume where it left.
5. Now it'll start doing other tasks and will show a small progressbar with a few details in left side.
6. Look carefully at the details and when it shows "Installing devices", press <Shift>+F10 keys together in your keyboard.
7. It'll open a Command Prompt window. Now type nusrmgr.cpl and press <Enter> key.
8. It'll open the same "User Accounts" window which you see in Control Panel.
9. Now you can remove or reset any account password without any problem.
Method 5: Using Bootable Rescue Disk
You can also use various bootable rescue CDs to reset your Windows password as mentioned in following link:
Method 6: Perform a Clean Installation of Windows
If all fails, simply reinstall Windows and create new user account. To recover lost data, you can use Data recovery tools available on net but the chances will be less to get your data back.
That's all we can suggest. If you know about any other method or tool, feel free to share it in your comment...
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