How to reset Windows 10 password

How to reset Windows 10 password

This guide is about how to reset a forgotten password in Windows 10, whether you're using a Microsoft account or a local account. The password reset process itself is almost the same as the ones I described for earlier versions of the operating system, except for a couple of minor nuances. Note that if you know the current password, there are easier ways: How to change the Windows 10 password.

If you need this information due to the fact that the Windows 10 password that you set for some reason does not work, I recommend that you first try to enter it with Caps Lock on and off, in Russian and English layouts; this can help. If the text description of the steps seems complicated, there is also a video instruction in the section on resetting the password for a local account that shows everything clearly.

Reset Microsoft account password online

If you are using a Microsoft account and a computer that you cannot log into is connected to the Internet (or you can connect from the lock screen by clicking the connection icon), then a simple password reset on the official website it's OK for you. At the same time, you can perform the steps outlined to change the password from any other computer or even from your phone.

  1. First, go to the page, where you select one of the items, for example 'I forgot my password'.
  2. After that, enter your email address (it can also be a phone number) and verification characters, and then follow the instructions to restore access to your Microsoft account.
  3. As long as you have access to the email or phone the account is linked to, the process won't be difficult.
  4. As a result, you will have to connect to the internet on the lock screen (using the connect button at the bottom right) and enter a new password.

If you are unable to change your Microsoft account password online, you can proceed as follows: Go to the instructions on how to reset your password without programs, follow all steps up to and including 10, and then create a new local user . in the command line, give it administrator rights and log in as this user, a separate instruction will help you with this: How to create a Windows 10 user.

Reset local account password in Windows 10 built-in tools

In the latest versions of Windows 10, resetting your local account password is easier than it used to be. Now, when installing Windows 10, it asks three security questions that allow you to change your password at any time if you have forgotten it (but this option is not always possible to use).

  1. After entering the password incorrectly, the item "Reset password" will appear below the input field, click on it. 
  2. Indicate the answers to the security questions. 
  3. Set a new Windows 10 password and confirm it. 
It may interest you:  Online virus scan with Hybrid Scan

After that, the password will be changed and you will be automatically logged into the system (provided the correct answers to the questions are provided). If you didn't ask security questions (in this case, you may be told that this operation requires removable media) or you don't know the answers, use the following method.

Reset Windows 10 password without programs

For starters, there are two ways to reset Windows 10 password without third-party programs (only for a local account). In both cases, you will need a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10, not necessarily the same version of the system that is installed on your computer.

The first method consists of the following steps:

  1. Booting from a bootable Windows 10 flash drive (the ways to make a bootable Windows 10 flash drive will have to be done somewhere on another computer), then in the installer press Shift + F10 ( Shift+Fn+F10 on some laptops). A command prompt will open.
  2. At the command prompt, type regedit and press Enter. 
  3. The Registry Editor will open. In it, in the left pane, select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and then select «File» - «Load Hive» on the menu .
  4. Specify the path to the file C:WindowsSystem32configSYSTEM  (In some cases, the system drive letter may differ from the usual C, but the required letter can be easily identified by the contents of the drive.)
  5. Set a name (whatever) for the loaded hive. 
  6. Open the downloaded registry key (which will be under the name specified in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE ) and then the subkey of Configuration .
  7. On the right side of Registry Editor, double-click the parameter Cmdline and set the value to cmd.exe 
  8. Change the parameter value SetupType a 2 in the same way .
  9. On the left side of Registry Editor, select the section whose name you specified in the fifth step, then select «File» - «Download Hive» , confirm the download. 
  10. Close Registry Editor, Command Prompt, Settings, and restart your computer from your hard drive.
  11. When the system starts, the command prompt will open automatically. In it, enter the command net user to see the list of users.
  12. Enter the command
    network user username new password

    to set a new password for the desired user. If the username contains spaces, enclose it in quotation marks. If you want to remove the password, enter two quotation marks in a row (without spaces between them) instead of the new password. I strongly recommend not writing the password in Cyrillic.

  13. At a command prompt, enter regedit and navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemSetup registry
  14. Remove the parameter value Cmdline and set the value of SetupType en 0 . 
  15. Close Registry Editor and command prompt.

As a result, you will be taken to the login screen and the user's password will be changed to the one you need or deleted.

Change the password of a user who uses the built-in administrator account

To use this method, you will need one of the following: Live CD with the ability to download and access the computer's file system, a recovery disc (flash drive), or a Windows 10, 8.1, or Windows 7 distribution kit. I will demonstrate the use of the last option, that is, reset the password using the Windows recovery tools on an installation flash drive. Important Note: In recent versions of Windows 10, the following method may not work.

The first step is to boot from one of the specified drives. After loading and the screen to select the installation language appears, press the Shift + F10 keys; this will display a command line. If nothing like this appears, you can on the installation screen, after selecting the language, at the bottom left, select "System Restore", then go to Troubleshooting - Advanced options - Command line.

On the command line, enter the commands in order (after entering, press Enter):

You will see a list of partitions on your hard drive. Remember the letter of the partition (can be determined by the size) Windows 10 is installed on (it may not be C at this point, when launching the command line from the installer). Enter the Exit command and press Enter. In my case, this is drive C, and I will use this letter in the commands to be entered below:

  1. move c: windowssystem32utilman.exe c: windowssystem32utilman2.exe
  2. copy c: windowssystem32cmd.exe c: windowssystem32utilman.exe
  3. If everything went well, enter the command wpeutil reboot to restart the computer (you can also restart in another way). Boot from your system drive this time, not from a USB stick or boot disk.

Note: if you did not use the installation disk, but something else, then your task, using the command line, as described above or by other means, is to make a copy of cmd.exe in the System32 folder and rename it this copy to utilman.exe.

After loading, in the password entry window, click on the "Accessibility" icon at the bottom right. The Windows 10 command prompt will open.

At the command prompt, type net user username new password and hit Enter. If the username consists of multiple words, use quotation marks. If you don't know the username, use the command  net users to see a list of Windows 10 usernames. After changing your password, you can immediately log into your account with the new password.

The second option to reset Windows 10 password (with the command line already running, as described above)

To use this method, you must have Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise installed on your computer. Enter the command net user Administrator / active: yes (For the English version or Windows 10 manual, use Administrator instead of Administrator).

Immediately after the successful execution of the command, or after restarting the computer, you will have a user option, select the activated administrator account and log in with it without a password.

After logging in (the first login takes some time), right-click on "Start" and select "Computer Management". And in it - Local Users - Users.

Right-click on the username for which you want to reset the password and select the menu item "Set password". Read the warning carefully and click Continue.

Then set a new password for the account. It is worth noting that this method works completely only for local Windows 10 accounts. For a Microsoft account, you have to use the first method or, if this is not possible, logging in as administrator (as just described), create a new computer user.

Finally, if you used the second method to reset your password, I recommend that you return everything to its original form. Disable the built-in admin input using the command line: Administrator / active network user: no

And also delete the utilman.exe file from the System32 folder, and then rename the utilman2.exe file to utilman.exe (if this cannot be done within Windows 10, then as well as initially, you will have to enter the mode recovery and perform these actions on the command line (as shown in the video above) Done, now your system is in its original form and you have access to it.

Reset Windows 10 password in Dism ++

Dism ++ is a powerful free program for tweaking, cleaning and some other actions with Windows, which allows, among other things, to remove the password of the local Windows 10 user.

To achieve this using this program, follow these steps:

  1. Create (somewhere on another computer) a bootable Windows 10 USB flash drive and unzip the file with Dism ++ on it.
  2. Boot from this flash drive on the computer where you need to reset the password, press Shift + F10 in the installer, and in the command line enter the path to the executable file of the program in the same bitness as the image on your flash drive, for example - E: dismdism++ x64 .exe . Please note that during the installation stage, the flash drive letter may differ from the one used on the loaded system. To see the current lyrics, you can use the commands diskpart , list volume , exit in order (the second command will show the connected partitions and their letters).
  3. Accept the license agreement. 
  4. In the started program, pay attention to two items at the top: on the left - Windows Settings, and on the right - Windows Click Windows 10 and then click "Open Session".
  5. In the "Tools" - "Advanced" section, select "Accounts". 
  6. Select the user for whom you want to reset the password and click the "Reset password" button. 
  7. Done, password cleared (erased). You can close the program, the command line and the installer and then start the computer from the hard drive as usual. 

Details about the Dism ++ program and where to download it in a separate article Setting up and cleaning Windows 10 in Dism ++. In case none of the described options help, you may need to explore the methods from here: Restore Windows 10.

It may interest you:  6 computer security rules to follow