If you have forgotten your password and you can't login to Windows 10/11, continue reading below to learn how to reset your password and to gain access again to your computer.
Password-protecting your Windows computer is essential if you want to prevent third parties from seeing your personal data and ensure your privacy and security. But there are cases where this kind of protection can even prevent you from using your computer, because you don't remember your Windows password. At such a case, don't panic and follow the instructions below.
How to Login in to Windows 10/11 if you have forgotten your Microsoft Account Password.
If you are using a Microsoft Account to sign in to Windows 11/10 or 8/8.1, and you can't, because of a forgotten password, you have the following options:
Option 1: Go to Microsoft's Reset Password Page and follow the on-screen prompts to reset you password. After resetting the password in your MS account, set a new password for it. Finally, restart your device and login to Windows with the new password.
Option 2. If for any reason you can not reset the password for the MS account password (option-1), then the only way to log in to Windows is to follow the instructions below to activate the hidden admin account and then access your files in the locked account.
How to log in to Windows if you have forgotten your Local Account password (Applies to all Windows versions).
Disclaimer: Please do not use the information provided in this tutorial on a computer that you don't own.
Requirement: A Windows Installation Media.
In order to reset your Windows password in case you forget it, you have to enable the hidden Administrator by editing the Windows Registry offline. To be able to do that, you need to start your computer from a Windows Installation Media on a USB. If you don't own a USB Installation Media of Windows 10 (or Windows 11), you can create one by using Microsoft's Media Creation tool.
- Create Windows 11 Installation Media
- Create Windows 10 Installation Media
- Related article: How to create a Windows 10/11 USB installation media.
How to Reset Forgotten Windows Password:
1. Boot your Computer from the USB Windows Installation Media.
2. At the 'Windows Setup" screen press the the SHIFT + F10 keys simultaneously to launch command prompt.
3. In command prompt type regedit and press Enter.
4. In Registry Editor, click to highlight the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.
5. From the File menu, select Load Hive.
6. At "Load Hive" screen:
a. Locate the Windows drive (where Windows are installed on), and navigate to this folder: Windows\System32\config
b. Explore the contents of the config folder, select the SAM file and click Open.
7. Then type a new Key name: (e.g. "Repair") and press OK.
8. Now navigate to the following key (from the left side):
9. Double click at F value on the right.
10. By pressing the Down Arrow key navigate to the line 0038.
11. Press the Delete key once to delete the number 11
12. Then type 10 and click OK.
13. Now click to highlight (select) the New Key you created before under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (e.g. the "Repair" key in this example)…
13a. …and from the File menu click Unload Hive and…
13b. …click Yes to confirm.
14. Close the Registry Editor & the Command Prompt windows.
15. Close the "Windows Setup" screen window and click Yes to cancel the Windows installation.
16. Let Windows to start normally.
17. At Login screen, click at the Administrator account to login to Windows.
20. In Users tab, select the locked account and click Reset Password.
21. Press OK to reset the password (or type a new one), and then press OK again to close the "User Accounts" window.
22. Sign-out from the Administrator account, or restart your computer.
23. At the login screen click on the locked account and then logging with the new password or just press Enter if you haven't specified a password.
24. That's it! You should be able to log in to your locked account without any problems.*
* Note: After successfully logging in to Windows, proceed and disable the Administrator account (for security reasons). To do that, open Command Prompt as Administrator and give the following command:
- net user administrator /active:no
That's all folks! Please leave a comment in the comment section below or even better: like and share this blog post in the social networks to help spread the word about this solution.