It has happened to everyone, partly because of the different passwords to remember of each PC and website, partly because of the constant obligation to change them from time to time, here we find ourselves with the password forgotten from time to time. One of the worst scenarios is not being able to start the Windows session and access our computer.
That’s why we want to offer you this tutorial, in which we will review and teach, step by step, different methods to regain control of the PC.
In the vast majority of cases, we protect access to our Windows-based PC with a password, PIN or other method offered by the system. In fact, in most cases, we have opted for the more traditional, albeit probably the most reliable, method, a password.
As many of you probably already know firsthand, these are used so that no one else can access Windows and everything it hosts. But of course, sometimes this method of protection can also result in a problem.
Therefore, in case we have forgotten the Windows 10 administrator password, let’s see how to log into Windows with these methods.
Reset your Windows password using your Microsoft account
Resetting your forgotten Windows 10 administrator password is the same as resetting your Microsoft password.
This option works with a Microsoft account (if you have one). In this case, if you only reset the Windows 10 password for your Microsoft account, the problem will be solved. These are the steps to follow:
- Access the Microsoft website from another computer or smartphone, select “I forgot my password” and click Next.
- On the next page, enter your email address or phone number associated with your Microsoft account and click Next.
- Tell Microsoft how you would like to receive the security code and click Next.
- Enter the security code and go to the next page.
- Set a new password for your Microsoft account and complete your changes.
- Restart your computer and log into the system with the new password.
Reset your Windows password using PCUnlocker
Another way not to get too complicated is to use one of the free programs to replace our forgotten password, in this case using the trial version of PCUnlockuer.
In this case, we will have to make use of a second computer, from which we will download and decompress an ISO image called pcunlocker.iso, which we will have to copy to a CD or DVD, or simply store on a USB stick.
With that done, we’ll go back to the computer and force the BIOS setup utility menu to open during power up. To do this, and before the boot reaches the Windows start screen, we have to repeatedly press the F2 key (if it doesn’t work repeat the process with the Del or F8 keys ).
From here we will navigate with the direction arrows to the left until we reach the “Boot” (or Boot) tab, and we will modify the priority configuration of the boot devices to choose, according to the method we have used previously, the CD player or device Removable Dev. Finally, we will press the F10 key to save the changes and exit this mode.
With the disc or USB drive connected to the computer, we will restart the computer again, which should lead us to a new startup screen where this program will load.
In this case, it will be sufficient to select the first recovery method, “Reset local administrator/user password“, and enter the destination path of the Windows SAM registry (usually located in “C: \ Windows \ System32 \ config”).
The program will then automatically show us a list with all active user accounts on this computer. By selecting our account, we will click on the ” Reset password ” button.
Reset your Windows password using MSDaRT
This solution called MSDaRT or Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset is a set of tools from the Redmond company that helps us to restore computers that have become unusable. Therefore, it allows you to boot your Windows computer with the Suite Recovery CD and launch the built-in tool to reset your password.
Obviously, it works with Windows 10 accounts, is an application for advanced users, and is paid. It is also available only to the company’s associated clients and MSDN subscribers. You can check it out from this link.
Reset your Windows password using CMD
It is undoubtedly the most laborious and risky method since we will have to touch important system files for the computer, but at the same time, it guarantees us great effectiveness without having to resort to programs and being able to keep all the data on our computer.
The biggest downside is that we can only use it in Windows 7, as the following operating systems have further automated the recovery process.
And the first step is precisely to unlock access to theRecovery Environment, for which we must force the system to shut down (by turning off the computer directly from the button) up to three consecutive times, or by forcing a shutdown, removing the power cable or battery in the case of laptops.
This way, when we restart the computer, we can see the Startup Recovery screen.
After a somewhat slower than normal boot, a new pop-up window will appear in which the system will attempt to perform the related repairs at boot. However, we will have to press «Cancel» this process, thus forcing the appearance of a small error report.
After selecting Do not send information, we will click on the drop-down menu to view the details of the problem, scroll to the end of the message and select the last available line, with a “.txt” file, which will open a text document.
This is where the more complex part begins since we will use this text document to access the Windows file explorer, so we recommend that you take your time and follow the steps below exactly according to what we will go into in detail.
By clicking on the File option at the top left of this window, we will select the Open option. However, we will not select any files, but will take the opportunity to browse through the files on your computer to the System32 folder (normally located in C: \ Windows \ System32).
Once here, we will find the file called Utilman and rename it to Utilman2, then we will rename the cmd file to Utilman.
Once this is done, we can close all windows and proceed with the completion of the startup repair, which will cause our computer to restart. However, once the session is started, we can see how the button in the lower corner changes, allowing us now to access the command console without having to start the user session.
So, we need to open this application, type the command “net user” and press the Enter key. In this way, Windows will show us a list with the names and accounts of the active users on this computer. Once we have found ours, we will retype the last command, this time accompanied by our username and an asterisk (eg: “net user MuyComputer *“), and press Enter again.
Now we should see a message asking us to write a new password for this user, which we can type or leave blank and press the Enter key. Once the message “The command was completed successfully” is displayed, we can close this window and log in with these new credentials.
Reset your Windows password by formatting
Finally, in case we don’t worry about data loss inside the computer, we can simply perform a format of the equipment, thus returning to the factory settings and creating a new user account.
- Press the Shift key while selecting the Start / Stop icon and select the Restart option which will appear in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Next, we will see a screen in which we must progressively select the options «Choose an option> Troubleshoot> Reset this PC «.
- Finally, we will have to select “Remove all“, which will proceed with deleting the computer.
Once this is done, the computer will automatically restart, loading the Windows 10 welcome message, base system, and user settings on first boot.