Unable log on to your computer as your Windows password is forgot or expired? How can I get in to the system without admin password? This can be a daunting task if you don’t have an alternative account for logging in to Windows. In this tutorial we’re going to show you how to easily reset forgotten Windows 10, 8, 7 password with CMD or recovery disk.
Method 1: Using Windows Install DVD & CMD
Reinstalling Windows is not always the best method when you forgot a Windows password, especially if you need to access the computer in a hurry. This method allows you to reset lost Windows password without any kind of third party software. All you need is just a Windows install DVD. Here’s how:
Step 1. Boot your computer from Windows install DVD.
Step 2. After a while, you’ll see the Windows Setup screen. Press SHIFT + F10 at the same time and the Command Prompt will open.
Step 3. Now we have to move the sethc.exe to another location for backup, then swap the sethc.exe with Command Prompt. Type the following commands:
copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\
copy /y c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe
Step 4. Reboot your system and let the computer boot from hard drive. When you get to the logon screen where it is asking for the password, press SHIFT key 5 times. You will see a Command Prompt open on the screen.
Step 5. If you want to reset the administrator password, type net user administrator * and hit Enter. Then type the new password twice or just press Enter two times for clearing the password.
Step 6. Close the command prompt and you can now log in with the new password!
Method 2: Using Recovery Disk
If you’re a novice user without basic knowledge of Command Prompt, the above method should not be your best choice. Luckily there is very much simpler yet powerful recovery disk called PCUnlocker which enables you to reset Windows 10 / 8 / 7 password and access a locked or disable system account.
Basically, you boot into the locked PC with PCUnlocker recovery disk (CD or USB), and it will open up the built-in password recovery tool with graphical user interface (GUI). Then you can select one of your Windows account and reset the password shortly. Let’s take a look:
Step 1. To begin with, you have to create a PCUnlocker recovery CD (or USB) from another working PC. If you’ve grabbed a copy of PCUnlocker ISO file, burn it to a CD with your preferred disc burning program, or use the freeware Rufus to make a PCUnlocker recovery USB.
Step 2. Now, we can use the recovery CD (or USB) to reset forgotten Windows password on your computer. Insert it into the optical drive and boot the computer to the CD. After loading the system off CD, the PCUnlocker screen will appear eventually.
Step 3. Next you select the user whose password you want to reset, click the Reset Password button. Your password will be set to blank in seconds. Click Restart, then remove the CD and restart your computer.
Step 4. You can now log into your computer without a password!
The first method is a security hole in Windows 10 and earlier systems, which lets you get into your locked computer with just a install DVD. While the second method is much easier for both computer experts and novice users to bypass Windows password. If you want to prevent others from hacking into your computer with a bootable media, encrypting the whole disk with BitLocker is necessary.