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Help! I Forgot Windows Password, How to Recover or Reset the Password

This article will solve these problems:
  • I forgot my Windows password, how can I get it back or change the password?
  • How to reset password without password reset disk if I have not created a password reset disk before?
  • I do not want to re-install system to remove password which may cause data loss, but I need to crack the password, what to do?
  • I do not get an accessible Windows computer, but a Mac (or Linux). How can I create the password reset disk to unlock my computer?
  • How to Boot my computer from CD (or DVD, USB) to remove Windows password?

1. What to do If I forgot Windows Password

forgot Windows 7 password

When you need to reset password on your Windows computer, probably you forgot the password. Do not worry, you are not the only one that encounter such problem, you are accompanied by many people. It is not a tough problem now for it can be solve by you with ease.

However, though it is easy to reset Windows 7 password, a password reset disk is needed. If not, the first method you can use may be System Restore. This method is very easy and never fails to remove the password, but it may delete data in your system disk. Luckily, there are some other solutions can crack Windows password. Windows Password Unlocker is the reliable tool when you get no way to access your computer without password. It helps you create a password reset disk and then remove the password. There are also some other solutions you can give a try. Let’s walk through the ways.

If you know your password and only want to change it, please go to: How to Change Windows 7 Password. The methods below are used to reset forgotten password on Windows 7.

2. Ways to Recover/Reset Windows 7 Password

The paragraphs below will walk you through three common methods to recover, reset or change password on Windows 7. Here we go.

2. 1. Remove password using Windows Password Unlocker

Requirement: an accessible computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux), CD or DVD or USB

Tip: Since you cannot logon your computer due to the forgotten password, you need to download the Windows Password Unlocker software on another accessible computer, and then burn the password reset disk. If your locked computer does not get CD-ROM, can burn the password reset disk with USB flash drive.

If you do not want to lose any data in your computer, Windows Password Unlocker is the best tool you can rely on. It helps you create a password reset disk (CD, DVD and USB are all supported), and then remove the password after you boot your computer from the disk created. Here is how.

A. Download and install this software on another accessible computer, insert a CD, DVD, or a USB drive to the computer, follow the instruction in the screen to create a password reset disk.

B. Boot your locked computer from the disk you created. If your computer cannot boot from the portable media, you may need to Change Bois Setting to Boot From CD/DVD/USB.
C. When a window pops up with all your account names, select the target one to reset its forgotten password.

2. 2. Reinstall system to remove password

Reinstalling system to remove Windows 7 password is the common road many users may take first. However, it is better to use when there is little important data in your computer for it will erase data from where you system was installed.

Here, two methods are recommended to re-install Windows system: using a system setup disc or flash drive and pressing F8 if there’s no setup disc or flash drive.

Note: Not all computers support to enter System Restore Options via pressing F8

Method 1. Reinstall System from installation disc


A. Insert the Windows setup DVD, or a Windows System Repair disc, into your optical drive and then restart your computer. A flash drive works as well.
B. After your computer boots, Press any key when prompted to do so, and then follow any instructions that appear.
C. When the Install Windows page appears, click Install now to begin the installation process or click Repair your computer to access system recovery options.
D. Follow the instructions.

Method 2. Press F8 to restore system

If there is no system installation disc or drive, you can use the way below to enter recovery options (take Window 7 as example).

A. Power off your computer if you are in Windows, click “Start” then “Shut down” ; or force the computer to shut down pressing power button for about ten seconds.
B. Press and hold F8 when you turn on your computer. The Advanced Boot Options screen will launch after a few seconds.
C. Choose Repair your computer, and select a date in the calendar to restore the system to the date you choose.

This method is free to bypass Windows 7 password, however, it may cause some data loss, and you will need to install all apps again. So, it is only recommended when you save little important data in your computer and you are patient enough to re-install all apps in your computer. If not, you can go over the methods below to perform the Windows 7 password reset.

2. 3. Recover password with Ophcrack

Requirement: Ophcrack LiveCD, an accessible computer(Windows, Mac, or Linux)

Ophcrack is a free open source (GPL licensed) program that can recover Windows 7 administrator and other user password by using LM hashes through rainbow tables. If you need a free Windows Password Recovery tool, you can try this tool.

windows password reset software

The program is powerful to import the hashes from a variety of formats, including dumping directly from the SAM files of Windows. It is able to crack 99.9% of alphanumeric passwords of up to 14 characters in a few minutes.

To start the password recovery process, you need to download the Ophcrack from its site:

Download the ISO image, burn it to a CD and boot the locked computer from the CD. The Ophcrack program starts, locates the Windows user accounts, and proceeds to recover (crack) the passwords - all automatically.

If you do not know how to use Ophcrack to recover password on Windows 7, see the tutorial here: How to Recover Password with Ophcrack LiveCD.

Ophcrack is free, however, using it to recover password, you need to download a large ISO file (about 700MB), and the recovery process may be time consuming, and cannot succeed 100% to find the password.

The three methods talked above are most efficient solutions for you when you forgot Windows 7 password. No matter what computer (HP, Sony, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, or other) you want to hack the password, these methods may work.

3. Two More Methods to Reset Windows 8 password

If you forgot Windows 8 password, you can not only try the methods talked above to reset Windows 8 password, but also use the ways below to change the password.

3. 1. Use another Windows 8 Admin account

another admin account

If another accessible account is available, you can easily change the Windows 8 password, however, this way may delete data such as EFS-encrypted files, personal certificates, and stored password for websites and network resources.
A. Logon the computer using another admin account
B. Type “user accounts” in the search box and select User Accounts in the search results.
C. Change the password for the selected account.

This method works only when you logon you computer with local account. If you sign in with the Microsoft account, you need to go to Microsoft account sign-in webpage and reset it.

3. 2: Using Microsoft account

If you have linked your computer to a Microsoft account, you can logon your account and follow the instruction to reset the password:

If you know the password of your Windows 8 computer, and only want to change the current password, see: how to change Windows 8 password.

4: Reset password on computer with different OS

Since you forgot password, you have no access to your computer. In this case, to reset the password, you need another accessible PC. The next few paragraphs will walk you through how to reset password on Windows, Mac and Linux with the Windows Password Unlocker. Here we go.

4.1. How to reset password on Windows

On windows computer, the Password Unlocker can directly burn a password disk with CD/DVD or USB. If your computer has built CD-ROM drive, you just need to insert a blank CD or DVD to the optical drive, and burn the password reset disk with this software.

If there is no CD-ROM drive, you can choose Burn USB to create a password reset disk. See: How to create a password reset disk using CD/DVD/USB

4.2. How to burn password disk on Mac

If you get a Mac computer, you can also use the Windows Password Unlocker for Mac to reset password. You just need to burn the Windows Password Unlocker for Mac .iso image file in the software to CD/DVD/USB, and then boot your locked Windows computer from the password reset disk to remove or change the password. See the tutorial here: How to reset password on Mac.

4.3. How to burn password disk on Linux

Similar to Mac, Windows Password Unlocker cannot directly burn password reset disk but you need to burn the ISO image to CD, DVD or USB in the Linux.

5: How to Boot Your Computer from CD/DVD/USB

After burn the password reset disk, you may need to boot your computer from the CD, DVD or USB (not all computer need to do this). Before booting from the portable media, you need to change Bois setting, here is how.


5.1. Access Bios Setup

Different computer need different methods to access Bios Setup due to the different manufacturer of the motherboard and the BIOS vender. To check your how to access your computer’s Bios Setup, click here: How to Access PC’s BIOS Setup and Set BIOS Boot from CD/DVD or USB?
5.2. Set Bios from CD/DVD
5.3. Set Bios from USB

Tip: Setting Bios is not that difficult, you just need to Press F2 or Delete or F10 when you start your computer, enter the window, and follow the instruction to finish the settings. This step is necessary to reset Windows password without disk.

6: Supported Windows versions:

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server

7: Supported computer brands

HP, Sony, Acer, Samsung, Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell, ASUS, etc.

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