Reset Forgotten Windows Administrator Password

Tons of Windows software exists to help you reset passwords. One option is the same tool that we detailed in the Linux method above. It gets the job done quickly, so let’s discuss how to use it without Linux. Of course, if you can’t get into your own PC, you’ll have to download the software on a different computer.

Boot Into the Offline Password Editor

Head to the download page and look for the Downloads header. Under it, you’ll see a file with Bootable CD image next to it — named at the time of writing. Download the ZIP to your desktop or other convenient location and use a file extraction tool to get to the ISO inside.

You’ll need to burn this ISO file to a USB drive (or CD if you want) using a free program like Rufus. After it’s done, insert the drive into your PC and reboot. Look for the key to choose a boot device (like F12) if it doesn’t boot to the USB automatically. Once the tool loads, you’ll see a boot: line at the bottom of the terminal output. Press Enter to start.

Plenty of text will scroll by while the tool gets ready. Eventually, it will prompt you to choose the partition that Windows lives on. If you only have one hard drive in your computer, you’ll probably see two options here — don’t pick the one that’s about 100 MB and labeled BOOT. Type the number corresponding to the larger option and then Enter.
Next, you’ll have to confirm that the default path to the Registry (Windows/System32/config) is correct. There’s a 99% chance this is the case, so press Enter to accept that. You’ll see a list of options next. Type the number for the password reset option (usually 1) and press Enter again.

Reset the Password

From here on, the instructions are similar to the Linux process. Press the number 1 to select Edit user data and passwords and Enter to confirm. You’ll see a list of usernames. It will have an account selected by default; type your username instead and hit Enter.
Now you’ll choose what you want to do with this user’s password. You can type 2 to set a new password, or use 1 to make it blank. Press Enter to confirm, and you’ll see a Password cleared! message if you reset it. Type ! and press Enter to leave the user edit screen.
Image Credit: chntpw
You’re almost done! Type q and then Enter to quit the tool. Before it closes, the screen will detail your changes and ask if you want to save them. Type y and press Enter so these changes take effect. You’ll see an Edit Complete message to confirm. Press Enter again to say no when asked if you want to rerun the tool since you’re all done here.
Now you’re done! Remove the disc or USB drive and restart your computer. Boot into Windows as normal and click your username. If you typed a new password, enter it to regain access to your account. If you set it blank, you’ll log right in. Make sure to add a new password so your account is secure! Go to Settings and then Accounts > Sign-in options. Under the Password header, there’s a button to add a password.


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