How to Reset Lost Password in Windows 10, 8 or 7

Different types of tools are available online that allow you to reset lost Windows 10, 8 or 7 password. However, you can also use a native method that doesn’t require any third party tool. You just need Windows installation disk i.e. bootable CD/DVD or bootable USB to reset lost Windows Password.

As you are aware, Windows 10 support two types of user accounts, i.e. Microsoft Account and Local Account. So, for Microsoft account, you can reset password online via microsoft.com website. But for Local Account, you need to follow this tutorial.

SEE ALSO: How to Reset Windows Password using Password Reset Disk?

A) Reset Lost User Password in Windows 10, 8 and 7 using Installation Media

In this tutorial, we are going to use Windows 10 installation media to reset lost user password of Windows 10 PC. You can also use Windows 7 or Windows 8’s installation media. We will also discuss a third party tool in the second half of the post. But before that, let’s see the native method.

NOTE: This method will not work for encrypted Hard Disks. You will have to decrypt your HDD first.

Step 1: Insert Windows 10, 8 or 7 Installation Media and Restart your PC

First of all, insert Windows installation disk into your computer and restart it.

Insert Windows 10 Installation Media And Restart Your Pc
Insert Windows installation media and restart your PC

Now, we will need to boot from Windows 10 installation media. So, you may need to change your BIOS settings to boot from CD/DVD or USB drive.


Step 2: Boot from Installation Media and Launch CMD

Now on startup, you will see “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD or USB…”. Press any key to boot from installation media

Press Any Key To Boot From Cd Dvd Usb Installation Media
Boot from Windows Installation Media

Windows Setup will start, you will see following screen.

Windows 10 Setup Select Language Keyboard And Click Next
Windows Setup screen

Press “Shift + F10″ on Keyboard to open command prompt. We will use this CMD window to pave our way to reset lost or forgotten user password in Windows 10, 8 or Windows 7.

Launch Command Prompt At Windows 10 Setup
Press “Shift + F10” to launch Command Prompt

SEE ALSO: How to create Password Reset Disk for Windows?


Step 3: Replace On ‘Ease of Access’ utility with CMD

Now, we all know that we can use “Ease of Access” on Windows login screen. So, we will replace utilman.exe with cmd.exe in Windows 10, 8 or 7. After that we will be able to launch CMD at Windows login screen.

But first, we will have to find Windows installation directory by using dir command. As you can see, D drive has Program Files, Program Files (x86), Users and Windows folders. It means D is the drive where Windows is already installed.

Find Windows Installation Directory
Find Windows Installation Directory

Now, type following commands in command prompt window and press Enter key each time you enter a command. These commands will create backup of utilman.exe and create a copy of cmd.exe as utilman.exe.

cd Windows\System32
ren utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak
copy cmd.exe utilman.exe
Replace Utilman Exe With Cmd Exe to reset windows 10 8 7 lost forgotten password
Replace utilman.exe with cmd.exe

We have successfully replaced utilman.exe with cmd.exe. We will now use this hack to reset lost user password in Windows 10.


Step 4: Launch Command Prompt on Login screen

Now you can close command window. Further, cancel Windows setup and restart your PC and remove installation media from your PC.

Cancel Windows 10 Installation Setup
Cancel Windows Installation Setup and restart your PC

Let your Windows 10, 8 or 7 PC to boot to lock screen. Make sure you are on login screen. Now, click on Ease of Access button at the bottom right corner.

Click Ease Of Access Icon To Launch Command Prompt On Login Screen
Click Ease of Access icon to launch Command Prompt

This should launch a command prompt window with administrator privileges.

Command Prompt On Windows Login Screen With Admin Rights
Command Prompt on Windows login screen with Admin Rights

Step 5: Reset Windows 10, 8 or 7 User Password or Create New Account

Now, you can use net user command to see and reset forgotten password in Windows 10, 8 or 7. You can also create new user account from here. We have explained both the processes below.

1. Reset Password of Existing Account in Windows

Enter following commands in CMD prompt window that popped up in previous step. Don’t forget to press Enter after every command.

net user

(This command shows you the list of all users on your PC)

net user <username> *

(This command is used to change or reset the password of selected user in Windows 10, 8 or 7. make sure to replace <username> with your actual user name.)

After pressing Enter key, you will be asked to type a password for the user:. Now, type the password twice and press Enter each time. You may also leave the password blank and simply press Enter twice.

Reset Password Of Local Account Using Command Prompt
Reset Password of Local Account using Command Prompt in Windows

You have successfully reset lost user password in Windows 10, 8 or 7. Now you can login with new password. If you left the password blank, Just click on your User account to login without password.


2. Create new Local account using Command Prompt

You can also create new local account in your Windows PC using Command prompt. This will come handy in case you have only Microsoft Account in your PC and no local accounts. You can also use this method if you have mistakenly disabled all user accounts in your Windows PC.

Now, enter following commands in CMD window and press Enter after each command.

net user User1 /add

(This command will add User1 local user to your PC, you can type your desired name in place of User1)

net localgroup Administrators User1 /add

(This command makes User1 a member of Administrators group)

net user User1 *

(Create a password for new user account. Type same password twice and press Enter.)

Create New User And Add It To Administrators Group Using Cmd
Create new user and add it to Administrators group

SEE ALSO: How to Change Windows Login Screen Background?


Step 6: Login with New Password

Now you can close Command Prompt window. Restart your computer and wait for login screen. You will see new User on logon screen that you just created. Select your desired user account and type it’s password to login. If you have set blank password, simply click “Sign in” button to login without password.

Select Account To Sign In With New Password
Select an account to Sign in with new password

B) Reset Lost Windows Password Using PCUnlocker Utility

PCUnlocker is a bootable disk that can bypass or reset lost passwords of local and Microsoft account in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. You can download it from official website. After that, make a bootable USB or CD/DVD for PCUnlocker utility.

You may need to setup your PC to boot from USB or CD/DVD depending upon the type of the bootable disk you have created. Follow these steps to reset your lost user password in Windows 10 using PCUnlocker.

Step 1: Boot from PCUnlocker Utility

Insert bootable PCUnlocker disk into your PC and restart your computer. If you have correctly set your PC to boot from USB or CD/DVD, it will automatically load PCUnlocker utility.

Boot from PCUnlocker to reset lost windows 10 password
Boot from PCUnlocker

Step 2: Reset Lost User Password in Windows 10 using PCUnlocker

PCUnlocker automatically detects your SAM file which stores passwords for user accounts. In case it doesn’t detect it automatically, you can manually browse for it.

After that, PCUnlocker will display the list of all user accounts in your PC. Select a user account and click Reset Password button to reset it’s password.

Select a user and click Reset Password to reset lost user password in Windows 10
Select a user and click Reset Password

Enter new password for selected account. Password is displayed in plain text. After entering new password click OK.

Type new password and click OK
Type new password and click OK

Step 3: Exit PCUnlocker and Login with New Password

After successfully changing the password, click Restart button to restart your PC. Make sure to remove the bootable PCUnlocker CD/DVD or USB from your PC after that.

Restart your PC using PCUnlocker after reset lost user password in Windows 10
Restart your PC using PCUnlocker

Your PC will boot into Windows, just like before. Enter the new password to login into your PC.

Select Account To Sign In With New Password
Sign in to Windows with new password

After login in, you can revert the changes we have made. Check this link for further process.

NOTE: This method will not work for encrypted Hard Disks. You will have to decrypt your HDD first.


Reset or Change Lost User Password in Windows 10, 8 or 7

Above tutorial explained two ways to reset lost password of your Windows 10, 8 or Windows 7 PC. While native (first) method is a bit trickier, but it doesn’t require any third party tool. However, the second method which uses PCUnlocker utility, is easy to use. So, we leave it to you to decide which method to use. We also recommend you to create password reset disk for your Windows PC to avoid troubles in future.

Hope you liked the tutorial. Should you face a problem, write below in comments. You can also subscribe to get latest tutorials directly into your inbox.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at HELLPC. We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.

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