Reset the Windows administrator password – Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP

No worries if you forgot the admin password. Here are 12 ways to reset the Windows administrator password on Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and Windows XP. Rest assured, one way will work for you.

Michael PietroforteMVP By Michael Pietroforte - Mon, August 23, 2010 - 245 comments google+ icon

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in system administration.

Articles in this series

Reset Windows password

In this article, I describe 12 ways for resetting the administrator password on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Vista, or Windows XP. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you use the right procedure for your situation.

If you forgot the admin password and have no other account with administrator rights, things can get tricky. The methods and free tools explained here can reset the Windows password for all Windows versions—that is, for Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008 R2. In this article I only talk about the Windows client editions, but the methods also work for the corresponding server versions. The methods described here are not for resetting lost domain administrator passwords.

As system administrator, you are usually confronted with this problem if users have admin rights on their machines. Even if you don’t have to reset a password now, you should get acquainted with this issue. Rest assured that sooner or later a user will bug you with this problem. I must admit that I managed to forget my password more than once.

Note that I published this article a few years ago, but since then I updated it several times and added a few new methods. Not much of the original article is left except the numerous comments below. As you can see, forgetting the Windows password is a common problem.

1. Use your password reset disk to recover the Windows password

Vista and Windows 7 allow you to create a password reset disk, which enables you to reset your password without much hassle. The problem with this option is that you have to create the reset disk before the password is lost. Thus if you don’t have a password reset disk, this option is not for you. You can find a description of how to create a password reset disk here.

2. Restore Windows 7 or Windows 8 to a previous state

If you configured a new password recently and can still remember the password you used before, then you can restore Windows to a point in time before you changed the password. The Restore function of Windows 7 and Windows Vista will make sure that you don’t lose personal data. However, programs that have been installed since the corresponding restore point have to be installed again. All you need for this procedure is a Windows 7 or Windows Vista setup DVD. A detailed description of this method can be found here. If you are uncertain what System Restore is doing with your computer, read this first. This approach doesn’t work with Windows XP.

3. Boot up Windows XP in Safe Mode and log on with the built-in administrator account

When you installed Windows XP, you had to set a password for the Administrator account. If you still know this password, you can boot up in Safe Mode (by pressing F8 when your computer starts) and log on with the Administrator account. Read this Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information about Safe Mode. Note that whenever you reset the password for a user using another account, this user will no longer be able to access files that have been encrypted with EFS (Encrypted File System). Stored credentials in the Windows Vault and Internet Explorer will also no longer be available. This method doesn’t work in Vista and Windows 7 because the administrator account is disabled by default in Safe Mode with these Windows versions. Below you will learn how to enable the built-in admin account in Windows 7 and Vista.

4. Use the Sticky Keys trick to reset the Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP password

The Sticky Keys trick to restore a forgotten administrator password is reliable, easy to carry out, and does not require third-party software. All you have to do is boot up from a Windows 7 or Windows Vista setup DVD, launch the Windows Recovery Environment (RE), and then replace the sethc.exe file with cmd.exe. You can also use this method for Windows XP, but you have to use a Windows 8 or Windows  7 DVD. This is the corresponding guide for Windows 8 users.

5. Offline enable the built-in administrator account in Windows 7 and Vista

This method is useful if no other user account on this machine has administrator privileges. You also need a Windows setup DVD (Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8). With this DVD you can boot up Windows RE and edit the Registry to offline enable the built-in administrator account. Also read my article about the offline Registry editor if you don’t know how to edit the Registry in offline mode. After you enable the built-in Administrator, you can log on with this account without requiring a password and then reset the Windows password of any user account.

6. Get Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s free ntpasswd tool to reset the Windows password

The downside of this option is that you have to create a password reset CD first. Then you can boot up with this CD and manipulate the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database. Please note that resetting the password with third-party tools can also cause data loss as described in option 4. Also note that this tool comes without any warranty. However, I’ve been using it quite a few times and never had any problem with it. The latest version also supports Windows Vista and Windows 7. The advantage of this method is that it is quick if you already have the password CD in your tool box. Thus it is useful for admins who have to perform this procedure often. In all other cases I recommend option 4. Follow the new step-by-step guide for Windows 8.1.

7. Use the free Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK) to recover the admin password

The Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK) is a troubleshooting solution that belongs in every admin’s tool box. Please read my review of the Trinity Rescue Kit for more information. This great tool allows you to reset the password of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. It works similar to ntpasswd. After you have booted up with the TRK CD, you have to enter the command winpass -u user_name and then follow the instructions. Sometimes setting a new password doesn’t work; in this case, just set an empty password.

8. Use the free Kon-Boot tool to remove Windows passwords

I reviewed the free Kon-Boot tool a few days ago, and I can’t really recommend it because it crashed two Windows 7 installations during my test. I mention this free password reset tool here for the sake of completeness and because it is quite famous. Its main advantage is that it is very quick. You only have to boot up from the Kon-Boot CD and the tool will do the rest for you. It changes the contents of the Windows kernel on the fly while booting allowing you to log on without password. Thus the tool doesn’t change the SAM database. If you reboot again without using Kon-Boot you need the old passwords. Update: The tool not free anymore.

9. Use the free NTPWEdit tool to reset the Windows password

Especially if your computer doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive, you have to create a bootable Windows USB flash drive and then you can use the free Windows password reset tool NTPWEdit. Don’t forget to add NTPWEdit to the USB stick before you boot up.

10. Use Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset to reset the administrator password

MSDaRT is a toolset from Microsoft that allows you to repair a Windows installation. This tool is only available for Microsoft volume customers, TechNet Plus subscribers, and MSDN subscribers. You can easily recover an admin password with its Locksmith tool. Please check out my review about MSDaRT for more information.

11. Get a commercial password reset tool

Many commercial tools are available that allow you to reset the Windows administrator password. Technically, they do the same as the free tools. Some of them might be easier to use or come with better instructions than the free tools. But before you spend money, I recommend trying the other options I described in this article. I don’t want to recommend a particular tool here. However, I would prefer a tool where the vendor offers support in case you run into problems. Be careful—there are many black sheep exploiting desperate people by selling overpriced tools.

12. Reinstall Windows

This might sound like a joke, but in some cases this is the best method. For instance, if you don’t want to lose your EFS-encrypted files or stored credentials by resetting your password, but you desperately need the computer, you can just install Windows a second time. You will have access to all the files of the previous installation. Just make sure that you don’t overwrite the original Windows installation during the Windows setup. This allows you to boot up the original Windows installation at a later time. I am sure you will remember your forgotten Windows password sooner or later. As to my own experience, the old password will pop up in your mind right after you finish the installation and go to configure your new administrator password.

Please let me know in a comment below if you’ve heard of another option for resetting the Windows password.

Series Navigation - Reset Windows 8.1 password with the free tool ntpasswd

-1+1 (+1 rating, 3 votes)
Loading ... Loading ...
Disclaimer
Your question wasn't answered? Please ask in the new 4sysops forum!

245 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. [...] Three ways to reset a Windows Vista admin password Two of the methods I describe on this site are included (See tip #9 & tip #50) and a third that requires use of a Linux boot disc. (tags: Boot Password Security Software) [...]

  2. Taoski says:

    I wonder if tools like O&O Bluecon will still allow you to reset the admin password on Vista.

    I have a copy somewhere, I will have to try it.

    Also, was’nt there an XP vunerability where you run an “at command” to launch the command prompt and it is run within a service account process? Thereby giving you admin rights?

    I have never tried this though – even on XP.

  3. John B says:

    Passware also allows you to reset an admin account in Vista. I have not tested this solution but the website states that it works. $45

    http://www.lostpassword.com/windows-xp-2000-nt.htm

  4. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    Taoski, there are several other similar products for XP. I guess, it is only a matter of time until they all support Vista, too. John already found another one.

  5. Tyler says:

    Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s NT Password & Registry Editor worked like a charm on Vista – I just downloaded the boot CD image, burned a CD, and followed the instructions on his site…presto-change-o new password within 10 minutes of downloading.

  6. lings says:

    hello, i have a friend who forgot the password on thier vista desk top. another tech once helped me reset a password on a hp note book wih some “f” keys and no recovery or reset tools. please advise if you know this procedure. the procedure took me through a dos based system and took like 3minutes to complete. desperatly waiting.
    thanks

  7. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    Maybe HP has a special tool for this purpose. But you can use Nordhal-Hagen’s solution I described above. I suppose it is quite similar.

  8. kevin_b says:

    the advice about using the petter nordhal-hagen utility was excellent! the utility worked like a dream.

    thanks for the advice and to petter for the utility

  9. Ken says:

    I used a copy of Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s utility I have had for awhile and it killed my laptop. Now I am faced with the difficulty of booting to Ultimate Boot CD and transferring all of my data off to an external drive and reformatting the laptop.

    Admittedly, I should have downloaded the latest version of the app before trying this, but I was in a hurry and it was late at night.

    So, as the saying goes – “Haste makes waste”

  10. Bill says:

    In an enterprise environment , it’s better (and cheaper) to use self service solutions for password management.
    Good example is desktop authority password self service software http://www.scriptlogic.com/products/password-self-service. U
    sing their own secret answers to a set of challenge questions, every user can easily reset his password without extra helpdesk calls.
    Hope this was useful!

  11. aboniks says:

    Excellent advice to download Trinity Recovery Disk.

    Thanks Hemant!

  12. Black Koncas says:

    Trinity is the ultimate life saver..
    works perfect… kinda remind me of the movie.. Trinity was the babe and still is.

  13. Marcelo Ortiz says:

    Excellent. Thank a lot.

  14. LDC760 says:

    How do you use trinty

  15. Tony says:

    I found that downloading the trinity disk, booting from it, then doing a “winpass -i” from the Trinity command prompt got me to where I could blank out a password to log in as that administrative user. I was also able to unlock the account.

  16. Lou says:

    Trinity definitely did the trick for me via the “winpass -i” command. I tried the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor but it failed to mount my Vista drive. It worked flawless on XP however. Glad I have more than 1 alternative to go about resetting pw.

  17. Dzollo says:

    I have used OPHCRACK and TRK 3.3 to unlock the password of a Win Vista Business account, i did all the procedures and the TRK said that the password was cleared and all that stuff, but it still asks me for the password… anybody knows another way to unlock?

    thanks!!

  18. Wyccant says:

    I lost local passwords and domain trust on a machine.

    I also found a much simpler way to “reset” the machine.

    start it in safe mode with command prompt,
    log in to network with any password,
    type “explorer”,
    go to user accounts, active the administrator account then reset the password
    reboot, log in and laugh

  19. josh says:

    how do i active the admin account in the commant prompt

  20. Wyccant says:

    once you are in a safe mode command prompt just type “explorer”. This will bring up the Windows Shell, from there:
    go to user accounts in control panel
    click “Manage user accounts”

    From there I right clicked the Administrator, enabled the account, then right click again and reset password

    *DON’T reset the password on users unless you have to because you could lose data but the Administrator account is disabled by default in Vista so you can use that as a means of rescuing a pc in distress.

    *N.B This is (imo) a pretty serious security flaw so expect it to be patched/hotfixed soon.

  21. sunspun says:

    I tried to use the “safe mode w/command prompt” method described above, but my laptop doesnt go into that mode when I choose it. No matter which option I select from the safemode menu, it just starts up on the same window as before – the one asking me for my password, which I’ve forgotten.
    Is that normal?
    How else could I get into that Safe Mode?

  22. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    sunspun, just hold the F8 key when your machine boots up.

  23. Marshall says:

    I have forgotten my Admin password. still have access to a standard account on Windows Vista home premium. What should I do? Where do I start? What do I need? Please help!!!

  24. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    Marshall, did you read the article and the comments? There are plenty of tips how to solve your problem. If this doesn’ help, let someone else do it for you.

  25. Dre says:

    I just called Microsoft for hel in resetting a lost Vista Home Premium password. They told me to check the internet. Now I know why. Thanks Wyccant

  26. Wyccant says:

    That’s a pretty sweet answer on their part, I’d have been tempted to ask them how you check the internet without a password.

  27. Jodi says:

    I am having the same problem as sunspun. when i try to boot up in safe mode, holding down the f8 key it, opens in the same window as before, asking for my password. please HELP

  28. Will says:

    Trinity rescue disk is definitely the top choice. Thanks so much for the advice.

  29. Wes says:

    In question to comment 21. I assume I type in “explorer” as a password to my admin account?

  30. Wes says:

    Ha Ha, upon reading over earlier comment I find this a funny situation I have put myself in. I also called windows support on the matter as well as a toshiba support center, as my laptop is manufactured by toshiba. Both companies sent me to the vast seas of the internet. Oh how customer support has changed. As emmbarassing thing as it is to forget the only admin account password I find it frustrating to go to corporate for help only to be told to “do it your self.” It’s incredable how the internet is now just a big “Life for Dummies” resource. It is people who run and moderate sites such as these who should be runnign customer service. You all do a wonderful service.

  31. Nadine says:

    I downloaded the Trinity Recovery Disk, and my laptop with Vista Home Premium did not book from it — went to the same screen asking for password.

  32. sunspun, just hold the F8 key when your machine boots up.

  33. [...] Three ways to reset a Windows Vista admin password NT Password & Registry Editor funktioniert also auch mit vista. [...]

  34. Mike says:

    Nadine,
    To boot from a floppy go to bios with ‘F2′ or ‘del’
    And chage boot divice in the bios. You normally can choose for floppy, CD, Hard disk. Some times you can also choose for removable drive.
    Then you will be able to boot from the disk

  35. RobJ says:

    I was enabling some additional password protection schemes, screen saver etc.. on my system and was prompted for a password. I did this and when the screen saver came up I was no longer able to login. Go figure… Rebooted and was still unable to login. I had no passkey disk created so I was up the creek so to say. Then I recalled I had System Checkpoint enabled within Vista. Ran the HP system option F11 which brought up my recovery options and simply restored to the previous days checkpoint. I was able to login using the old password and I did not lose anything in the process.

  36. Steven Wolf says:

    Hello,
    This link was offered in a question I asked regarding a computer I acquired. It has Vista installed, but also an admin. password issue. The program is legit, and the organization has purchased all new equipment. My issue certainly is the viable use of the computer, without just signing on as guest, which disallows much of it’s function.
    I could have the drive formatted and have a system re-installed, but that seems a bit extreme.
    My question to you is, which of the options might be my best alternative, especially given that getting the initial password is not an option.
    Thank you in advance.

    Steven Wolf

  37. Wyccant says:

    Most of these methods have come about from a need to rescue data, if you’ve just got a computer I’d wipe the disk and reinstall.
    a) you don’t know what’s on there and you could have all kinds private documents, VPNs and websites and generate a lot of awkward questions about breaching company data (for you and the guy that didn’t wipe it before selling).

    b) a fresh install always runs faster and you only slow it down with the applications you install

  38. Wyccant says:

    formatting not really an issue these days as it happens within the install process, just pop the disk in and reboot the computer it’s pretty easy to follow.

  39. banky says:

    I have a same prob as sunspun

    i lost my regular& admin passwords, when i boot my pc i held f8 and chose option “BOOT IN SAFE MOOD” but i still get the login page, Help pleas

  40. ele-fun says:

    I have the same problem as sunspun AND banky… I am a bit overwhelemed at all of the different options to try and fix. Any aimple, plain english solutions here for my daughters brand new laptop and getting passed this password glitch?

    Please help this ole’ ma….

  41. Ali says:

    Hello guys,

    I have the same problem as Sunspun, banky, and ele-fun…

    Wyccant!
    could you please elaborate…

    thanx alot

  42. Windward Wahine says:

    My daughter was locked out after trying to reset her password on her Sony Vaio Laptop with Vista OS. Since there aren’t any other users, she is the administrator with no backup disk or reset disk.

    I restarted her computer, and hit F11 before it completely uploaded . It went to a screen to reinstall her OS. There is a small box on the lower left Advanced Options. In it were 4 options to click on Computer checkup, Restore to earlier date, Restore Windows OS and something else.

    I chose to restore (option 2) which gave me dates for her computer backing itself up. I chose December 2, 2008, an earlier date just beyond two weeks (she got locked out December 20, 2008). Her computer restored and her old password worked without losing pictures, data, etc.

    Woohoo, it’s not that hard and everything worked out well. To prevent this from happening again, I suggested she create her profile and leave the administrator profile for bigger issues.

    Best of luck and Aloha

  43. Edgar says:

    Hey guy i to forgot my password from both admins on vista…i really dont mind losing all my data all i got is a bunch of movies, music and some school projects that i have already restarted doing, so my question is can i just reinstall vista or is there an F button i can press just so i can u my pc again..

    thanks

  44. asad ch says:

    well i use commented 21
    that works well!!!
    yes i am happy.
    thanks http://4sysops.com/archives/three-ways-to-reset-a-windows-vista-admin-password/
    carry on!!

  45. Matt says:

    Read through all the replies, downloaded NT Password & Reg Editor and Trinity Rescue Disk. Tried to load them on a Vista Home computer with USB and CD and no luck.
    USB reads “Non-Systems Disk” and the CD does nothing. I’ve tried 50 different ways and even those little simple ways. I would just wipe the system (nothing important) but don’t have a Vista disc, just the key. Friend bought this from a Pawn Shop and they screwed him. He was oblivious to what he was being sold. Still has the previous user passwords and with “Guest” you can’t do anything.

    Is there any other ways without spending money, and even that might not work. Any suggestions?????

    Thanks

  46. Brent Ferguson says:

    Rather than learning a new computer language, or footing out dollars for software that takes forever to download and install, you might want to consider using the label on your computer’s hard disc. You know, the one that shows you how to make it a master or slave?

    If you have any windows boot disc at all you can then boot up your computer from CD, access the HDD, even change the password. If you have a spare HDD handy, you could even use it as a swap drive to allow you to repartition your original HDD with a “recovery partition” and then put your password recovery information on that. That way with windows login – boot to command prompt, you could swap to that logical drive and have your password recovery disc in the same physical location as your hard disc. (My problem is that when I happen to forget a password, I have already long forgotten where I placed the recovery disc. This workaround solved it for me.)

  47. John says:

    I was having the same problem with Vista and forgetting my admin password. The F8 key didn’t work for me, but the F10 key did. Took me into BIOS and then just worked through until i got to reset Administrator password.

  48. Brent, nice trick.

    John, a BIOS that allows you to change a Windows password? Which BIOS is this?

  49. Jan says:

    Thanks Guys, you are the best!
    & Tony’s comment let me save a lot of time.
    :-)

  50. Matt says:

    Thanks for all the great tips. Fortunately, I was able to aquire an OEM disc and install a fresh copy. I didn’t put a password at all so he wouldn’t have anything to forget. Thanks again for all the commented replies to my post.

  51. Aviator9 says:

    I have a problem, want to reset my windows vista admin password
    I downloaded OPHCRACK liveCD.iso, burnt on a disk, restarted the Desktop, changed the boot device to CD/DVD drive and inserted the OPhcrack disk, then the following appeared ” Kernel-panic – not syncing: I0 – APIC + timer dosen’t work ! Boot with apic = debug and send a report. Then try booting with the ‘noapic’ option” AND after this nothing shows up!

    Someone please advise

    Regards

  52. [...] to do it on Vista, if the administrator doesn’t want you to install stuff. There are, of course, ways to gain admin access. But, I urge you not to try and hack into your company-issued laptop. If it’s available on the [...]

  53. vancouver Rob says:

    Hi, I was hoping someone could help me. I had to use Password Changer on a computer and now there is an extra “Administrator” account that showed up and I can’t get rid of it.

    The original account that was on it was the only account and was the admin account. Now there are 2 accounts when there should only be one.

    I tried to change the new account to a Guest account from the original account so I could delete it but it wouldn’t let me. It did let me change the original account to a Guest account though from the new Admin account. But I want it the other way around.

    Is there a way I can change the original to the main main Admin so I can delete the new “Admin” account?

    Could someone please tell me or help me find a way to delete/get rid of the extra Admin account?

  54. Prabal Dutta says:

    hi,
    i have an unusual problem.i bought a new dell laptop few months back.until somedays back i got to knw that the account i am using is nt the administrator account.though it shows that i m the administrator.wen i go to cmd and run as administrator, it prompts for a password,i provide the normal admin password that i use to open my laptop but it fails showing an error that invalid password.what kinda crap is this??help me…to knw if i have some different administrator password by default which i m unaware of.

  55. [...] Refer the below article. It will help you to fix the issue. Administrator account is locked in Windows Server 2003 Also, refer the below article: 4sysops – Three ways to reset a Windows Vista admin password [...]

  56. mriya says:

    Hello ,

    I have the same problem as Sunspun, banky, and ele-fun and Ali .. :(

    Please elaborate how to reset using safe-mode

    Thnax..

  57. Dai_Guitar says:

    I to have the same problem as Sunspun, banky, and ele-fun and Ali. But nobody seems to want to help as they all seem to be pluging this and pluging that to sell their (censored) Why can they give us a simple straight answer to fix the problem.

    DG

  58. Swarnendu says:

    I have used this method and it worked for me :)

    Download Active@ Password Changer

    Install this. Run the application and make a Bootable USB drive. It’s very easy as this software have wizard based interface for that. At first go through the instruction manual.

    Now go to the setup screen of the affected computer and set the 1st boot device to USB. Stick the USB drive to the computer and restart the machine. Once your machine boots through USB follow the instructions on the screen. You will get the details in the user manual of Active@ Password Changer. Just follow it and nJoy :-)

  59. Jillian says:

    yooo, on my computer i have only an administrator account. and i forgot my password and i thought i was doomed for life, BUT I WASN’T.

  60. Jillian says:

    yooo, on my computer i have only an administrator account. and i forgot my password and i thought i was doomed for life, BUT I WASN’T. i kept turning my compuer on and off which started messing with it. so it said to run a program to help it run fine again because it said there was a “computer problem”. it said it would take my computer back to a time when it was running “safely” again. so it loaded my computer, once again and my computer no longer had a password and all my files were there. i somehow managed to get the password erased without losing files or paying money! good luck people

  61. Graham says:

    Trinity worked for me. I tried 3 other password resest utilities which wouldn’t work as the HDD had the “dirty bit” set which meant that chkdsk was scheduled to be run at next boot. Trinity can override this setting.

    Trinity ROCKS HARD!!!

    /G

  62. Sven says:

    Hey,

    thank you for option 2!

    g, Sven

  63. mike phipps says:

    how do i do it if the admin has blocked downloads

  64. mossmatt says:

    Check out this video I did with Trinity Rescue Disc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0XrHL18OD0

  65. Deon says:

    Hi there

    I was wondering if one could log in, by pressing the F8 key and booting in safe mode (like in windows xp) and using a blank password. However, in Windows Vista , it’s different: only option is to type in the password, or reset the password.

    I don’t want to reset the password – as this will create a problem with the other person.

    I just want to be able to change my user account from standard user to be able to install programs and remove programs.

    Is there a way?

    Please help.

  66. Harry says:

    Here is how to do it with just an XP CD.

    1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (it’s assumed here that your XP CD is bootable – as it should be – and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)

    2. Keep your eye on the screen messages for booting to your cd Typically, it will be “Press any key to boot from cd”

    3. Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files.

    4. When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now

    5. The Licensing Agreement comes next – Press F8 to accept it.

    6. The next screen is the Setup screen which gives you the option to do a Repair.

    It should read something like “If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it”

    Use the up and down arrow keys to select your XP installation (if you only have one, it should already be selected) and press R to begin the Repair process.

    7. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.

    8. Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot. (this will happen automatically – you will see a progress bar stating “Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds”

    9. During the reboot, do not make the mistake of “pressing any key” to boot from the CD again! Setup will resume automatically with the standard billboard screens and you will notice Installing Windows is highlighted.

    10. Keep your eye on the lower left hand side of the screen and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10. This is the security hole! A command console will now open up giving you the potential for wide access to your system.

    11. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.

    12. Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you prefer. If you want to log on without having to enter your new password, you can type control userpasswords2 at the prompt and choose to log on without being asked for password. After you’ve made your changes close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).

    13. Once the Repair is done, you will be able to log on with your new password (or without a password if you chose not to use one or if you chose not to be asked for a password). Your programs and personalized settings should remain intact.

  67. bubblybabs says:

    Windward Wahine (comment #44)…
    Your solution worked like a charm… I was lucky, my restore point was 1 day old…
    Babs

  68. Rudra pandey says:

    how to laptop administrator password reset. plz any one know that say me………………….

  69. Cynthia says:

    I tried Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s NT Password & Registry Editor. It works great…took me less than 5 mins from downloading & burning the .iso file to resetting password on the faulty vista notebook. thanks!

  70. Austin says:

    Thank you so much for this, I was locked out for the past 8 days, using a friend’s computer to find this article. In Iraq my laptop is my only way of communicating with friends and family back home. I’d tried all the other options and recovery programs to get back into my account and all fell short. I had nearly lost hope, until I read this. Again, thank you guys so much!

  71. flyingfox says:

    I tried Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s NT Password & Registry Editor and it did exactly what it said it would do. Thank you so much, you have saved thousands of photos from being deleted. I booted from the cd and unlocked the admin account, then rebooted,went into the admin account and changed the password on the other admin account with the lost password. Logged off and logged in with new password and hey presto, it worked. Thanks again

  72. mark says:

    nobody needs to lose data in this situation, even if the password reset methods fail you can boot with a “windows pe” disk – free version “Bart-pe” , and just copy your stuff to a usb disk/stick

  73. Jules says:

    Comment 21 worked for me – thanks so much! I was losing the will to live trying to get past the administrator passwword.

  74. stuart says:

    just done mine used a software called trinty rescue worked a treat and it was free here is the web page there is a step by step guide on how to do it mine was a bit different because my admin was disabled so instead of the the admin you put the username instead you will no what i mean when reading hope it helps http://www.wikihow.com/Reset-a-Windows-XP-or-Vista-Password

  75. simone says:

    comment 44 cost nothing and worked like a dream… this is the answer in Vista i promise!!!!!

  76. terry says:

    Comment 44 worked for me on a Vista box! Took 5 minutes and I was done. Thanks!!

  77. Ceez says:

    Great post thanks.

  78. Tom Hudson says:

    Thanks for this post. I’ve forgotten the password on my local account. I understand that Vista, by default, hides and disables the Administrator account for security reasons. When i installed Vista on my PC i didn’t reactivate the Admin account, thus only my local account is shown on the log in screen.

    I successfully followed the instructions (post 68/79) for gaining access to the Administrator account on vista but when the machine rebooted there was no Admin account. In order for this solution to work, do you need to have activated your Admin account prior to forgetting your password? If so, i’m buggered!

  79. Chris, of course, you can change an adminstrator password when you forgot it.

    Tom, did you read the article?

  80. Chris says:

    er… Michael,you are right

  81. Raveman says:

    Step by step vista login password remover:

    1. Use hiren’s cd
    2. Start Mini Windows Xp
    3. Open Hiren’s BootCD WinTools 1.x
    4. Menu – Passwords / Keys – Password Renew
    5. Select a target ( for vista C:/Windows )
    6. Select a task: Renew existing user password
    7. Choose Account – Type new password – confirm password
    8. Install
    9. Reset computer. On login type new password. Done
    10. Tested works fine

  82. Raveman says:

    I used Hiren’s version 10.0

  83. Questionable says:

    Ok its work fine, all this …
    But…
    How can i create a new admin account without (reset admin account) admin rights OR how is possible change standard user account to admin account without admin rights … ? Thats the qeustion. Thanks.

  84. Tom Hudson says:

    Chris, my problem is that i do not have access to my Administrator account from my log in screen, thus it doesn’t matter whether i reset the Admin password or not – i still won’t be able to access this account. I only have my local account (‘Tom’) on the log in screen. As already mentioned, i understand that Vista disables and hides the Admin account for security reasons. Since i installed Vista, i’ve never reactivated the Admin account so that it shows up when i log in.

    Michael, yes i’ve read your article on Trinity Rescue but i can’t see anything in there that can help me. Forgive me if the answer is there somewhere?

    Stuart (post 79) seems to of have encountered the same problem as me. He seems to suggest putting my local username (‘Tom’) in place of ‘Administrator’ within the instructions he makes reference to. I tried this and it doesn’t work. Any ideas, Michael?

    Thanks in advance.

  85. Chris says:

    Tom,have you tried to access to Administrator account in safe mode?

  86. Tom Hudson says:

    Yeah, i tried that. Pressed F8 before the log in screen appeared and got the advanced boot screen. clicked safe mode. when i log in screen appeared there was still only my local account there:(

  87. Endeguena Mulu says:

    How do I reset a Windows Vista admin password if I don’t have a reset disk and if my cd drive does’nt work and if I need my password ASAP and if I don’t have any money to buy password reset kits?

  88. ken says:

    I have the same problem with a lifebook. how ever there is no disk drive. how cn i reset or use a USB or what. Thanks for your reply. I’m a beginner. So be nice

  89. Doris says:

    I have a vista laptop that i let my kids use and they locked the Administrator account and I cannot remember the password. I tried using NT Password & Registry Editor and Trinity but when I tell it to boot from cd, u can hear the rom going but then boots to windows. What am I doing wrong? plz help

  90. MirageLyri says:

    Okay so there are two accs on my laptop, the admin which has a password, and the one I use.
    Until recently i didnt need the admin account but now I do, I dont have a clue what the password is. Without it I cant dowload anything! >.<
    Someone help me please!

  91. Katie says:

    What worked easiest (after 4 hours of trying different things, including burning password restore discs and going into safemode!) was hitting f11 at start up and doing a system restore to an earlier date. I just choose the previous day when the password worked. Then it restarted, I entered the password and it worked. I then went into user accounts and changed my password to a blank. Inotherwords, no password. I believe it is true that the microsoft updates affected the password. There were three updates installed between yesterday and today when my password didn’t work. I’m thankful I kept trying until I saw that suggestion!

  92. NIKITA WILLIS says:

    i have a compaq presario f500, it was given to me, i have gotten pass the admin password, now it ask for username and password, have tryed safe mode, it goes back to the username and password, tried admin, doesn’t work, someone help, don’t have money to spend right now. on medical leave money is tight. please help, really need to get into this computer, tring to work from home, my old pc is dead and gone. need to get medical and financial info.

    THANKING YOU ALL IN ADVANCE,
    DEPERATE,,,,GOD BLESS US ALL

  93. Lisa says:

    Comment 44 was great! My daughter was resetting her password and decided to hit cancel but, actually reset not knowing what she typed for new password. Unbelievable!!! Restore point worked in minutes. Thank you Windward.

  94. Phillip says:

    Comment 49 1st method should be tested before downloading anything…

    if doesnt work go ahead downloading :)

    gdluck 2 everyone.

  95. Philip, comment 49 appeared be to SPAM, so I removed it.

  96. Lanre says:

    Comment 95. I guess your cd-rom drive is gone or your cd/dvd isn’t bootable.

  97. "TheFixitDude" says:

    I highly recommend “Offline NT Password&Registry Editor” although i did stuff-up the first time, but after restoring to a earlier set and removing the admin password, i managed to fix the machine for my client, and get paid!

  98. Bogsy says:

    Ok, so I have a problem….. I need to be able to “control” one computer with another computer. I know that it is possible, but I can’t find any supporting facts. It is very irritating. Everyone seems to think that what I want to do is hack into the other computer, but it’s more like parental controls. So please help, it’s quite important.

    Thanks, Bogsy

  99. sthielen says:

    What about System 7?? The user account is not crackable by ophcrack, and the administrator account is not enabled. HP says tough, just re-install. I’d like to somehow create a new account by dropping in new files.. Any opinions?

  100. sthielen says:

    Just used the trinity CD.. WOW! winpass and that was basically it. I tried figuring out stuff with knoppix, after ophcrack didn’t get it done… but trinity was the way to go… I’ll keep this cd under my pillow!

  101. stavro says:

    i have windows 7 and i forgot my only admin password and the only user left is my guste account so can you plezzz help

  102. Iceman says:

    A cool tool, works with Windows7 Home Premium too. The passwords can be erased in just a matter of few minutes.

  103. Iceman says:

    A cool tool, works with Windows7 Home Premium too. The passwords can be erased in just a matter of few minutes.– I mean the second method. I used it to erase password on Windows7 64bit edition on a Dell Studio.

  104. wickyd says:

    Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD

    saved me today. After many hours of installing and tweaking a brand new PC, something went wrong. I was not able to log into the only Administrator account I had, once the machine had been rebooted.

    I burned the 3MB bootdisk, followed the onscreen prompts and in a few minutes was back in the machine.

    What a lifesaver!

    It will become a permanent part of my toolset for fixing Winndows problems.

  105. Talo (Zambia) says:

    Guys Ultimate Boot Cd worked for me.
    How I did it on Desktop
    1. First change the Boot Order in Boot setup to read from CD Drive or USB Drive (if you have one)
    2. Boot from CD
    3. Choose HDD>Boot Recovery> Offline….NT/XP
    Wait until asks Uniform whatever…then press enter
    4. Choose Edit user Password (#1)
    5. Type Name of the User(as displayed on list)>Press Enter
    6. Choose Clear Password(type 1 and Enter)
    7. Type Name of User again
    8. Choose Unlock Passowrd…(type 4 and Enter)
    9. quit(!)
    10. A message will appear saying “…about to write…etc” Type y and press enter
    11. A message will appear saying “…try again if failed…blah blah…new run” just type n and Press Enter
    12. Ctrl + Alt + Delete to Reboot
    13. Disconnet or poweroff CD drive fast

    It will work!!

  106. sam says:

    Hi i tried comment 21 and got to the point of manage user accounts but the admin account doesnt show so i cant get any futher please help

  107. sam says:

    i brought laptop second hand and old owners hadnt used it in a while and forgotton password tried downloading trinity but cant download because of parental controls completly stuck!

  108. rosquilleto says:

    Hi all, my problem is I need to recover administrator’s password. I have booting encripted HD tool (safeguard easy, without unlock possibility), so all reboot_needed procedures are out. I have a guest account without privileges so I can’t “at” procedure, “sam file access”, … all say access denied :(

    Is there any way to recover or restore (I prefer recover if possible) administrator’s password?

    Thanks in advance.

  109. SeamUSX says:

    I think it was published above, but I found a simple method if the password was recently changed (for example, by an angry family member!) – press and HOLD F8 when the computer starts and then select ‘Repair Computer’ (the key to press may vary between computers). Select ‘System Restore’ and select a date BEFORE you changed your password. Then simply let the restore process run, and when Windows restarts your old password will also be restored :D

  110. Beth says:

    I have tried everything and nothing so far has worked…… So frustrating, There are some viruses on this machine and I cant get rid of them without being in the admin. profile.

  111. chris says:

    None of these have worked for me. I have a windows partition on my mac book purchased from a friend. I have full admin rights on the mac os side but cant get it on the windows side and from what little i know about os’s it seems very secure. is there a way i can just change it from the osx side?

  112. chris says:

    ps osx 10.5.8 and windows xp pro

  113. Doni says:

    Please help me,how to reset password for windows 2008 server
    i’m realy forget that password.
    urgent.

  114. mario says:

    NEED HELP!bought a second hand hp w2007 and dont know the admin password..need the password asap!anything helps…thanx alot

  115. pegasuz says:

    Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s Offline NT Password & Registry Editor worked as a charm. 2min download, 1min burning the ISO, 1min clearing pass, awesome!

  116. Hannes says:

    Hi, I followed the advice given in 44. by Windward Wahine and it worked beautifully. At first I thought I was in big trouble and would have to wipe my laptop, but after scratching around the internet and finding this site, everythings back to normal again. Thanks for the info, saved my laptop.

  117. Rose says:

    There is TONS of fantastic help on this website. Thank you SO much! My boyfriend changed my administrator password (the only user on my Toshiba laptop) and now forgot it. I have faith in changing the password after reading this, but my question is: Will it erase all files on my laptop??? I have 1000′s of pictures from my travels on my hard drive (that aren’t backed up) and I haven’t changed my password because I am worried they will get deleted. Any words of comfort???

  118. Noruega says:

    hello, help me out here!

    i have a windows XP computer which i am trying to reboot back to factory settings. normally when you insert a copy of XP it should boot straight away, well not in this case. because the boot menu setup asks me for an admin password which i do not have a clue. im wondering how i can reset this password so i can install XP any help will be appreciated. thank you.

  119. Gina says:

    #44 Windward Wahine is amazing! I recently inherited a computer from my mother. She died a few months ago and her password went with her. I did not know a good restore date so I just went for the complete factory restore. Followed the directions of Windward and voila! Thank you so much!!!! :>)

  120. bkoolz says:

    Hi,

    I am using windows7 premium. I am unable to login to my windows. It says “Invalid username password”.
    pls suggest the best suited way to recover, other than formatting the system.

    *********HELP**********

    Thanks

  121. trevork says:

    My mom forgot her admin password for her laptop, so I came here to find someway to reset it or something. All the suggestions require downloading a program, but the reason I’m trying to reset the password is because the computer requires the admin password to install a program… Someone plz save me

  122. Pamela says:

    hello, i have a proble hope u can help me. im using window 7 mini laptop my problem. no drive i ring the shop told me that install in my computer but forget my administrator password

  123. David Tapp says:

    Michael
    Hope you can help here. My HP with Vista was crashing, so I “backed-up” files onto a new WD Passport HDrive which had never been connected to my computer before. The files transferred, then I rebooted the HP to factory settings.
    Now I’ve downloaded the latest HP Recovery Manager in order to restore my files yet am now prompted for a password — which I never created at any point before backing up the files.
    Any suggestions? Thanks

  124. David, I am sorry, I don’t know HP Recovery Manager. I think you should contact the HP support.

  125. David T says:

    More information to previous HP Recovery question. When I reset computer to factory settings, I either reset to a simple password (which doesn’t work with my problem), or did not set a password (in which case I’ve entered nothing when trying to recover.)

    Thanks

  126. citykttn says:

    Hello,
    I read through everyone’s comments, tried multiple techniques to no avail.

    I have a netbook running Win 7, which does not have a cd drive. So I have downloaded several softwares/iso’s to help. However, I can’t get my computer to boot from the jump drive that these softwares are installed on.

    Any advice? Thanks!

    Liz :)

  127. Simeon says:

    This tool ‘Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s NT Password & Registry Editor’ works like magic!!! The tool is very great! Change the name to ‘Hacking made easy’ for clarity.

  128. yusuf says:

    hi i have a acer laptop and i have forgot my password and i have to change my password what should i do??

  129. holly says:

    Hello, i cant use half of the methods on the internet because I cannot download the password recovery programmes without the admin password :( What has happened is that my hard drive broke, and we had to get my laptop fixed, and reset. So when they gave it back, it had my jus my account, wich was admin, and everything was fine. Then, 2 weeks after i got my laptop back. My mums account appeared, and it has the admin privilages. But the password that mum mum uses to get in doesnt work, we have tried every password weve used…. The reason we need it is because i draw alot digitally on photoshop, but to run the programme i need to run it as admin and put the passwird in. :( any help would be much appriciated.

  130. SAM says:

    RobJ, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. F11 worked FANTASTICALLY! I was having the same problem as a lot of people where even going in safe mode was continuing to request the forgotten password. Thank you, again!

  131. ERIC says:

    I was sure keying in a series command prompts into windows XP could reset the password for a Admin… Thats whats wrong with Windows.. So Restricted

  132. Rabia says:

    Okay…
    I have the same problem as sunspun, and the others that followed…
    I pressed the “F8″ key and selected “Safe w/ Command Prompt”…
    But it still asks for the password…
    Does that mean I should press F8 again?
    :U

  133. Rabia, this method only works with Windows XP if you know the password of the built-in administrator account.

  134. mygaraj says:

    everyone STOP.
    the windows vista system restore fixed this problem easy.
    we took my wife’s laptop to computer shop and they said they could only fresh reinstall windows. they said no hope, retrieve your HDD and use a caddy to get your docs etc etc. i said noway. my wife was feeling pretty low. she had important course paperwork on it and never done a backup ever

    i found this forum, and as they say the simplest solution is usually the best one so i tried the simplest which was to use system restore.
    turn off laptop. held power button for 5secs basically till it died
    then restarted and kept hitting the f8 option, on some computers this is F11.
    after a loading files ….i got the recovery menu – no password request
    i chose system restore – i then got a warning that i have to leave recovery mode, i selected yes.
    then it did a little something something then went into system restore, clicked next
    then got an option of several restore point. i chose 2 months ago, wasnt sure because its my wife’s laptop
    clicked on next afte i selected a date – i got a warning saying i mustn’t interupt it, i said ok.
    then it did a few things which took about 5mins, then it went back to recovery mode. i clicked cancel
    the computer then rebooted.
    i tried a password that we thought it was – before my wife changed it in a fit of rage…
    Voila!!!
    put it this way, i got taken upstairs to bed for the full monty work over. you could tell she ws really happy.

  135. Norman says:

    Cittykttn:

    If your netbook is the Acer then they have recently added a feature to hit F9 3 times while booting up to reformat the drive back to new. You will lose everything but at least you are back up and running.

  136. Jubey says:

    The situation was I acquired an HP Desktop running Vista Home Premium 64 bit and the primary user was deported and nobody knew any of the passwords. I removed the HD and put it in an XP Pro SP3 unit. I then was able to install NTPWEdit to open the sam file on the secondary HD and change the password for both the administrator and primary user accounts. I reinstalled the HD in the HP unit and was able to login to both accounts using the password that I set. Thanks for the help and info.

  137. citykttn says:

    For Netbook with Windows 7, I called Acer and told them my admin password wasn’t working. They advised to restore to factory default settings and wiping all files. I shut down my computer, took the battery out, held down the power key for 20 seconds, put battery back on (have computer plugged in after battery is put back on), turned computer on, immediately hit alt AND F10 at the same time until got the Acer eRecovery Management window and followed directions to restore.

  138. kirkom says:

    How to reset the Admin Password Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems

  139. Silvan says:

    Hi,

    First of all, thanks for this summery, very useful :-).
    As far as I read, it’s not possible to access an encrypted file after removed password, right?

    Regards
    Silvan

  140. Silvan, yes, if the file was encrypted with EFS.

  141. dennis says:

    hi i will need some advise. i forgot my passsword for my administrator account and i left with a guest and it can done nothing it cannot download anything. anyway i can restore my password? without using reformate or downloading. i do not have thw window cd and anything. pls help me

  142. sammy says:

    Thank you for your site. I was updating norton 360 on my PC and after that I couldn’t access my admin user account. I’ve done some googling re:how to reset the admin user account. I have vista home premium; tried ophcrack, can only ID 2user accounts and not the admin account. TRK and prosoft recovery tool can’t open nor download since I need to know the password. The prompt for password was really annoying. I don’t have a recovery disc either. So I tried the NT offline pogostick(option 6). After 3 trials, it worked. It does need a lot of patience to follow the commands though. Just a word of advice for those like me who know very little about PCs, who are trying to reset the admin password. 1-burning the ISO file needs to be done correctly. 2-you’ve got to know how to boot your PC correctly. i.e for my PC it’s the ‘esc’ key, then press the key for CD. 3- Its worth to read the commands from the walkthrough steps first before attempting to do it. It’s better to have another computer or try print out the commands before you attempt to run the pogostick. Lastly, don’t panic. It will work as it did for me, and thank you so much to the person who invented this- if you’re reading this, THANK YOU! In the end, you’ll learn a bit more about your PC. I really don’t have time to write this, but I know how people who can’t access the admin account feel, especially when your thesis is in that account. More lessons to learn.

  143. mbella says:

    hii, i downloaded trinity only to find i needed the admin password to open it, bumma as i forgot my admin pw, which is the reason why i came to this site. :(

  144. Pim says:

    I have still access to my Windows Vista altough I don’t remember my adminpassword. I suppose Vista is in auto-logon mode but I don’t know for sure. I find it scary to reset or log off. So I use sleep-mode for ages. How to test my current user and/or admin user password(s) without logoff or reboot.

  145. Roisin McGee says:

    My computer is protected with Bitlocker+Windows Login password. Am I correct in understanding that attempts to crack the Windows Login would cause changes in the BIOS settings which in turn would trigger Bitlocker, or are there ways to crack the Windows Login password without changing the BIOS in some way?

  146. emmanuel da matrix says:

    i was lock out my dell laptop i was wondering if i change hard drive would that also change the admin password i want to start it from factory setting but when i try it say i have to enter my password any idea’s i need a life saver school coming up

  147. dhaval shah says:

    sir i have forgot my administrator password in windows 7
    pls help to solv this problem

  148. patsy says:

    Hi, I’m trying to do a factory restore with my dell laptop. I can restore it as a guest or with my name but I want full use of my pc as I am the only user and would like to restore it as the administrator..but, it won’t let me past the password. I’ve never set a password for this so I don’t know what it is. can you help me clear this passworso I can factory restore my pc as the administror.

    thank you,

    patsy

  149. Kerry says:

    Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s free ntpasswd tool to reset the Windows password on vista and now it wont even load windows vista at all. Please help! What went wrong?

  150. Mark says:

    Use the Sticky Keys trick to reset the Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP password

    Man what a life saver. Thanks!

  151. Mark says:

    i lost login windows vista premium so, ho retrive password.

  152. Aryan Darbar says:

    I suggest you all to use WINTERNALS ERD Commander 2005 or later version to reset any user’s password even Administrator.

    It works amazingly in all versions of Windows, even if your computer is logged on as a member of any Local Network’s Server.

    Thanks!
    Aryan Darbar

  153. Vibol Em says:

    i have window 7 that locked password, but i forgot and admin i can’t locked on too. may you tell me some concept

  154. Abhinandan Joshi says:

    Hi,
    I use windows 7 and have two accounts one is administrator and other is standard user, i forgot the password for administrator account and i have to use my PC through standard account and i don’t have a password reset disk for it & a windows 7 bootable disk as well. how can i reset my administrator account password?

    Thanks Abhinandan

  155. jerry nwokocha says:

    I thank the publishers of this solutions and i want to congratulate then for their effort to the publish of the solution of forgot your password. I used it and it works for me thanks to you all
    Jerry Nwokochah.

  156. Christine Ellis says:

    2008 Dell desktop – Home Vista service Pack 2 – Just followed set up prompts and ended up with account ‘Administrator’ in my name with password. No problems for two years then read that this is not a good idea, must have and operate from ‘standard’ account. Set up standard account and stupidly switched rolls ie Standard>Admin/Admin>standard .

    Now CANNOT do anything – only standard account appears on Welcome screen – cannot log on as Administrator – cannot access Admin account – cannot make any changes to User accounts – cannot use system restore – cannot download updates which are not done automatically – user account is off and cannot change – safe mode doesn’t show admin account – cannot run Registry mechanic disc -cannot uninstall programs etc., etc.. All I get are messages for No administration rights or contact administrator – never get asked for admin password – which I know.
    Have tried every suggestion I have found on various forums – cannot download Tweak UI Powertoy – Regedit/no permission – command prompt doesnt work – the result of typing net user administrator /active:yes and press enter in cmd after C:\Windows\system32> is the message
    System error 5 has occurred
    Access is denied

    I am not experienced at this – have backed up everything on my external hard drive as I decided my only option was to do a clean reinstall from the disc which came with the computer BUT I Cannot even do that as I don’t have the right permissions!!

    Is there anything that I can do or have I really lost control of my computer?

  157. preston says:

    my moms ex husband changed my moms password and now we cant do anything with the laptop we can get into the guest account but we can not do much without it asking for the admins password which we do not know and her ex says he so call forgot…What do I do??

  158. Would possibly replacing the sam file work? I havent tried this but could be another option. I always use the ntpasswd boot cd, I can say that ntpasswd has never ended up crashing windows for me anyway and ive used it countless numbers of times on clients pc’s, 2000 right thru to win7, and also on a couple of member servers to AD.

  159. rcp says:

    I didn’t have a Password Disk and Trinity Recovery Kit worked like a charm for me!

  160. sumanth says:

    In my HP laptop, my brother has deleted the admin user from the Control Panel. Issue that There are no users other than Admin, and right now am unable to start my laptop.

    How do I restore my admin user and I don’t have any restore disk or recovery disk.

  161. jordan says:

    hi i have a problem i need to no the admins password on vista with out changeing it beacuse i need update for lets say one of them is flash player 10 and when i go to download it user control pops up asking for the admins password witch i do not no so if anyone can help me beacuse i have important uni work to complete and i cannot do it and its due in soon its stressing me right out it will of great use thanks so much for the help guys in advance!!

  162. tracy says:

    forgot the admin password and had no back-up. Shut down the computer, restarted it, and held down the escape button. Options then appeared and was able to reinstall windows in minutes and reset admin password

  163. sonu says:

    i have the laptop of cousins and i dont know the users login password so what i have to do if can not contact with my cosin?how can i unlock the users login password?

  164. sonu says:

    i have the laptop of cousins and i dont know the users login password so what i have to do if can not contact with my cosin?how can i unlock the users login password

  165. Kimberly alcantara says:

    I have a toshiba laptop and it’s an old model of window vista, 2 weeks ago I changed my password without realizing I can’ t even remember what I put in, now my problem is my brother needs to do a maintenance on his Ipad which is connected to my laptop and we can’ t open a single application because it keeps on asking about my admin password, there is no back up disk ,tried to call for tech support just to found out that i had to be on the phone for 30 minutes to reach the person who can reset it but it will cost me 149.00 dollars, can you please give me some advice that it will be easier to follow for I don’ t know anything about pc , tried to followed some suggestions but got no luck. Thank’s in advance. Even lost the cd that’s included when I bought my laptop .

  166. Irfan says:

    I forget the user account password of my hp touchscreen laptop (windows 7 home premium), although i am able to login my laptop by swiping the finger reader option…plz suggest me.
    Thanks

  167. moh says:

    I forgaet the administrator account password in desktop pc , how i can rest the password.
    BR

  168. JZ says:

    I am trying to access user accounts (VISTA) and it asks me to enter administrator password and wont let me type anything!! Please any ideas, solutions!!

  169. JMY says:

    Vista, forgot password for main (profile) account, used another computer, searched for hours on how to boot to usb. multiboot and ntpwedit. Enabled Built-in account, removed password, turned off Built in admin again. If you loose EFS related files system–go for system restore. Btw,right after you remove password, create reset disk.

  170. JMY says:

    Did I forget to say thank you? Yes I did, but not for long…thank you to all contributors and the authors of this article and programs used. [multibootisos-2.1.5.2.exe]+[cd version ~4mb "Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s NT Password & Registry Editor worked like a charm on Vista"-quoting #5 dated July 21, 2007]–this article was my anchor, videos and reading materials supplemented in getting me through the task.

  171. Yousuf says:

    I have windows 7 in my PC. In starting Password, by mistakely with caps lock on mode i used 3 time my password after that my password is locked. How can i recover it. I have no password recover disk. Please advise… Thanks in advance.

  172. tom says:

    my sister deleted change my admin password and forgot it so we cant get in but can get in on visitor and my comp has no disk drive so cant put disk in so i want some thing that doesnt cost and i can use wothout losing my work on other acount. an u suggest some programs

  173. basit ali says:

    thank you brother .you sloved my problem1

    love you
    basit balti

  174. Aryan Darbar says:

    I suggest you all to use WINTERNALS ERD Commander 2005 or later version to reset any user’s password even Administrator.

    It works amazingly in all versions of Windows, even if your computer is logged on as a member of any Local Network’s Server.

    Thanks!
    Aryan Darbar

  175. justin says:

    I can’t get into my computer. I see the wallpaper and shut computer for but no user to click on. Please help someone.

  176. Kitty says:

    I have a toshiba satellite with windowa vista on it and have forgotten my oassword ive tried the f8 key n thats no help so I tried the f10 key still no help so I tried the f11 key and that doesnt help either it just brimgs me to the passward login page someone please help ive been at this for hours now

  177. georg says:

    is there any way to do this without any cd or dvd or downloads…cause i have lost my admins passaord and my notebook has no cd/dvd entry!also the downloads are blocked cause of the protection…!

    thanks alot

  178. mario lagdameo says:

    hi..im using compaq loptop..and i lost my admin window 7 password…what should i do ? please help me

  179. khant nyar says:

    I’ve lost my admin window 7 password. I’ve not password reset disk! Thanks a lot for ur advices.I’ll try all of these.

  180. Micaela says:

    Hello,
    I can’t remember my password for my HP netbook with windows 7…most of your options require a CD and I don’t have CD drive, can you tell me how can I delete or reset the password using a flash drive? I don’t want to install windows again because I’m afraid I’ll lose files.. Please help!

    Thanks!!

  181. Steve says:

    Folks
    I have a Vaio laptop, with 64-bit Windows 7, and couldn’t remember my password. Fortunately my wife had an unused Windows7 OEM disc lying around. I used it together with ‘sticky fingers’ technique to successfully change my password. Getting to the command window after booting up with the RE disc was a little tricky. Select the option for retrieving a previous image. It probably won’t find one (mine didn’t), but regardless hit cancel and a list of options should appear, including one to open a command window. I blindly followed the directions in the link to the sticky technique (#4), and it worked like a charm. It’s essential to know the relevant drive (as suggested in the directions mine was d:), and to enter the commands accurately – including all spaces, forward-, and back-slashes, etc. Once you have entered these commands, be brave and boot-down. Upon normal re-boot make sure the RE disc is out of the drive. Hitting the shift button 5 times required some faith, but sure enough the command window appeared as promised, and the rest was easy. BIG THANKS to all who contribute to this website for their expert advice and generosity.

  182. Just Some Guy says:

    GREAT article, still going strong after all these years. Thanks for the help. I used TRK per your suggestion– first try worked! And I was glad to see that you had all the other, um, 11 bases covered.

    Many thanks!

  183. ems says:

    where can you get a windows 7 setup dvd from?

  184. cbs says:

    none of these so-called solutions that involve creating a boot CD for Vista works, so NONE of the 12 are useful for my situation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  185. Adam says:

    Sometimes the easiest way is to just to buy a tool like NetWrix Bulk Password Reset (what we use and I can recommend). It will save your support desk loads of time. Download it from http://www.netwrix.com

  186. Bradley says:

    Hi. Thanks very much. 4. Use the Sticky Keys trick to reset the Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP password worked like a charm…

  187. Tanya says:

    I have forgotten my password to allow me to gain access to my account in windows, the password when you first log in. Can you please help?

  188. Kristie says:

    I forgot the password to my administrator account on Windows Vista. I have to privleges and the parental control blocks about everything so I can’t download anything, watch anything, etc. What do I do?

  189. Deep says:

    I forgot the bitlocker password on window7 ultimate and i have no reset disk.I want to save my data so please tell me how i break password.

  190. Christian says:

    Thank you sooooo much you saved my life .. im only 14

    Option number 3 worked for me then i just deleted my current password off of controll panel .. thats the only thing this site didnt tell me how to do… but thank you soo much :)

  191. Liam says:

    Just download Hiren boot cd! And restart press f12 chose xp mode even if it` vista/7 and you are in the computer! And can do anything you like!

  192. char says:

    My laptop was stolen.. then recovered.. I thought it was a great thing but the theif messed it up..when I turn it on I get the dell need the administrative password. I called dell and got the run around then was told it would cost $230 for their help which may or may not help. I tried the F8 and F12 and F2 keys.. I don’t know what to do. Is there a way that I can get pass this screen.. I read through the emails. but I am a computer novice..not an amazing computer geek… so I am asking for help. I have vista .. my laptop is a inspiron 5 dell… it has more sentamental value than anything else. Can someone walk me through what to do?

  193. Modoning says:

    Ophcrack is a free Windows password cracker based on rainbow tables. It is a very efficient implementation of rainbow tables done by the inventors of the method. It comes with a Graphical User Interface and runs on multiple platforms. The Ophcrack Live CD is a pretty useful tool

    http://www.comtips.net/recover-windows-password-with-ophcrack.html

  194. fahad says:

    i can change the password from boot disk the n hoe can i save it

  195. fahad says:

    please tell me the method how to change cleared passsword and save it by boot disk

  196. Jeff LH. says:

    Hello –

    Is there a mode / method / tool that can be used to reset forgotten passwords on an HPSlate running Windows 7 Professional?

    It appears there is only a single user account: HPSLATE-PC\USER

    Thanx .. Jeff LH

  197. lokesh says:

    Thankyou for your wonderful explanation all the points to reset admin password.

  198. Brazil Rodrigues says:

    Dear Sir,

    Can you please guide me the steps how to use Hiren Boot CD-10.0 to unlock the password of the computer.
    Will be gratefull if your can kindly help me

    Rgds

    Brazil

  199. Luke says:

    Hello, i have forgotten my admin password and i cant download anything because it requires me to input my admin password and i also dont have a windows 7 CD as my laptop was already pre-programmed with it, is there anyway that i can reset my admin password without a CD or downloading? Thank you for any answers

  200. SL says:

    I was able to use Trinity Rescue Kit to remove all the passwords on my Windows 7 computer without the windows 7 CD. That’s great! Thank you so much.

  201. Ritesh Sharma says:

    Hi Team,

    I want to know that i forget my Administrator password for my PC so i try to login into my PC after pressing F8 and entering in Safe Mode with Command Prompt but still my PC is asking for a Password to login into Safe Mode. So i am unable to login into safe mode and unable to change my password for Adminstrator Account as this is the only account created in my PC as there is no other account being created from my end.

    Regards,
    Ritesh Sharma

  202. Timoer says:

    Hello , I have forgotten my admin password, im using windows 7 ultimate x64. i need some help with possibility 6, i cant figure out how to make an iso bootable , i downloaded the zip on the site, put the files (boot.cat, boot.msg,initrd.cgz, isolinux.bin ,….. in power iso , but i have to insert a bootable image ( bif,… ) where can i find this file? im a doing this right?

    i would appreciate some help,

    Thank you

  203. Tom says:

    Is there a way to just see the password without reseting it. Or seeing it and then reseting it?

  204. taya says:

    i am corrently using another guess account but i am locked out my main user account how do i get back in without a cd or dvd or usb i have none of dat so how do i get in?

  205. Brian says:

    Tried several different programs to retrieve Vista’s Admin Password…. Trinity’s Resource Kit did the trick and now I’m back in. Thanks !!!
    I’m sharing my “brownie points” with you! lol

  206. Jacqueline says:

    I am locked out of my PC. Windows 7 MSI all in one. I want to get access without losing my IRA income tax files.They are saved on my C: drive.

    If I use the F11 tech will my files be saved?
    Last night I installed three files to a CD-R disk. My plan for today is to insert CD into MSI PC to test and then it will instruct me to purchase a key that will allow me to reset password. I do not know the cost of the key, it will not give that information until I reach a certain point. Please advise. Thank you

  207. Debdeep says:

    I am from Kolkata,India. Your suggesion about Sticky keys are really great.

    By this way I can reset password for both XP and WIN 7.

    In both cases Windows 7 DVD is required.

    Thanks a lot again.

  208. Jovani says:

    None of the following options seem to help… In order to install a needed program (such as one to burn ISO files on WindowsVista), I am asked for the admin. password (which apparently someone else has changed, because as of now, I have to use another account.) Is there any other way in order to either reset the password, remove it, or change it back? (besides reinstalling Windows) Or is there perhaps something I’m doing wrong or simply not aware of?

    thank you for any responses, in advance.

  209. cosbin says:

    Classic Tool kon-boot, you can access domain Administrator too.

  210. praveen says:

    Thank you so much for information….

  211. saygili says:

    even though each solution looks amazing, I went with number 4 and it worked like a charm. I’ll give all the credits and thanks to you.
    Highly appreciated.

  212. shevonne says:

    i forgot my admin password on my laptop what programs should i use to fix this prop without seeing a tech

  213. Deborah says:

    I am running WIndow 7 with a bimetric device as well. Have forgotten password, but can still get into admin account with finger swipe. However, my luck is such that either the bimetroc device will break, or I will cut my finger off.

    Even though I am inside the admin account, I still can’t find a way to change the password without knowing the old one.

    Not that tech savvy — pls help.

  214. Deborah says:

    Sorry for typos — it is a biometric device — a finger print reader!

  215. Gerri Hansen says:

    I am certain you must all be well aware, but I see written everywhere here to DOWNLOAD something that will help us reset or recover our ADMIN password. ADMIN is the only user that PERMITS DOWNLOADING. If one can NOT get into it’s ADMIN (due, of course to the fact that one has forgotten their ADMIN password), simpley said, YOU CANNOT DOWNLOAD anything. Just saying.

  216. Ahsan Nawab says:

    The problem I have is that the admin won’t tell me the pass because the computer is his and i can’t crack it or do anything. I cannot install anything which makes my computer useless and I despreatly need to figure out the password or I will end up buying a new computer which will be a waste of money :(

  217. Ashokkumar says:

    Nice work. i got success by using your tips for recovering windows 7 admin password. i got my memorable files… Thank you guy.

  218. Anna Aho says:

    Hi my name is anna aho.
    Recently I changed the password on my fiance’s computer and I thought I remembered what it was, but it turned out that I didn’t. The disk drive is busted out, as in we can’t play dvds. This computer has all of our pictures, music and important things on it. I’m not sure what to do, we’ve tried everything including variations of what I thought the password was. He called the company who produced the computer but the number wasn’t in service. I have a new laptop, but this is about our files and I really don’t want to throw the computer out.
    I would appreciate your help.

  219. manohar says:

    hi my subject is about forgetting the password in windowsxp.I forget the administrator password and now i want to setup a new password to my admin account. but my system can’t support to setup new password. please give me solution to my problem.
    NOTE: Now my system did’nt have any password.

  220. Donna says:

    I have an Acer with Windows 7. I recently changed my Admin password & don’t have any other user accounts. I don’t have any kind of disk or USB. I can not download anything as I can’t get past the login screen. I tried F8 & selected Safe Mode with command prompt, but it takes me back to the login screen… Please Help

  221. Donna says:

    PS… I can’t do a system restore, I need another option.
    Thanks

  222. Clayman says:

    Worked like a charm. Many thanks for you efforts Mr. Pietroforte. Nicely done. : )

  223. Vinod says:

    Used the Trinity Rescue Kit (v3.4) option to clear the Admin password on my Windows 7 Desktop and viola, was able to log back in as Admin & reset my password… Thank You for a great posting!!

  224. amit says:

    safe mode

  225. Heather says:

    Just wanted to drop a line to say this was incredibly helpful. My daughter managed to forget her password and she was the only account on her laptop – it wasn’t easy, but using the System Restore method (with the downloaded ISO, since we couldn’t locate the durned disc, either) did the ticket. Needless to say, there’s an admin account on that laptop now… thank you for posting this!!

  226. Mahmoud says:

    I tried comment #81
    it worked well. thank you very much Raveman.

    thaanks a lot

  227. Ebrahiem says:

    Dear Michael;
    Thanks so much your great article. I found it very useful. But I want to ask you, why we might want to restore the Sticky Keys app (sethc.exe ) in the step 10?
    Thanks

  228. Ebrahiem, so you can use the Sticky Keys app again after your reset your Windows password.

  229. Mathias says:

    I forgot the password to my administrator account on Windows 7. I have to privleges and the parental control blocks about everything so I can’t download anything, watch anything, etc. What do I do?

  230. Rahat Khan says:

    Thank You for the time you kindly took to put together this information. I was stuck and a combination of the solutions mentioned above helped me solve my problem. Thanks

  231. Noel says:

    Hi Michael
    I have a windows 2000 and don’t have the admin password so I don’t have access to windows, I changed primary boot to CD and tried to boot the windows CD it jumps to windows would you please give me some suggestions so I can re-install the windows.
    Thanks

  232. Kris says:

    My kids locked out our vista based laptop, and after wasting more than a day on the ophcrack route, I used this ntpasswd and it worked like a charm.
    Once you boot from USB,You may want to pay attention when the screen comes in to read what it says, and pick the right option. when in doubt, go with the default setting.

  233. I highly recommend offline NT as well. Was surprised to hear earlier commenter that couldn’t find the hard drive. I used it years ago to recover a friend’s windows NT desktop. Just this year I needed to reset a windows 2008 on IBM xSeries (enterprise server). I went looking for Offline NT on the slim hopes it would work (SLES didn’t even install cleanly, couldn’t find the hard drives). Was very happily surprised somehow offline NT had the right drivers for the IBM x series servers. Recommended

    (my post here)
    http://geekswing.com/geek/win/my-windows-2008-r2-password-recovery-on-ibm-x3550m3-experience/

  234. J Warmack says:

    Hello, I am not having a problem with log-on passwords for any of the users on our home computer. Apparently, I set up an administrative password that is required when downloading updates. I have a hint and have typed in what I think it should be, but NOTHING works. Our computer is old, we are running Windows Vista. I have not been able to remember this administrative password for years, and I am just now trying to figure out if there is a way to recover it without completely reinstalling. I am also having problems now with computer and inability to do some updates. I cannot update flashplayer without putting in the admin password. Again, we all know our log-on passwords, our computer is not locked, I am just not able to do updates that require me to log-in the admin password first! Is there a way to recover this admin password, which is apparently different from my log-on password and my account is the one that is set up as administrator. I can still look at other user accounts and I can set time restrictions on their accounts, but I have to have admin. password to do other tasks… Can you offer any advise? Thanks!

  235. alexander wolf says:

    hello J Warmack and all readers. I had the same problem with a friends computer who forgot the admin password so could not download or update. there is a much easier solution than what has been said so far. it all depends on which computer you have so you may need to play about with some keys. on the packardbell computers you need to restart your computer and while windows is loading press and hold down alt and f12. this will take you to a menu where you pick pick the option of putting the computer back to factory settings ( no admin password) but you will loss all your saved files (so back them up to disk if you want them) or the option for factory settings but not deleting files (might still have admin password). to get to this menu on other makes of computer will be with other keys but the same way. one make is holding down f8 while windows loads up. hope this helps. p.s. I am sure somewhere like PC world can tell you which keys if you tell them what computer you have.

  236. Abril Z says:

    Hello, Michael, I would really appreciate it if you helped me here.

    We have a Windows Vista (Home Basic) and recently, I accidentally switched the admin and user accounts around (thinking it would help me download a product, which didn’t work), and now I can’t switch back. I really need to recover or reset the admin password, but I can’t download anything to help me reset it (because it asks for the ADMIN password). And re-installing Windows is out of the question. Is there any way I could get that password so I can switch the accounts back?

    Thank you in advance, and please reply as soon as possible, I could really use your assistance.

  237. Abril, with option 4 you only need the Vista boot CD.

  238. Sam says:

    I spent hours trying all kind of things. Nothing worked and I did not have a password recovery disk. Then I decided to run a system restore since my previous password was very simple. I restored my system to the time when I was still using the old password. It worked!

  239. Tomas says:

    Thanks a LOT – the Trinity kit worked great

  240. Alicia says:

    Hello Micheal, I’ve just come across this article, but I don’t know which step to use. I have an HP Touchsmart Notebook and an Aspire One d257-13473. I used them while I was in college and stored them away when I finished.. I came across them while digging through junk.. I charged them, so I could look at what pictures, and etc that were stored on them.. But I totally forgot the log-in passwords to both of them.. I never made a back up cd/USB nor back up anything.. I need ur help.. I don’t want to reset the whole computer either.. PLEASE HELP!! :)

  241. Alica, if you are not able to solve the problems with one the solutions discussed here, you have to give your computer to a computer-savvy friend or a computer repair shop,.

  242. Jim says:

    Great articles and good reads. I’ve put together a tutorial myself using only the Windows Installtion disc and does not require third party tools. Check it out http://thejimmahknows.com/resetting-windows-and-linux-root-password-with-pictures/

  243. LEWIS says:

    i need plain english directions to reset my administrator account on a LENOVO 3000 C100

Please share your thoughts in a comment!

Login

Lost your password?