Reset a Windows 10 password

The method to reset a Windows 10 password depends on the account type. A Microsoft account requires a different procedure than a local account requires.
Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte

Michael Pietroforte

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 IT management and system administration.
Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte

In my last post, I explained how you can recover a Microsoft account password using Microsoft’s online forms. If this failed, the method described below will help you sign in again to your Windows 10 computer and access the files associated with your Microsoft account. If you are used to signing in to your Windows 10 computer with a local account instead of a Microsoft account, you can use the method here to reset your password.

If you forgot the password for your Microsoft account and you were unable to reset the password with Microsoft’s online recovery methods, the best way is to create a new local account so you can sign in again to your Windows 10 computer. This method will also allow you to access all of your Microsoft account’s local files.

This password is incorrect

This password is incorrect

Following are the steps to reset a Windows 10 password:

  1. Boot from the Windows 10 DVD. Make sure that your PC setup is configured to boot from a DVD and that UEFI and Secure Boot are disabled.
    Boot from Windows 10 DVD
    Boot from Windows 10 DVD
  2. Press SHIFT + F10 to open a command prompt.
    Open a command prompt with SHIFT F10
    Open a command prompt with SHIFT + F10
  3. Replace the file utilman.exe with cmd.exe. Before you do this, you should make a copy of utilman.exe so that you can restore it later. Note that you can only restore this file if you boot again from the Windows DVD. Windows 10 is usually installed on drive D: if you boot from a DVD. You can verify this with "dir d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe." If the system can't find utilman.exe, try other drive letters.

    Replace utilman.exe with cmd.exe
    Replace utilman.exe with cmd.exe
  4. After you have replaced utilman.exe successfully, you can remove the DVD and restart your problematic Windows 10 installation:

    Reboot Windows 10
    Reboot Windows 10
  5. On the Windows 10 sign-in page, click the Utility Manager icon.
    Click the Utility Manager icon
    Click Utility Manager icon
    Since we replaced the Utility Manager with the cmd.exe, a command prompt should open now. Don’t worry about the error message.
    Command prompt at sign in page
    Command prompt at sign-in page
  6. You can now add a new user with the command below. We also have to add the user to the administrator group so that we regain full control of our Windows installation. Replace <username> with the account name of your choice. Note that the account name must not exist on this Windows installation. Don’t let the Windows 10 screen saver distract you.

    Add a new user and adding the user to the administrator group
    Add a new user and adding the user to the administrator group
  7. Click the screen to make the sign-in page appear again. Your new account should show up, and you can sign in without a password.
    Sign in with new local account
    Sign in with a new local account
  8. You can now access the files associated with your Microsoft account in the C:\Users folder.
    Users folder
    Users folder
  9. If you worked with a local account instead of a Microsoft account, you can reset your password in Computer Management. Right-click the Start button, select Computer Management, and navigate to Local Users and Groups. Right-click your local account and select Set Password.
    Reset Windows 10 password
    Reset Windows 10 password

A shorter way to reset the password of a local account is to replace the first command in step 6 with the following command. (In this case, you don’t need to create a new user.)

Notice that resetting a password with this command doesn’t work with a Microsoft account. The only way to reset a Microsoft account password is through the online forms.

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144 Comments
  1. avatar
    shamsuddin 2 years ago

    after the complte pass word change ..how to remove utilman,exe utilman,exe,bak n cmd.exe

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  2. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte
    Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

    You have to boot again from your Windows setup DVD and follow steps 1-2. Then you just copy your backup to the original files.

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    • avatar
      Jonny123 5 months ago

      I followed this guide on a different site step by step which didnt remind me to make a back up of the utilman.exe before modifing using cmd. Silly of me not to make a back up, I know.

      can I restore this in some way?

       

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      • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
        Michael Pietroforte 5 months ago

        You can restore utilman.exe from a another Windows 10 installation. Another option would be to revert your computer to a previous restore point (Control Panel -> System and Security -> System -> System Protection. Note that this will also reset password to one you used at this restore point. The third is option is not to restore it. Do you really need this feature? You can just delete file, so nobody can use it to reset the password on your computer.

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  3. avatar
    Smakx 2 years ago

    Thanks a lot for the tip, good stuff 🙂

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  4. avatar
    paul moody 2 years ago

    Windows10 user admin seems to be borked .... created a new user ... cannot log in as the new user and even when I change the password it says it did it but the new user cannot still log in ...I know my install is a evaluation but someone is asleep at the wheel if we cant change user passwords easily.

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  5. avatar
    Ylevin 2 years ago

    Nice! Thank you!!

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  6. avatar
    Sachin 2 years ago

    Thanks for a Great Post!. I have done all the steps. In last I can see users I have created in command prompt, using net users, But Still I cant login with new user, it says invalid username / password. My PC was on domain before upgrade to windows 10. When I login to domain, it says "the security database on the server does not have a computer account for this workstation trust relationship" Please help

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  7. avatar
    Frank 2 years ago

    What if you don't have a Windows 10 DVD to boot from?

    3+
  8. avatar
    cgramz 2 years ago

    I followed the instructions but received this message "The system cannot find the path specified"
    The command I used "X:\sources>move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe ..." . Is it d: is the drive where Win10 installed on the pc? I even changed it to c:\, but got the same error.

    The Windows 10 Professional DVD, 10.0.10240.16405, downloaded from MS official site.

    Please advise.
    Thanks

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  9. avatar
    Salih 2 years ago

    That work. Thanks.. I am using W10 pro full (not preview or etc). Bu it is not ın the domain. And the this knowladgebase is work for me

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  10. avatar
    cgramz 2 years ago

    I found out the mistake when doing the steps. I left an external drive on, it took the name "d"! After disconnect that drive, the steps have worked like a charm. Thank you very much for this wonderful solution.

    2+
  11. avatar
    Elis Mar 2 years ago

    Hi,
    I got locked out from Windows 10 after upgrading because of "Password is wrong. Please make sure you are using your Microsoft account password. You can reset at ....".

    I tried using this method to create a new admin user. When I try to log on, I get the following error (translated from Norwegian): Log in failed for User Profile Service. The user profile can't be loaded.

    Any thoughts on that?

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  12. avatar
    gjanzso 2 years ago

    I repeat one of the unanswered questions, what if there is NO WIN10 DVD? My laptop doesnt even have a CD player. I don`t have an admin account and Win7 was upgraded to Win10. So I dont have a recovery solution as this also requires admin password to setup.

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  13. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte
    Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

    If you have no CD drive, you can create a bootable USB stick. You can download the ISO file from Microsoft.

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  14. avatar
    Imaad Khan 2 years ago

    I made a new account using cmd and followed all the steps but the only account that shows up is the one i cant log in to
    please help

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  15. avatar
    Nel Acht 2 years ago

    Thank you so much!

    I had a wrong Win Live password AND made msconfig to stay offline at reboot.. couldn't log in anymore (Windows 10; offline it asks for password instead of pin code). Changed Win Live password, created a temp user, changed msconfig back, rebooted.. and could log in again with both pin code and (new) password.

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  16. avatar
    j 2 years ago

    works for Windows 8, too

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  17. avatar
    Martha 2 years ago

    This save me another sleepless night reinstalling Windows 10. good job!

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  18. avatar
    Bennie 2 years ago

    Good day. I have downloaded the new Windows 10 free upgrade. My desktop only starts up, but it doesn't allow me to type in the passwords. I even checked my keyboards, but still, nothing. Any help available or suggestion. Hope someone can help me.

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  19. avatar
    Locked Out 2 years ago

    Thank you very much! Perfectly explained. Cheers!

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  20. avatar
    StampyLongNose55 2 years ago

    Will I lose files or something like that??

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  21. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte
    Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

    You will loose files that you have encrypted with EFS and stored passwords in Internet Explorer.

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  22. avatar
    John 2 years ago

    Great Article, I ran into a problem with Step 7, I can't get the new user to show up on the sign in screen. Any ideas?

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  23. avatar
    xpee 2 years ago

    This is awesome, thanks a million time, don't know how to thank u enough, I have been having headache upon what to do until I stumbled upon this write up. You are such a great help. Any way to transfer my data on the lost account to the new ine?

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  24. avatar
    Kathie 2 years ago

    Windows 10/says I have to change password before I can log into my PC. I don't use a password to log in. I changed my password through MS from my phone but it still doesn't work but don't have a window 10 DVD. What can I do?

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  25. avatar
    Tim 2 years ago

    Great guide. Used it to solve a locked account within Fusion on a Mac.
    I replaced drive letter in your guide to the drive letter of my guest OS (D:=C:)
    Worked like a charm. Thanks

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  26. avatar
    Jan 2 years ago

    Hi,
    thanks for great guide. But im stucked with the same problem as "cgramz says:
    August 6, 2015 at 11:42 am I followed the instructions but received this message “The system cannot find the path specified” The command I used “X:\sources>move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe …” . Is it d: is the drive where Win10 installed on the pc? I even changed it to c:\, but got the same error."

    Im running WIN 10 boot sequence from USB....

    Cant really understand this solution: "cgramz says:
    August 7, 2015 at 8:08 am
    I found out the mistake when doing the steps. I left an external drive on, it took the name “d”! After disconnect that drive, the steps have worked like a charm. Thank you very much for this wonderful solution."

    I dont have external drive on, just two HDD - C:\ with windowns and d:\ that i use for documents and so on... SHould I physically disconnect D HDD??

    thanks again for any advice!
    Jan

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  27. avatar
    Jan Cerveny 2 years ago

    hello and thank you for perfect step-by-step guide.

    but ive ran into same problem as cgramz earlier on August 6, 2015 at 11:42 am
    receiving message “The system cannot find the path specified” The command I used “X:\sources>move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe …” . Is it d: is the drive where Win10 installed on the pc? I even changed it to c:\ and d:\ (my other non-system HDD), but got the same error.

    Im using WIN 10 bootable USB... I dont have any external drives on, only C and D HDD. Could it be maybe virtual Clone Drive running or something else??

    Please advice! Thank you!
    Jan
    Thanks

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  28. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte
    Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

    Jan, try the different drive letters (for instance c:, d:, e:, etc.) and check with dir if there is a windows folder. This is probably the drive where your Windows is installed.

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  29. avatar
    Olivia 2 years ago

    Upgraded to Windows 10. Worked fine for one day. Then the next day, I was unable to enter my password. I tried the following 2 days and again it did not allow me to enter my password. If for some reason, I am locked out how do I solve this issue.

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  30. avatar
    Jan Cerveny 2 years ago

    Hello Michael,
    thanks, Ive already tried that...
    Win 10 is installed on C:\ drive but when i dir cmd that drive it shows no files whatsoever...

    :puzzled

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  31. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte
    Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

    Maybe the drive is encrypted with BitLocker?

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  32. avatar
    Jan Cerveny 2 years ago

    I never encrypted it knowingly, but will check when I get home. I was wondering maybe some other setting in BIOS?

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  33. avatar
    Taylor 2 years ago

    YOU JUST SAVED MY LIFE!!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR THIS HELPING GUIDE!!

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  34. avatar
    sweargen 2 years ago

    You got me into my computer when I thought my head was gonna explode. Many thanks

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  35. avatar
    PYL 2 years ago

    Thanks, I managed to create an administrator account using your technique.

    There is however still one problem: the only account on the computer is now the one I have created.. Luckily I can still access files from my previous account through c:\ users, but is it possible to restore my previous account? It seems quite cumbersome to move all the files from the "old user" maps to the "new user" maps.

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  36. avatar
    Jeroen 2 years ago

    This guy deserves a price for out-of-the-box thinking!

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  37. avatar
    Matthew Hall 2 years ago

    Followed all the steps and not working, clicking on the utility manager icon does nothing. Does not bring up utility manager or cmd. Any suggestions?

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  38. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte
    Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

    Matthew, this procedure always works. If clicking the icon does nothing, you most likely made a mistake somewhere. Just try it again, and make sure that you understand every step.

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  39. avatar
    ROE 2 years ago

    If you havent got a boot DVD you can connect your harddrive to any other Windows PC and do the changes from there (unless you have bitlocker or some crap).
    And instead of the net user commands, you can run compmgmt.msc and get the GUI

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  40. avatar
    Shantanand 2 years ago

    This works perfectly,

    Thank you for your post.

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  41. avatar
    Jim M 2 years ago

    If you don't have or can't read DVD you can abort the start up by holding the power button down for three or so times to get the Automatic Repair to start and do the changes in the advanced settings command prompt.

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  42. avatar
    Cat 2 years ago

    Okay, now I understand why none of your techs can answer a question.
    Apparently, NONE of you actually READ the question, you just spout the same answers all of the time, on every forum.
    1) Mom bought her computer at Best Buy after it had been on display. Some twerp there decided to throw everything that was supposed to come with it away.
    2) This means DVD came with it. So, no way to reload anything.
    3) Downloaded Windows 10 to replace the 8.1 system.
    4) Your so-called Windows 10 download is not accepting any passwords. Yes, I have them written down and sitting next to me.
    5) The screen keeps saying Verify Error!! Press Enter to continue.
    6) I feel like shipping this to you in several tiny pieces.
    7) There was nothing wrong with Vista. I still have that on my tower and it has never given me any issues. You should have left well enough alone and not messed with anything until you ad ALL of the bugs worked out.
    Hopefully, I can load Vista on this POS that your precious Windows 10 has turned into a $400.00 doorstop.
    Now, How to we completely bypass the enter passcode screen????????? As you can tell, this laptop will have a date with a sledgehammer.
    And people wonder why I choose ice skates over atari's pong game when they were both offered to me.

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  43. avatar
    Stephanie 2 years ago

    I searched the windows/system32 folder and there is no utilman.exe located in the directory. Could it be called something else?

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  44. avatar
    Kevin Perreaut 1 year ago

    Hello, thank you for the tutorial.
    I followed scrupulously your instructions. I performed to restart the pc and I can open the cmd though the utilman button. I also created a new user but when I try to give the administrator rights for the new account I have a system error 1376 "the local specified group doesn't exist". Do you have any cues for me ? Again thank you in advance

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  45. avatar
    Kevin Perreaut 1 year ago

    I found the problem. The language is in french so I had to replace administrators by administrateurs. When I try to remove the former password there is a warning message which said some informations will be lost during the process. Do you know what kind of informations will be lost ?!
    Thank you !

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  46. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte

    Kevin, you will all information that was encrypted by Windows (Encrypting File System, stored passwords in Internet Explorer and Edge, etc.)

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  47. avatar
    Lost 1 year ago

    Or use NTPWEdit. Easy as pie. Just make sure you turn off secure boot and change hdd to ata.

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  48. avatar
    Tomski 1 year ago

    Saved my bacon. Thank you Thank you!

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  49. avatar
    Ken Burkholder 1 year ago

    This fix did not work just like all Microsoft updates nobody tests them except the public. Apple looks better all the time.

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  50. avatar
    sam 1 year ago

    I have a new one for ya. Only happened this morning and after spending the last 5 hours going back and forth with Microsoft don't have the heart yet to try your system. Will do after I calm down a bit.

    Installed Windoze 10 on my laptop, did not assign a microsoft account at first although it kept asking. Finally decide to do it with an account that I had created on my Desktop PC, but at first it tells me this username is not available (as I have it already no doubt) and I'm 99% sure I did use existing account, not create new account.

    Anyway I end up making a typo somewhere in the email for the account, and of course I get the message that they are sending an code to the incorrect email. I procede to try and correct the problem to no avail. However nothing is changing as I have never activated said account. This morning lo and behold my darling laptop, love of my life is requesting the password for the account that has the "typoed" email, and no one can get past it due to security reasons as I cannot access said email to recover anything.

    Aye, just looking for commiseration I will be back after I have the energy to try some recovery efforts.

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  51. avatar
    Troy 1 year ago

    Boot F8 / Safe mode with command prompt. No need for DVD.

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  52. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte

    Troy, did you try to reset a password this way without having an account on the machine?

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  53. avatar
    Sameer 1 year ago

    Thanks a lot for posting this.

    After I copied cmd.exe as utilman.exe and remove startup USB drive, computer does not boot saying no boot information available. When I change boot option from legacy to ufe1, it again goes back to old screen and I don't see Utility Manager icon. Am I messing up something?

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  54. avatar
    Sameer 1 year ago

    Ignore my earlier comment. It worked......Thanks a ton. You are a savior!!!!!!!!!!!

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  55. avatar
    felix 1 year ago

    I followed all the steps and got into the compute again, but when I open computer management there is no Local Users and Groups option, any help with this would be appreciated?

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  56. avatar
    Ryan Rester 1 year ago

    I managed it with a copy of TAILS I carry on a microSD. I keep it on my keychain in one of those pill bottle things you can clip to a keyring. I also keep a copy of Kali, BlackArch, Hiren's, and a few other bootable OS's along with a tiny mem card reader in there. Good stuff! Never know when you might need 'em.

    As for this bypass method... hilarious!!!! I love the fact that this slipped into the final product. I wonder how long until they patch it.

    I really just don't like Win10 and this gives me even more reason to step away from it on my personal devices.

    Thanks!

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  57. avatar
    Craig 1 year ago

    "Make sure that your PC setup is configured to boot from a DVD and that UEFI and Secure Boot are disabled"

    Why so many suggest this knowing that there is nothing you can do if you had not done this prior to forgetting your password and being at the point your illustration "This password is incorrect" shows prior to step1.

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  58. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte

    Craig, so many are suggesting this because it works. You don't need a Windows password to change your PC setup (BIOS). Only if you also have set a BIOS password, won't you be able to change your PC setup.

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  59. avatar
    Mandy 1 year ago

    You saved my life! I just had a windows 8 dvd so shift f10 didn't work or I did it wrong. I went to advanced options then command prompt. net user username password saved me

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  60. avatar
    David 1 year ago

    I tried that just now the copy\move commands said that they completed, although I had to change the drive letter. Booted to windows and no cmd.exe. The narrator just started with the utility commands. What Next????

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  61. avatar
    Philip 1 year ago

    Hi, I have somehow the same problem. I have Lenovo X1 Carbon. It does not have CD/DVD drive.
    I had windows 7 on my laptop and didn't have local/microsoft account. My laptop is equipped with a fingerprint reader and I used to loggin only by finger printing. Last week I updated my laptop to Windown 10. I didn't set any new password during update process and windows 10 accepted my fingerprint setting. I was working very well, until 2 days a go, and in 2 days a go, the start up page did not show finger printing option and asks for password. I do not have any password and cannot loggin. In the start up page there is not any other option to change the loggin from pasword to finger print.

    Can you please help me.

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  62. avatar
    Olso 1 year ago

    we haven't any boot dvd - machine was upgrated from Seven
    anyway we need to set administrator built in account enable

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  63. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte

    Oslo, you can also use a Windows 7 boot DVD. If you don't have a boot DVD, you have to create one.

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  64. avatar
    Pieter 1 year ago

    Also very handy if you get into a safe mode loop because of a not working Microsoft Account password (no internet) all i had to do with the new local account, is going to msconfig and disable the safemode switch. Should be something to disable in advanced options. MS still does not think as a user.

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  65. avatar
    Jason 1 year ago

    Windows 10 laptop. Followed all instructions, renaming files worked fine. NO new user account shows up when command window is closed. Suggestions?

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  66. avatar
    Jerad 1 year ago

    AWESOME! Works like a charm!! Wow, windows still isnt secure and can be cracked easily...
    If you get the error “The system cannot find the path specified” - change the drive letter from d to c.
    So...
    move c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

    Just FYI that when you are done, copy back utilman.exe:
    copy c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe
    Yes to overwrite

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  67. avatar
    Anonymous 1 year ago

    Briiant nice workaround to replace the two programs. Thanks

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  68. avatar
    Niclas 1 year ago

    i get the error systemerror 1376 when trying to make the new account administrator. the designated local group dosnt exist

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    • avatar
      Niclas 1 year ago

      im on a swedish computer btw if that matters

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  69. avatar
    Amanda 1 year ago

    If you get system error 1376, run this to see what your machine's local groups are, since your Windows installation apparently didn't use "Administrators" as the name of the administrators group (see French poster in an earlier comment):

    net localgroup

     

    BTW, works like a champ on a Surface Pro - when the machine is off, plug in the USB stick with the Win 10 install image, hold down the Volume Down key and press the On button (don't hold the On button down!). When the "Surface" splash screen appears, release the Volume Down button and start from Step 2.

     

    I used Rufus 2.7 to make a bootable USB drive formatted as FAT32 and selected MBR partition scheme for UEFI. The image wouldn't quite fit on a 4GB drive, so you'll need at least an 8GB one. Remember that making the USB drive will blow away anything currently on there!

     

    Those of you complaining about the lack of security in Windows 10: it is even more convenient to break into an unencrypted Mac (no boot image necessary). If you're really worried about security, encrypt your drives, no matter what OS. Of course, if you did that, this whole trick would be pointless 🙂

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  70. avatar
    WSMathias 1 year ago

    i had little problem with D: then i found  out my C drive content was in G: not D: then  it worked

    thank you

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  71. avatar
    Luc 1 year ago

    Your method worked perfect.

    I used a window 8.1 full 64 bit cdrom to repair a newly installed win10 system.

    Thank you

    Luc

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  72. avatar
    joik 1 year ago

    In step 6. if your windows language is not English you must translate the groupname "administrators" to get it work. In german it is "Administratoren" for example.

    net localgroup Administratoren <username> /add

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  73. avatar
    Ajit 1 year ago

    Hey Mike , quick question if it is so easy to crack the windows password.. where is the security? So if  loose my laptop anyone crack the laptop open?

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  74. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author

    There is only one way to protect a computer when an attacker got physical access. You have to encrypt all data on the device. On a Windows machine, you can do this with BitLocker or third-party tools. There is the security.

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  75. avatar
    Pauli 1 year ago

    Hi, I managed to get to step 7 end, almost. My computer says now (translated to ENG) "Service's user profile service login failed. User profile cannot be loaded".

    Any help on this step to get forward?

    Pauli

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  76. avatar
    Austin G 1 year ago

    So if i dont have the cd im screwed and have a 400 dollar paper weight

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  77. avatar
    Eddie C 1 year ago

    Everything works fine up until the point where I'm supposed to click on the screen and see the user accounts. It only shows the one available (main/only local admin account) and has the prompt for the password. There's nothing on the screen for me to click on that will allow me to select the new user. I can see that the accounts are there when using the "net user" command.

    Can you help?

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author

      There should be an option "Other user" on the logon screen. If not, then maybe the other user account is deactivated. You can activate an user account with this command: net user UserName /active:yes

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  78. avatar
    Bob 1 year ago

    Thanks very much! This sorted out my log in problem for me.

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  79. avatar
    Michael 1 year ago

    When booting from the disk and the windows setup screen appears, pressing shift+f10 does nothing.

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  80. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author

    Does the setup screen look like in step 1? If SHIFT+F10 doesn't work, you can follow the wizard and instead of installing Windows you choose the repair option. You should then see a menu point for the command prompt.

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  81. avatar
    Jim Varu 12 months ago

    Tnx!! It worked!

    I used on laptop with win10 upgrated from win8.1

    I didnt have win10 dvd for boot, so i use win8.1 dvd and it worked!!

    but when u make new user (after  step 6) u must restart the pc , to see the new user account.

    click on screen didnt work for me.

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  82. avatar
    Gary Williamson 12 months ago

    Great stuff however I cannot reset the password in Computer Management. I do not have an online account for this user so only on my PC.

    I have "run as administrator" but it will not let me change the password due to permissions;

    "The System is not authorative for the specified account and therefore cannot complete the operation........"

    I can work with the new account I created but it would have been great if that last bit work too.

     

    Thanks!!

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  83. avatar
    Casey Hayes 11 months ago

    So I went thru this process and successfully moved and copied the command prompt into the utilman location. My problem is that after I ejected the Win 10 CD and rebooted, no OS was available.

    I did disable UEFI and Secure boot in BIOS first as well.

    I restored the utilman.bak file and cmd to the proper location from the recovery disk and Windows booted back up fine back to the password I don't remember.

    Any suggestions???

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 11 months ago

      Casey, I don't think that your problem is related to utilman.exe. You have to set your UEFI and Secure boot settings to the original configuration if you want to boot Windows from the hard disk.

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  84. avatar
    Ceo Phil 11 months ago

    Thank u so much OP this stuff really saved my ass....I just tried it once and voila got it down...with love from Phil in Nigeria

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  85. avatar
    DCT 11 months ago

    Tried and tested .. Nice one MP, great solution. If those having problems follow the task exactly it will work

     

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  86. avatar
    DonovanMoser 11 months ago

    Q- is this maybe something that has been recently patched or ? looked, verified the rename and copy successful, but on boot utiliman icon does not pull up command prompt.. re-did and re-tested. not working.?

     

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  87. avatar
    Larry 10 months ago

    I went thru these procedures and it worked very well.  However when I tried to reboot

    from the USB stick to restore the utilman file it would not reboot from the USB and I assume its still set up to reboot from the USB and UEFI is disabled.

    Also F2 won't work to get back into Bios.  Any suggestions?

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 10 months ago

      Larry, I think your assumption is correct. The BIOS configuration prevents your computer from booting from the USB drive. If you managed to access the BIOS with the F2 key before, it should still work. You can try to continuously hit the F2 key after you turn the computer on until the BIOS screen appears.

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  88. avatar
    Larry 10 months ago

    Please disregard

    I figured out what I was doing wrong.

     

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  89. avatar
    Lakshmi 10 months ago

    Dude, I'm not kidding you, thanks to your post and how much it helped me, I now want to learn more about computing. You helped me login to my computer and rekindled my interest in computers.

    Thank you.

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  90. avatar
    Jeff 10 months ago

    or if you are simple minded and don't like using command lines in a DOS window from 35 years ago all you need to do is boot from a Linux Live CD, go into the windows system32 folder and change the files , boot into windows ladadadada add a user in the Command Window from above, 2 lines of code real simple and the only time to use code...lol..., boot back into Linux change them files back and your done.... I don't have a windows 10 DVD on hand, I did the free upgrade but I did have a Ubuntu CD (Linux) and I just ran it live and it works, took me less than 10 minutes to get into windows. Someone said to download the windows 10 iso file ,  well its like almost 4 gigs, a Ubuntu CD is like 600 megs and it fits on a cd... size does matter....

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 10 months ago

      Jeff, I don't think that there really is a difference between Windows and Linux here. Any OS that supports NTFS will do. You don't have to download Windows 10. Any old Windows ISO or CD works. You can even use Windows PE.

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  91. avatar
    T Riki 10 months ago

    Hello:

    Your idea to enable Reset a "Windows 10 password" did not work in my case.  I was upgrading to W10 from W7Pro locked me out at the login screen without any way to get into system or shutdown other than physically turning off the power

    Upgrading from windows 7 to 10 on my stand alone desktop PC, totally changed the color scheme and new interface.  After 3 days of figuring out to navigate, wanted to go back to w7. That required the deleting of the automatically created the user admin account with same old local admin name without the other user and guest accounts.

    While trying to create a new admin account disbled the default login admin account with the old name and new user admin name and password  filled up  , both done in the same window, some thing happened and the system was shut down.  This lead to starting system with no way to login. The error displayed on the login screen is  "Your account has been disabled.Please see your system administrator" without the other users and guest. In place of  'password entry' OK is shown.  Further, there are no other buttons for shut down or ease of access shown.  Repeated attempts typing the OK go into the same loop .  The only way to shut the PC is shutting the power to to the system.

    Did searches on this error  and searched on  "Get into safe mode",   "Unable to enter Administrator password in User Account Control on windows10" and  "net users". Bootable w10 on a pen drive created through MS media creating tool, shows all the files root screen and the old user folder to be OK.  But users dir does not have the new admin user name that was originally and now is on the login screen.  Regediting  registry shows users but without the new login user. NET USER shows the same info. Enabling  default admin user works okay but with msg some errors occurred

    Anyway to  re-enable the new system created user account again without losing all the Program Files and Program Files (x86) in the setup through the reset(reinstall) option?

    Thanks.

    T Riki
    Jul 8, 2016

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 10 months ago

      I guess your local account was converted into a Microsoft account when you upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. You can try to reset your password online. If this doesn't work, you can enable the built-in admin account.

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      • avatar
        T Riki 10 months ago

        Jul 11, 2016

        I do not recall having established a MS account.  Your suggestion lead me to creating a new Account.

        The "net user administrator" command ends up with "one or more errors" but activation of  the default administrator and  guest, or a new user  account completes successfully. The user Dir shows them during the session but new user vanishes on re-boot in safe mode. This seems to be the behavior with  w8 recovery pen drive on a W8 laptop.  In W8 safe mode either boot time or after normal loading of system the regedit do no show the other local users who login. and the login does not show the default admin or guest.  "some thing happened" in 3rd para in my previous post seems to have been a system crash and W10 recovery form the crash.  This was in the desktop of the user account that is not available during the boot.

        How do I get to log in with the default admin or gust accounts when the login screen does  not have any button or access to the system?  I am running out of 1 month period to revert to W7 in about 5 days!

        Any suggestion would be appreciated.  Thanks.
        Riki

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        • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
          Michael Pietroforte 10 months ago

          First of all, there is no difference here between Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. The procedure is always the same. Second, you don't need safe mode. You simply reset the password or create a new account, then you boot up Windows as usual and log on with the new account. If this doesn't work, you most likely made a mistake somewhere along the way.

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  92. avatar
    T Riki 10 months ago

    My problem is disabled user (admin) created by the the upgrade process.  Not forgotten password. I cannot enter into the  system in normal boot. During reating  a new  admin user was when the problem created.  I did not have w10 setup dvd but had pen drive. The safe mode  does show drive x but all my files were on c:\.   Neither x nor c has any program wpeutil in their directories. Reboot by exiting safe mode, removing pendrive and starting normally goes back to the same lockup screen.

    Following was followed :

    1.    A sample W8 screen for login.  Has user pic,  id and pswd entry space, left arrow for other users and at the bottom corners power and ease of access buttons.
    2.    Locked up screen has user pic,name, error message 'ok' in place of pswd entry and no other thing.  Any entry of pswd is impossible except  'enter' showing the same screen.  5 times quick hitting of space key puts out sticky key msg and activation does not seem to do any good. Window key and x or l etc do nothing.  Fn keys seem to be useless.
    3.    Booting from w10 setup pen drive displays  choice to continue with upgrade 'yes or no'.
    4.    Selecting no leads to language and other preferences screen. Chosing 'next' leads to install or repair screen
    5.    Repair screen leads to 'trouble shoot or turn off pc' screen
    6.    Trouble shoot option leads to 'reset or advanced screen'
    7.    Reset screen leads to 'keep my files or remove everything' and 'back arrow' options.
    8.    Back arrow and then advanced selections lead to  'system restore', 'system image recovery', 'start up repair', 'command prompt' and 'go back to previous build'.
    9.    'recovery, image recovery and previous build fail. Repair completes successfully.
    10.    Command prompt leads to x drive and other drives.  The commands are then executable. there is no wpe
    11.    Shift+F10 at 4 also goes to step 10 above.
    12.    There was no way to get into command-administrator.

    Any suggestions to re-enable the disabled account or crate a new one on this locked up upgrade?

    Thanks.

    Riki

     

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 10 months ago

      I don't know what you mean with "pen drive" here, but you definitely have to boot up from an external media with Windows setup. It doesn't have to be Windows 10 setup. Any Windows version will do. Then you have to follow this procedure to enable the built-in admin account.

      Alternatively, you can create a new user in step 6 with this command:

      net user MyNewUser /add

      And then you can add your new user to the admin group with this command

      net localgroup administrators MyNewUser /add

      Then you boot up Windows 10 and you can login with the administrator account or with your new user.

       

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  93. avatar
    ahmad 9 months ago

    Hi ,

    I have sony vaio ultrabook, windows 10. I forgot the password and it doesnt have any cd drive in it and also i can't open the BIOS to make usb as bootable. Can you please help me how to reset my password or remove it or any way to get into my laptop again. I tried so much and its just making me tired.

    I really need help with this problem.

    Regards

    Ahmad

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  94. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
    Michael Pietroforte 9 months ago

    This site describes how to enter the BIOS on Vaio computers. You have to boot from an external media. This is the only way.

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  95. avatar
    Srinadh 9 months ago

    Great Help Michael.. I am glad to sort the issue

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  96. avatar
    Blll 9 months ago

    Pins, passwords, Microsoft Accounts, Windows Accounts, Domains, Admins, DVDs, ISO, etc...

    Who came up with this "system?"  Most users I know keep a file with their myriad passwords, etc. for all their aps on their computer.  Those who do keep off-line thumb drives or DVDs with their security data more often than not can't find them when needed and do not bother to keep them up to date.  By attempting to make occasional updates or changes to windows (W10) access data, it's far too easy to get locked out of the W10 system -- and if we do, how do we get to our password files to get back into our OS to recover so we can do anything?

    Your recovery suggestions above appear to work successfully, but still require inordinate time and frustration for the non-technician who does not live in this world every day to suffer through.

    What am I missing?

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  97. avatar
    Paul 9 months ago

    Great tip. It works. I had all accounts with admin rights disabled and this saved me to do a new installation. With

    diskpart

    >list volume

    > exit

    you can find the drive letter of the hard disk.

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  98. avatar
    Jack 9 months ago

    I do all commands but finaly in start page i cant open cmd.exe.

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  99. avatar
    Denishia Ware 8 months ago

    Is it possible to recover my email if I am using a mobile phone?

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  100. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
    Michael Pietroforte 8 months ago

    You mean your outlook.com or hotmail.com email address? You have to read this.

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  101. avatar
    Marvin 8 months ago

    My asus X540L windows 10 have a problem, my pin is not working even if i put right code. And if i use my microsoft account the computer say, your device is offline.please sign in with the last password. What can i do? Please help me to solve it. Thank you..

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 8 months ago

      Ensure that you are really using the correct password by clicking the eye symbol in the password field. If that doesn't help, someone has changed password. Make sure that the computer has access to the internet (perhaps a Wi-Fi connection you've previously used) and then try it again. If that doesn't work reset the password online and then try to log on again. If that still doesn't work, you have to follow the procedure described in the article above.

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  102. avatar
    Marvin 8 months ago

    I did everything but nothing happend, til i found the solution post by someone in internet. I hold shift then i restart my laptop then options appeared. Then i hit the restore and restart. Thanks,this forum gives me idea to find more options

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  103. avatar
    Marvin 8 months ago

    My next question, is there any posible to downgrade my windows 10 to windows 7 even if i buy this original windows 10?

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  104. avatar
    Corrine 7 months ago

    what if you removed your Microsoft account from the computer before it automatically downloaded the new windows 10 and now it has locked me out and even with these steps I'm unsuccessful and frustrated. I have also tried a software to reset passwords and it did not work. Am I locked out indefinitely now or what? Help I need a hacker! Ridiculous!

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 7 months ago

      If you removed your Microsoft account, you had a local account before the update. This account should still exist and you can log on with it. If you really have no account, you can enable the built-in administrator account. And you don't really need a hacker. The procedure is is relatively simple.

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  105. avatar
    Danny 7 months ago

    After I created a new account, I logged in but it would not let me click on the start button or most of the stuffs on the task bar. Do you have a solution to this?

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 7 months ago

      Could be a problem with the profile. Right-click the on Start, open a command prompt with admin rights, and try to create another account.

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  106. avatar
    Jaxsun 7 months ago

    Found this after hours of searching.  Worked perfectly except it would be helpful to tell others that "D:" drive may be incorrect.  If you have upgraded from Win 7 to Win 10 it is likely "E:".  From the initial prompt:  type in dir d:\  If you don't see a Windows file, try dir e:\ and other drive numbers other than x:\

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  107. avatar
    anil 7 months ago

    nice command

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  108. avatar
    Steve 7 months ago

    Responding here because this was the first piece of success I had and I don't know where else to report a variation that WORKED.

    THIS WORKS ON A WINDOWS 10 connected account even though the link below will say windows 7

    My problem was it seemed my connected account was not connecting. I knew I had the right password but reset it online with a different computer anyway (then forgot the new password 6 times after that urrgggg). This did not free up my computer. I found this and created a new account.

    As you can expect, this did not reset my password but I enjoyed learning about the net command. Everything I tried rendered no results and it seemed all was lost. I logged into my account online and it said my device was off even though I was looking right at it and knew it was on.

    After much more research, I found microsoft's version of fixing a corrupted user profile at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14039/windows-7-fix-corrupted-user-profile

    I did a modification of this procedure on a Windows 10 connected account. Used cmd to create new account AND activate administration account. From there I was able to perform this fix but...

    I copied the ntuser files of the bad account to a temporary folder. Then copied ntuser files of the new account (from administrator) to the bad account. Then logged into the bad account. It finally accepted my password but immediately logged me out. Then I went into admin account again and recopied the old ntuser files back to their original location except I did not copy the updates (the ones with hex-code identifiers). Logged into the bad account again and it worked. It took a few minutes to update which gave me a long blank screen but IT WORKED.

    I hope this help others that have read this far into the comments. Perhaps the webmaster will copy into a new post to make it easier to find for others to find.

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  109. avatar

    This is so awesome.

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  110. avatar
    Adrian 6 months ago

    I am trying this on a parallels machine so I was able to gain access to the disk using the parallels drive mounter (http://kb.parallels.com/en/117557).

    The first problem was that the Command Prompt would not launch when pressing the accessibility button. I restarted I think 3-7 times to get it to come up (files were changed in Windows\System32).

    Eventually it worked and I got in.

    Now I reverted the changes and Windows hangs on startup. Any ideas as to what could be going wrong or what I could check

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  111. avatar
    Hannely 6 months ago

    I guess your local account was converted into a Microsoft account when you upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. You can try to reset your password online. If this doesn’t work, you can enable the built-in admin account.

    thanks, how can I reset my windows server 2008 r2 password?

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 6 months ago

      The procedure described in this post works essentially the same way in all Windows editions.

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  112. avatar
    F.Negm 5 months ago

    This procedure working with me on Windows 8.1 but reboot should be done after step 6 to show up new user

    thanks a lot Michael.......!!!

    1+
    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 5 months ago

      You are welcome, but I don't think that you have to reboot after you create the user.

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      • avatar
        F.Negm 5 months ago

        for me, new user didn't appear until i reboot my system ..

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  113. avatar
    Rob 5 months ago

    When I click on the ease of access button nothing happens. Any ideas?

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 5 months ago

      I guess something went wrong at step 3. Ensure that cmd.exe was really replaced with utilman.exe.

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  114. avatar
    Arsal 1 month ago

    Excellent, thanks a lot Michael....

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  115. avatar
    joy 1 month ago

    Hi there, I am stucked at step 3. Am currently trying to get to the part where I can create a new account to access my locked PC (forgot my local login password for Windows10).

    No matter what I try, it says "The system cannot find the file specified".

    Please help, could a kind soul help me step by step?

    Regards

    JL

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 1 month ago

      Windows is probably installed on a drive with a different drive letter. Read the instruction in step 3 how to find the correct drive letter.

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  116. avatar
    asd 1 month ago

    I used to use this trick all of the time but recently I've been running into PCs where after substituting the file Windows repairs the drive restoring the file to its original state. Is anyone else seeing this? I can see why Microsoft would want to patch this. It basically makes passwords useless.

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 1 month ago

      First of all, this trick does not make passwords useless because it only works if someone has physical access to your computer. You can also avoid such hacks by encrypting your system drive.

      Second, I just tried the procedure on a freshly patched Windows 10 Pro and it still worked. Thus, you either made a mistake when replacing cmd.exe with utilman.exe or a third-party solution restored the files.

      1+
  117. avatar
    thangasamy 1 month ago

    how should I replace utilman.exe.bak to utilman.exe after recovering my account?

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    • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
      Michael Pietroforte 1 month ago

      You have to through step1 and step 2 and then instead of step 3 you enter this command:

      move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

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  118. avatar
    Areeb 4 weeks ago

    Hey Michael thanks for the useful tutorial, it's nice to always know more ways into Windows when you are locked out.   A lot of cases I come by are from peers/owners/managers who've acquired a business or had key IT staff leave and are without access to critical business infrastructure.

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  119. Profile gravatar of John Rispoli
    John Rispoli 3 weeks ago

    I joined the site just to say THANK YOU!! You saved me a lot of headache. It worked like a charm!

    To speed things up, after I entered my workstation, I was able to manually delete utilman.exe (actually cmd.exe) before I used the DVD method and restored the original utilman.exe.

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  120. avatar
    Macus 3 weeks ago

    I guess your local account was converted into a Microsoft account when you upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. You can try to reset your password online. If this doesn’t work, you can enable the built-in admin account.

    I want to thank you for sharing such a great post. I managed to get into my computer without losing any data. One trick is that you should disable UEFI and secure boot in order to boot from external USB drive.

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  121. Profile gravatar of Eric Kesselring
    Eric Kesselring 1 day ago

    This is the great stuff.  Somewhat tedious, but good never the less.  Careful attention and you are GTG.  Nothing like it for a reasonable cost when a boss tosses 5 laptops on my lap.

    Again, Major props!

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