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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Easy Ways to Access a Locked Windows Account

Easy Ways to Access a Locked Windows Account

Coming to the aid of a fellow forum member, TSers recently shared around a dozen ways to handle a lost Windows password. We were so impressed with the list that we've decided to editorialize some of it for easier access.
We've included five of what seem like the most approachable ways for resetting or recovering your Windows password along with abridged instructions on how to execute them and some alternatives toward the end.
Before moving on, if you log into Windows with an online Microsoft account (offered as the default during setup since Windows 8), you can likely just reset it online at Microsoft's siteusing another device with Internet.

#1 Use a command prompt to change your password from the Windows login screen

How it works: Swaps the Utility Manager on your Windows login screen for a command prompt, from which you can change the forgotten password.
What it works on: Your offline Windows account. Doesn't require extra software though an installation disc might be handy for the first step. Windows XP users can skip past step 3.
To put a command prompt on your login screen you'll need to use a separate command prompt from your Windows installation disc, a recovery drive/partition or by accessing the 'Advanced Startup Options' some other way. After testing, nothing has been as reliable or easy as simply booting off a Windows disc/USB drive, which you can set up without having a license:
Download Windows 10 - Setup instructions - Quick navigation: After booting off the installation media and reaching the first prompt for your language, region etc. you can simply hit Shift + F10 to make a command prompt appear.

Step 1: Swapping the Utility Manager for a command prompt

Assuming you've made it to a command prompt, enter the two lines below to create a backup of the Utility Manager and then overwrite it with cmd.exe.
Note that "?" should be your Windows drive letter. To list all your drives launch DiskPart by typing diskpart and then enter list volume.
move ?:\windows\system32\utilman.exe ?:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak
copy ?:\windows\system32\cmd.exe ?:\windows\system32\utilman.exe
Reboot. Now when you click the Utility Manager on your login screen, it should launch cmd.exe.

Step 2: Changing your password

At the command prompt on your login screen, enter the following line to set a new password on your account (USERNAME is your account name and PASSWORD is the password you'd like to apply):
Example: net user George bestpassw0rd -- also, typing net user alone will list the accounts if you can't remember your username either.

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