For a general Windows user, resetting a lost or forgotten administrative password can be a bit troublesome if you don’t have proper tools and technique to reset it, depending on the underlying OS that you’re using. However, there are several third-party free password recovery tools available in the market that can help you reset your password, but that’s not our topic here. In this guide, we show you how to reset & recover a lost or forgotten Windows password using a simple Sticky Keys trick.
Sticky Keys enables users to enter key combinations by pressing keys in sequence rather than simultaneously. This is desirable, especially for users who are unable to press the keys in combination due to some physical challenges. Although the method of enabling Sticky keys helps in simplifying various tasks, its system files can be replaced.
You can replace an Ease of Access system file like sethc.exe, with a Command Prompt and then use cmd.exe to make system changes.
Before proceeding with this method, please make a note of the following:
1. When you reset a Windows password, all the files that have been compressed/encrypted using tools such as Encrypting File Systems (EFS) will be lost.
2. Stored Internet Explorer passwords and settings will be lost as well.
So if you have a backup it will be good for you.
TIP: Our Ease Of Access Replacer lets you replace Ease of Access button in Windows with useful tools, including CMD.
Reset Administrator password in Windows
For resetting the password, you will need a Windows PE bootable drive which can be used to access the command prompt where you will have to set the new password.
Follow the below steps once you have the Windows PE DVD booted and ready.
1. Boot from the Windows PE DVD and open Command Prompt from the Advanced troubleshooting menu.
2. Enter the drive letter where your Operating System is installed, which is usually the C: Drive. Initially, you should be on X: drive which is default residence for Windows PE.
3. Type in the below command after replacing C with the drive where Windows is installed on your PC.
copy C:\Windows\system32\sethc.exe C:\
4. After taking the backup of the original file, run the below command to replace it in the original location.
copy /y C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe C:\windows\system32\sethc.exe
The above command should replace the sethc.exe file with the cmd.exe file.
5. Now, restart your PC and navigate to the screen where it requires a password. Press the SHIFT key 5 times.
6. A command prompt window should open where you can enter the below command and reset your account password. You can get the list of current users on your PC by using command net user.
net user your_account new_password
Well, that’s it! You should be able to reset the password now.
Once you are in, you should replace the cmd.exe file with the original sethc.exe system file.