For one reason or another, you may be unable to sign in to your Windows 10 device to get access to your files and apps. This sign-in problem could happen after installing a new version, you simply forgot your password and many other reasons. In this post, we will walk you through the steps on how you can reset the Windows login password on Windows 10 using installation media.
If you have configured security questions to reset your Windows 10 local account password, you can follow the instructions outlined in this blog post. Otherwise, you can try the method below.
Note: This workaround only works with local accounts, and not with a Microsoft Account. If this is your case, you’ll need to reset your forgotten Microsoft Account password from the login screen.
Reset Local Account password using Installation Media
To reset your local account password and regain access to your account after forgetting your password, you first need to create a Windows 10 installation media (if you don’t have one handy) and then follow the instructions as outlined below.
Note: To start your device with bootable media, you may need to change the boot order. Depending on your PC manufacturer, this process usually requires pressing one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC or Delete key.
- In the Windows 10 Setup page, press the Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut to open Command Prompt.
C:and hit Enter to move from the
X:\Sourcesfolder to the root folder of your Windows 10 installation.
Note: If C is not the drive letter for the drive on which Windows 10 is installed, you can find the right drive letter by confirming the location using the
dir command. If the result shows the Programs Files as well as Windows folders, then you’re in the correct location. Otherwise, type the correct drive letter.
- Next, type the command below and hit Enter to navigate to the System32 folder:
- Now, type the commands below and hit Enter (on each line) to replace the Utility Manager button with direct access to Command Prompt from the Sign-in screen:
ren utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak ren cmd.exe utilman.exe
- Next, type the command below and hit Enter to restart your computer normally:
- In the Sign-in screen, click the Utility Manager (Ease of access) button (the one in the middle of three buttons) in the bottom-right corner to open Command Prompt.
- Type the command below and hit Enter to enable the built-in Administrator account:
net user Administrator /active:yes
- Next, click the Power button in the bottom-right corner and select Restart.
- In the Sign-in screen, select the Administrator account.
- Next, press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog.
- In the Run dialog box, type
lusrmgr.mscand hit Enter to open Local Users and Groups.
- Expand the Local Users and Groups branch.
- Expand the Users branch.
- Right-click the account you want to reset the password and select the Set password option.
- Specify the new password.
- Click OK.
- Next, to sign out from the Administrator account, press Windows key + X to open Power User Menu, tap U and then I on the keyboard.
- Sign back in using the account with the new password.
- Now, shut down the Windows 10 PC.
Now, you should restore the utilman.exe file. If not, you won’t be able to use the Utility Manager on Windows 10 sign-in screen and on the other hand, others might use the command prompt to change your Windows 10 admin password or make other changes to your computer. To restore the utilman.exe file, do the following:
- Boot the device using the Windows 10 installation media again.
- In the Windows 10 Setup page, press Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut to open Command Prompt.
C:and hit Enter to move to the root folder of your Windows 10 installation:
- Now, type the commands below and hit Enter (on each line) to replace the direct access to Command Prompt with the Utility Manager button on the sign-in screen:
ren utilman.exe cmd.exe ren utilman.exe.bak utilman.exe
- Next, type the command below and hit Enter to disable the inbuilt Administrator account:
net user Administrator /active:no
Finally, type the command below and hit Enter to restart your computer normally:
You now have regained access to your device.
Related post: Reset Windows Password with Recover my Password Home Free.