When you purchase a Windows computer, you have to create a user account in order to use it. Microsoft gives you a facility to create multiple user accounts, including work or school accounts and accounts for your family members and other users. All these options are available in the User Accounts settings. In order to make a user account secure, Microsoft offers different sign-in options which include Windows Hello Facial Recognition, Windows Hello Fingerprint, Recognition, Windows Hello PIN, a Password, a Picture Password, and a Security key. You can also set up more than one sign-in option for a particular user account. After setting up a sign-in option, say a password, Windows will ask you to enter your password every time you turn on your computer. What if you forgot your password? Is there any way to sign in to your computer if you forgot your password? In this article, we will talk about what to do if you forgot your computer password.
What to do if I forgot my computer password?
Due to this issue, users are locked out of their Windows computers and are not able to sign in to their computers. The only solution to fix this problem is to bypass the login screen or reset the password. In this article, we will see how you can bypass this screen so that you could log in to your computer.
According to the users who experienced this issue, this screen appears after entering the password for a particular user account. This screen prevents them from signing into their system. If you see Forgot your password or don’t see your account when you try to sign in to your Windows PC, here are suggestions to help you recover or reset the password.
Forgot your passport or don’t see your account
Try the following methods to log in to your computer after forgetting your password.
- Change your account password
- Reset your Local account password by using the Installation Media
- Create a new user account
- Reset your PC
Let’s see all these methods in detail.
1] Change your account password
Try to change your account password. Because you are locked out of your computer, you have to do this by entering into the Windows Recovery Environment. To start your computer in Windows Recovery Environment, press and hold the Shift key and then restart your system. If this does not work, press and hold the power button until your system shuts down completely. Now, turn on your computer and press and hold the power button before the login screen appears. This will turn off your computer again. Repeat this process at least three times or until you see the “Preparing Automatic Repair” message.
Now, go to “Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.” The Command Prompt will appear on your screen. Now, you can change the password of your local administrator account. To do so, go through the following instructions:
Type the following command and press Enter.
The above command will list all the existing user accounts on your system. Now, the next step is to select a user account and change the password for the same. To do so, type the following command and hit Enter.
net user "username" *
Do note that in the above command, you have to replace the word username under quotations with the user name of which you want to change the password. For example, if you want to change the password for the Test User 3, then the command will be:
net user "Test User 3" *
Now, you will be asked to enter the new password for the selected account. Type the new password. The Command Prompt will not show you the entered password because of security reasons. After typing the new password, hit Enter. Now, Windows will ask you to retype your password. Type the same password again and press Enter. If you see the message, “The command completed successfully,” your password will be changed.
Now, restart your computer. You should be able to log in to your account by entering the new password. If this does not help, try the next method.
2] Reset your Local account password by using the Installation Media
Windows 11/10 also allows users to reset their local account password by using Installation Media. If you have created an Installation Media, you can use it to reset your local account password. If not, first, you have to create it. Because you are locked out of your computer, you have to enter Windows Recovery Environment to create an Installation Media. After creating the Installation Media, you can easily reset your local account password.
3] Create a new user account
If the above method did not help you, you have to create a new user account by enabling the hidden administrator account. To do so, type the following command and hit Enter.
Net user administrator /active:yes
The above command will enable the hidden administrator account. Now, restart your computer and select the Administrator account to log in. This new administrator account does not require any password. Therefore, you will be able to log in to your computer easily. After signing in to the hidden administrator account, you can create a new user account. Open your Windows 11/10 Settings and open the Accounts page to create a new user account. Now, you should be able to log in to your new user account.
Now, add your Microsoft account to the new Local Administrator account. This will restore all your settings and preferences to the new user account. Do note that, you have to use the same Microsoft account which you had added to your old user account.
After creating the new Local Administrator account, you can disable the hidden administrator account. To do this, open Command Prompt as an administrator and type the following command.
Net user administrator /active:no
4] Reset your PC
If the above methods did not fix your problem, reset your PC from the Windows Recovery Environment. Start your computer in recovery mode by following the process explained above. Now, go to “Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.” After that, Windows will show you the following two options:
- Keep my files
- Remove everything
Select the “Keep my files” option if you do not want your data to be deleted. Select the “Remove everything” option if you want to delete all your data while resetting the PC.
How do I reset my Windows password without logging in?
If you forgot your password, you can reset it without logging in. For this, click on the I forgot my password link on the login screen. After that, you will see a Verify your Identity screen. On that screen, you have to provide your registered email ID. Enter your registered email ID and click on the Get code button. You will receive the code on your registered email ID. Now, enter that code and you will be able to reset your password. Do note that this method works only if you have added your Microsoft account to your user profile in Windows 11/10.
If you have a Local Administrator account and you want to reset its password without logging into Windows, you can do so by starting your computer in the Recovery Environment. After that, launch the Command Prompt and change your user profile password. We have already talked about this method above in this article.
How do I log into Windows if I forgot my password?
If you forgot your password, you can log into Windows by any of the following methods:
- Using the Forgot Password link
- Using other sign-in options
- Resetting your password by entering Windows RE
- By enabling the hidden administrator account
- Reset your PC
Let’s see all these methods in detail.
1] Log into your computer by using the Forgot Password link
If you forgot your Windows password, you can still log in to your system by using the Forgot Password link. If you have added your Microsoft account to your Windows 11/10 profile, Windows will help you reset your Microsoft account password directly from the login screen. After clicking on the Forgot Password link, you will be asked to verify your identity by entering your registered email address. If your entered email address is correct, you will receive a code on that email. Using this code, you can reset your Microsoft account password. After resetting your Microsoft account password, you will be able to log into your computer by using the new password.
If you are having trouble with the above method, you can try one thing. Reset your Microsoft account password on another device. You can use your smartphone or your friend’s computer for this purpose. Once you reset your Microsoft account password, you can use that password to sign in to your computer.
If you have not added your Microsoft Account to your Windows 11/10 profile, your account will be a Local Administrator account. When you create an administrator account without using your Microsoft account, Windows asks you to enter some security questions. These security questions and answers will be used to reset your Windows password from the login screen for the Local Administrator account. If you do not remember your Local Administrator account password, you can reset it by following the steps written below:
- Enter a wrong password on the login screen and press Enter.
- You will see a message, “The password is incorrect. Try again.” Click OK.
- Now, you will see a Reset Password link on the login screen. Click on that link.
- On the next screen, Windows will ask you to enter the answers to your security questions.
- If all the answers entered by you are correct, Windows will allow you to reset your password directly from the login screen.
Now, you can log into your system by using the new password.
2] Log into your computer by using other sign-in options
Microsoft also allows users to set up more than one sign-in option for a particular account. To set up more than one sign-in option for your account, go to “Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.” If you have set up more than one sign-in option for your account, you can log into your system by using any one of them.
On the login screen, click on the Sign-in Options link. After that, Windows will show you all the sign-in options that you have set up for your account, such as Windows Hello PIN, Microsoft account password, etc. You can use any of the sign-in options to log into your system.
3] Log into your system by resetting your password by entering Windows RE
If the above methods do not work, you can reset your computer password by using the Command Prompt. For this, you have to enter Windows Recovery Environment and launch the Command Prompt from there. We have already talked about this earlier in the article.
4] Log into your system by enabling the hidden administrator account
All Windows computers have an administrator account which is disabled by default. It is commonly known as the hidden administrator account. By enabling this account, you can manage all the user accounts on your device. If you are still locked out of your Windows computer, you can enable the hidden administrator account from the Command Prompt by entering the Windows Recovery Environment.
By default, the hidden administrator account does not require any password to sign in. You can assign a password to the same but we do not suggest you do so because you can use this account in case you forgot the password of other user accounts. After enabling the hidden administrator account, you can easily log into your computer. Now, you can manage other accounts or create a new one.
5] Reset your PC
If nothing helps you, resetting your PC is the last option. You can reset your PC from the Windows Recovery Environment. If you do not want to lose your data, select the “Keep my Files” option, otherwise, select the “Remove Everything” option.
Hope this helps.