Basic Windows protection: Password recovery

Help! I forgot my Windows Password

Don’t worry you are not the first person who forgot their Windows password. There are several ways to restore and secure your system.

How can I recover my password?

Basically there are two frequently used method’s to restore your lost password.

  1. Restore your Password with command prompt
  2. Restore your Password with third party software

Method one requires some specific steps in command prompt and method two uses a third party’s software to do al the work for you. Method one has a chance of failing when your system is virus/malware infected.

Password recovery with Command Prompt

When your computer couldn’t boot normally, or when your computer is infected with a virus/malware, you can get rid of them by restarting your computer in Windows Safe Mode. For example Windows 7 allows you to access three different safe modes:

  1. Safe mode
  2. Safe mode with networking
  3. Safe mode with command prompt.

We are going to access safe mode with command prompt. If you bought an Windows 7 disk and insert this upon restarting your computer, this can also bring you to a bootable command prompt.

First: (re)start your computer

Step 1:  Press F8 to access the Advanced Boot options. Make sure you press F8 before the Windows loading screen appears.

Step 2:  Select the Safe mode with command prompt and press enter.

Step 3:  Choose to login with an administrator account when the command prompt appears.This is important because you need an administrator login to legally change your user account. If you want to change the administrator account and you don’t have another backup administrator account, method two could solve your problem.

If you are not sure what your administrator account is, type:  net user  ‘enter’ and all Windows accounts will be presented to you.

Step 4: Type: Net_User_username_new pasword. For example: Net User Genesis Dance. This means that ‘Genesis‘ is your changed account and ‘Dance‘ is your new password.

Step 5: Restart your computer and make sure you write down your new login data.

Password recovery with third party software

When you want to change an administrator account without a backup administrator account, or simply don’t want to make any mistakes, a  password recovery tool might be the best way to solve your password problem. I helped most of my clients with Reset Password Pro. Unfortunately this software is not free. But it’s very safe and more importantly it works with all Windows versions and allows you to change your administrator password.

Step 1: Get –Reset Password Pro– and install it on any unlocked computer

Step 2: Run the program and create your password recovery tool on either a cd/dvd or USB.

Step 3: Place your cd/dvd or USB in the locked computer and (re)start it.

Step 4: Choose your administrator account and change your password.

Step 5: Remove the cd/dvd or USB before restarting your computer

Step 6: Restart your computer and enjoy an account with a new password + a backup tool.

Important note

Should I completely remove my Windows administrator password?

Simply no for two big reasons!

  1. You protect your files from anyone who has (unwanted) access to your computer
  2. You protect all your other non administrator accounts from Malware or Virus changes.

Good advice

Because of reason two, I always advice my clients to create an administrator account and a ‘normal’ account. If you only use your normal account and it gets infected by Malware or a virus, no major changes can be made because changes on the account are protected by the administrator password.