How To: Reset the Windows administrator or user password

Applies to: Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server editions

If you have forgotten the Administrator password for Windows or you cannot remember any other password that will get you in to Windows then you will need to reset the password to regain access to the computer.

This tutorial illustrates how this can easily be achieved using the Recover My Password software.

Getting started

Before you can start to reset the Windows password you must use a working computer with a CD burner to download the Recover My Password software and burn it to CD to create a boot disc.

If you are a home user running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Windows 2000 then you will only need the Home edition of Recover My Password. If you are a business user or need to reset the administrator password on a Windows server then you will need a different version: check the product review page for more information.

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The software comes in a zip archive. You will need to open the zip file, drag and drop the iso file (CD image file) within it to a suitable location such as the desktop, and then use some CD image burning software to create a boot CD from the image. Most PCs that have a CD or DVD burner have suitable software already, but if you don't have anything suitable we recommend ImgBurn.

You will also need to buy a license for the software, because you will be required to enter the license details before resetting the password.

Resetting the administrator password

To start the reset Windows password process, put the password recovery boot CD you created into the computer's CD drive and start (or restart) the computer. The boot disc start-up screen should appear.

Reset administrator password - boot-up screen

Using the cursor up/down arrow keys you can select the drive containing the Windows installation with the password you want to reset and press Enter to start, or just wait and the system will start after 30 seconds.

The Lazesoft loading screen

The Lazesoft loading screen will appear, and stay on the screen while the operating system loads. This normally takes a minute or so.

The Recover My Password wizard

Eventually the Recover My Password Wizard will appear on the screen.

The Recover My Password wizard

The Wizard is a commonly used type of user interface on Windows computers. You simply answer the questions or select the required options on each page and then click Next to go on to the next page. You can always click Back to check or change selections made on a previous page.

Click Next.

Select the Windows installation for which you want to reset the password

First you should select the Windows installation for which you want to reset the administrator password. Usually there is only a single installation anyway, which is selected by default. Click Next.

Select the user whose password you want to reset

Next you select the user whose password you want to reset. Note that you can reset the password for any of the users on the system, not just the administrator. When you have done that click Next.

The details of the selected user are displayed

The final Wizard screen will display the details of the user you selected. If this is the correct one, click the RESET/UNLOCK button.

Entering the license key

At this point you will be asked to enter the name and serial number of the license you purchased, because this is not stored on the CD.

Enter the license key

Now the password of the user has been set to blank. Click Finish, then when the Wizard closes remove the CD and restart your computer.