How to log into Windows 10 if you have forgotten or lost your password.

Author
Jascha Luca
Publication date
01.12.2016
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Since Microsoft rolled out its free update to Windows 10 a couple of years ago, it has become the most widely used operating system in the world. Sometimes though when using windows, we might forget our login details, especially when we change from an old long-term password to a new more secure one. If you have fallen victim to a memory lapse it’s ok, we can help you get access again.

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Having a password set on your Windows 10 computer is the most common way to protect your profile from unauthorised access to your data, programs and information. In addition to this, if the password is protecting an administrator account, it will also prevent anyone making significant changes to the operating system.  

Sometimes though we may forget your login details, especially with how many passwords  we have to use in our daily life and how often they require changing. If this is you follow closely and we will show you how to get your account back without using risky, third party programs.

Logging into Windows if you have forgotten your password.

In order to start the process of getting back into Windows, we will need to create a bootable Windows 10 USB or DVD, the same as you would use if you were to reinstall your copy of Windows 10.  If you are not sure how to go about creating a Bootable Windows USB or DVD Downloadsource has a tutorial here:

How to create a bootable USB or DVD of Windows 10.

Once we have the Bootable device ready to go, connect it to the computer you wish to regain access to and restart the machine. The next step is to change the boot order in which your PC boots from. Changing it from the Hard Drive Windows is installed on, to the newly inserted USB or DVD. To do this press either F2, F8 or F12 depending on your model of computer, this will give you access to the BIOS.

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When you have the BIOS screen in front of you, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move among the options, we need to be on the screen that says “Boot” or “Boot Menu” and press enter. Inside this menu you will see the boot device priority, the first drive on your list is the drive Windows is installed on. We are going to change this so that the computer will boot from a USB or DVD instead. Press enter on the drives menu and select the USB/DVD drive from the list pressing enter again to confirm the change. Now you can exit the BIOS and restart your computer.

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Your computer will now boot from the USB/DVD bringing you to the blue Windows 10 installation page. Avoid clicking anything here as we will be using the “cmd” menu instead. 

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Press “Shift+F10” to open command prompt. When the cmd is open enter the following commands, remembering to press enter after each.

C:

Enter key

dir

Enter key

cd windows

Enter key

cd system32

Enter key

utilman.exe ren utilman1.exe

Enter again

cmd.exe ren utilman.exe

Enter one last time

Note: The first command run in the CMD should  corresponding to the letter of the hard disk partition on which you installed Windows 10. In this case, the hard disk has two partitions C: and D: but Windows 10 is installed on drive C: that is why our first command is C: If in your case Windows is installed on another partition, the first command must correspond to that letter.

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You can now exit out of the command menu and also out of the Windows installation page. Your computer should automatically reboot. Don’t forget to remove the USB drive or DVD, otherwise, it will boot you straight back into the same place and not to Windows.

Back at the Windows 10 Login screen  click on the account you want to access without knowing the password next click the clock icon on the bottom right of the screen.

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This will make re-open the “cmd” Now we have to enter the following commands:

net user

This will display a list of all the user accounts available on the computer. Among the information displayed is the name of the user accounts and their associated privileges. So you will have to enter: Net user James Bond *  if the login username is James Bond.

Net user UserName *

Note: in the command you must replace the names exactly remembering to write it correctly, respecting the capital letters and spaces that might be included.

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After pressing the Enter key, you will be prompted to enter a new password for that user. After entering the new password, press enter to confirm the previously typed password and press Enter after returning and you can close the “cmd”

Note: When typing passwords, they don’t appear in “cmd” rest assured you are still entering a password.

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Now you can log in with that username using the new password you have assigned. Remember that this method does not delete any files programs or settings that are associated with the account, it just lets you change the password associated with it. You can also use this method on Window 8 and 8.1

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