How to reset a forgotten Administrator Password on Windows

Shaant Minhas

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Losing your Windows administrator password can be really cumbersome. While we’ve all forgotten a password or two before, be it a password of your email or that of a bank card, losing the password of your Windows administrator account itself, however, can put many roadblocks in your daily work.

Luckily, all is not lost, as we have ways to work around this problem. In what follows, we’ll look at how Microsoft lets you reset your administrator password on Windows. Here’s how you can get started.

1. Reset your Windows password from your Microsoft account

Let’s go over the simplest method first. To reset your Windows password from your Microsoft account, you’ll first have to head to the Microsoft password reset page.

Once you’re there, type in the credentials of your Microsoft account and click on Next. On the next page, you’ll be asked for an email verification code. Select the radio box with your email address and click on Get code.

microsoft code verification


Microsoft will then send a code to your email address. From there head to your email, note down the code you’ve received just now, and enter it into the verification for your Microsoft account. Finally, click on Next.

You’ll then get asked for the 25-character-long recovery code. If you have one, enter it and then click on Use recovery code. Otherwise, click on No.

recovery code

From there, you’ll get a new dialog box, reminding you that you won’t be able to sign in to your Microsoft account for the next 30 days. Click on Next to go ahead.

That’s it. In this case, Microsoft will get back to you with your new account information around next month. For example, as I reset the password on 22 Oct 2021, the waiting for me is till 11/21/2022.

Alternatively, if you find the old password you can always log back into your account.

2.  Use Command prompt

The Command prompt is the go-to place for running various commands right from the keyboard. You can also use it to reset your old and forgotten passwords on Windows.

If you’re already logged into your Windows account, then follow the steps below:

  • Head to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘cmd,’ and select the best match.
  • In the Cmd, type in the following command and hit Enter:
net user <username> <password>

Here, replace the <username> with the name of the user that created this account and <password> with the new password you’d like.

But what if you can’t log in to your PC at all? In cases like that, you’ll have to rely on a Windows 10 ISO file and boot up your PC from that first.

If you don’t have a bootable USB stick yet, you can check out our guide on creating and installing one.

Now, after you’ve created a live USB stick, it’s finally time to boot your PC from it. When you boot your PC this way, you’ll see the Windows setup on your screen. From there, press the Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut to open the Windows Command prompt.

On the Command prompt, type in the following commands and hit Enter:

move c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe c:\

copy c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

This will replace your sign-in screen in Windows 10 with the Command prompt. Before we move on to the second step of the process, though, you’ll have to restart your Windows again after removing the USB stick.

Step 2

After your PC boots up again, you must first click on the Ease of Access from the lower-right corner. As soon as you do this, the Command prompt will be launched.

Now, in the cmd, type in the following commands and hit Enter:

net user <username> <password>

From here, you’ll be allowed to set up a new password for your local Windows account.

That’s it—do this, and your local Windows administrator password will be changed in this way. Finally, before you move on, make sure you restore the Utility Manager—the Windows sign-in screen you saw in the beginning—back into its place as the first screen after your Windows boots up, instead of the Command prompt.

Again, reboot your PC, bring up the Command prompt, type in the following commands in it, and hit Enter:

copy c:\utilman.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.

Type Yes for the following command and hit Enter.

Resetting a forgotten administrator password on Windows

Hopefully, one of the above steps helped you reset your forgotten administrator password on Windows. Losing any password to your online accounts can be debilitating, even more so when it happens on your home/default Windows machine. If none of these tricks worked, however, then perhaps it might be time to factory reset your Windows and start everything up from the ground.