If we have a Windows 10 computer in which we cannot log in, we must reset the forgotten password to access again without losing the installed files and programs.
Some users might think of reinstalling Windows 10 in the face of such a problem, but reaching that extreme should not be necessary, since there are two alternatives to resetting a password that has been forgotten.
The simplest thing would be for us to access Windows 10 with a Microsoft account , associated with an email address, which we would use to confirm our identity.
If we use a local account , without linking over the Internet, it is also possible to restore access, although it is not so easy and success is not guaranteed. Let’s see the two possibilities, step by step:
If you sign in with a Microsoft account
The simplest case is that you have associated a Microsoft account in Windows 10, with a login email and a password , as this makes it easier to reset the data and re-enter by creating a new password. Let’s see how it is possible:
- The most visual way to identify that you enter Windows 10 with a Microsoft ID is to look at the profile photo and the associated name:
- Before thinking about resetting the password, it is worth looking for an icon in the shape of a numeric keypad, in case we have configured a login PIN :
- If we had not configured a PIN (or we forgot about it), there would be no choice but to click on “I forgot the password” to begin the reset process:
- After a few seconds of loading, Windows 10 will show us part of the associated email , and will ask us to write it in full, so that it can send a code to reset the forgotten password:
- Other means will also appear if we have associated them with the account, such as the telephone number or secondary emails . It could even be done from an external web browser if we do not remember anything, although it would be a very unlikely circumstance.
- We go to the inbox of the indicated email , to locate a numerical code:
- Now, from the Windows 10 computer, we will enter the code that will allow us to modify the forgotten password:
- It is time to create a new password , it must be different from the forgotten one and any other that we have used in the past with Microsoft. At the end of resetting the password, a message will confirm it:
- Now you can log in to Windows 10, and you may want to write down the new password in a safe place , to prevent it from being forgotten like the previous one.
With a local Windows 10 account
In principle, it would not be possible to restore a local Windows 10 account , unless we had created a disk to replace the forgotten password, something unusual.
However, it is worth trying an unofficial trick that tries to trick the login:
- First of all, we must create a Windows 10 installation pendrive (or a DVD), something that requires using another PC, unless we already have it at hand.
- With the pendrive or the DVD inserted, we restart the PC and press the corresponding key to load it from that unit . This is usually F12 , but it could also be another of the function F keys, or Esc. In many cases, the PC indicates it for a moment when you turn on:
- We choose to start from the pendrive or the DVD , so that the Windows 10 installer opens:
- Now we press Shift + F10 on the keyboard, and a console will appear to enter commands:
- We have to write these commands , pressing enter after each line:
move d: \ windows \ system32 \ utilman.exe d: \ windows \ system32 \ utilman.exe.bak
copy d: \ windows \ system32 \ cmd.exe d: \ windows \ system32 \ utilman.exe
- After the last command, the PC will restart and we will let Windows 10 start up to the screen where it asks for the forgotten password.
- There we must press the icon of utilities , a discontinuous circle with two arrows. In the previous steps we have “tricked” this shortcut into opening a command prompt:
- A console will open where we can enter these commands:
net user Username / add
net localgroup administrators UserName / add
- Instead of “Username” we will introduce another name that we prefer, for example, “Retrieve”, to remember its purpose.
- We close the console and restart the PC, now we have a new user to enter Windows 10 without the need for the forgotten password.
- Right-click on the Start menu, and open “Computer Management” :
- In the tool that opens, we look for the following path from the left side panel:
Computer Management (local) -> System Tools -> Local Users and Groups.
- It only remains to locate the original user, click on “Change password” by right-clicking with the mouse, and create a new one to replace the forgotten one.
In principle, this second method for a local user should work, but it is still a way to bypass Windows 10 security, so the result cannot be guaranteed.
By following these steps, you should have no problem resetting the forgotten password on your Windows 10 computer , especially if you have linked it with a Microsoft account, as the recovery system is official and reliable.