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Resetting a Forgotten or Lost Windows 7 Password

written by: Rita A.•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 7/30/2010

Do you need to know how to reset a login password for Windows 7? There are different ways to reset your login depending upon which password you forgot. Sometimes you can’t find the forgotten or lost password and will have to reinstall Windows. This article will show you how to rest your Windows 7

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    Reset Windows 7 Password Using an Administrative Account

    If the password you lost or forgot is not an administrator account password then an administrator can change the password. Note that you will lose access to any email messages on that account.

    Log in as an administrator. Click Start, type lusrmgr.msc in the search field, and press Enter. You may be prompted for your administrator password. Click on Local Users and Groups then click Users. Right-click the account that needs the password reset and click Set Password. Enter the new password and confirm.

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    Reset Windows 7 Password with Operating System CD

    Put the Windows 7 Operating System CD into the CD/DVD drive on your computer and restart by clicking Start and Restart next to the lock. A message will appear on your screen that says, “Press any key to boot from CD.” Press any key on the keyboard when you see this message.

    Setup will check your system and load the needed files. Press Enter to enter Windows setup, press F8 to accept the License Agreement and click Repair.

    The repair process will begin. It will take a little time for all of your files to copy. When it is finished, your computer will reboot automatically. You may see a message “the computer will reboot in 10 to 15 seconds.” Don’t touch any keys just let the computer reboot on its own.

    You will see “Installing Devices” in the bottom left corner of your screen. Press Shift+F10 when you see this and a command console opens. Type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter at the prompt. You will then see the User Accounts that are set up on your computer. Select the correct account and change or remove the password. If you want to log in without using a password, at all type control userpasswords2 and press Enter.

    When you are finished exit out of all open windows and enter your Product ID at the prompt. Log into your computer with your new password.

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    Password Recovery Software

    There are many windows password recovery programs online and some are completely free. The most popular ones are Offline NT Password & Registry Editor or Ophcrack.

    Ophcrack Windows password is fast and it’s easy to use for most people. You download an ISO image from their site, burn it to a CD, and then boot your computer from that CD. When the program starts up it finds the Windows user accounts and then recovers the passwords. It does all of this automatically – you don’t have to do a thing.

    With Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, it does things a little differently but is just as effective. It doesn’t recover the Windows password but erases it so you can log into your account without entering a password. You visit the site, download the ISO image, and burn it to a CD, boot it with that CD and it goes to work. What can be easier than that?

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    Create a Password Reset Disk

    Having a password reset disk is very helpful when you have forgotten your Windows 7 Password. To create a password reset disk put a CD in your drive or a USB, click Start and type user in the search box and click User Accounts. Click on Create Password Reset Disk and click Next. Select where the password will be saved (the CD or USB) and click Next. Type the password and click Next. The Disk will be created. When it is finished click Next and then Finish.

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    If you weren’t able to reset your password with any of the above steps, the only other option you have is to format your computer and re-install Windows 7. If you do this make sure you have everything backed up because everything on your computer will be gone from programs you’ve download, music you have on your computer, pictures, audio, documents, etc.