I this article, I’m going to show you how to recover or reset lost Windows 10, 8 and 7 password without losing data. “I forgot my windows 10 password and currently can’t access my laptop, I don’t have a password reset disk. I have the necessary documents on my laptop and need them now. How can I reset my forgotten password? Please help!”
Losing a Windows password is an awful feeling, but that’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of ways to recover, bypass or reset Windows password. Here we’ll show you how to recover/reset lost Windows 10, 8 and 7 password, by using the best and easiest password recovery tools – Ophcrack and PCUnlocker.
Recover or Reset Lost Windows 10, 8 and 7 Password
Option 1: Recover Windows 10, 8 and 7 Password with Ophcrack
Many Linux live CDs can help you crack a Windows password, but Ophcrack should be best of them. Ophcrack is an open source (GPL licensed) program that recovers Windows password by using LM hashes through rainbow tables. Let’s see how it works:
Step #1. Download the CD image (about 650MB) from Ophcrack’s project page.
Step #2. Burn the CD image to an empty CD using your CD burning software. Turn on your computer and access the BIOS Setup. Change the boot sequence to set your PC to boot from CD.
Step #3. When you’re prompted to choose the graphics mode, select the “Ophcrack Graphic mode – automatic” option.
Step #4. After booting off CD, the computer begins to mount your hard drive and automatically launch Ophcrack to start a brute-force attack.
Step #5. Depending on the complexity of your passwords, it can take a couple of minutes or hours to recover your password. When your password is found, it will be displayed under the “NT Pwd” column.
If you need to gain access to your computer urgently, or Ophcrack couldn’t find your password, you can try PCUnlocker. It can instantly remove/reset your forgotten Windows 10, 8 and 7 password.
Option 2: Reset Windows 10, 8 and 7 Password with PCUnlocker
My all-time favorite password utility is PCUnlocker. Apart from resetting your forgotten Windows password, PCUnlocker can also bypass Windows login screen without overwriting your forgotten password, and help you restore access to a disabled or locked Windows user. It can even handle domain administrator and Microsoft account (the new sign-in option in Windows 10, 8.1 and 8).
Step #1. First, download the zip archive of PCUnlocker using another computer you can log on to an administrator account. Once finished downloading, extract the ISO file (pcunlocker.iso) from it.
Step #2. Next, download and install the freeware ISO2Disc. After installing, use ISO2Disc to burn the ISO file you’ve extracted to a blank CD or a USB flash drive.
Step #3. When the CD or USB drive is ready, take it to boot off the computer you want to reset forgotten Windows password on, once booting to the PCUnlocker screen, it shows all the users on your computer.
Step #4. Select a single user from the list and then click the Reset Password button, this will open the Change Password dialog, enter a new password for your account and click OK.
Step #5. Reboot your computer and remove the CD/USB. When comes back to Windows login screen, click your user account, and you can log in with your new password!
Passwords can add security to your computer, but they can also cause you headaches. When you forgot Windows password, you need a way to get them back. Using the tools discussed here, you should able to recover/reset Windows 10, 8 and 7 passwords with ease.