Friday, 20 December 2013

How To Reset a Windows 8 Password

important: The Windows 8 password reset trick below only works if you're using a local account. If you use an email address to logon to Windows 8 then you're not using a local account, you're using a Microsoft account, and you should follow my How To Reset Your Microsoft Account Password tutorial instead.

Some other ways also exist to recover or reset a forgotten Windows 8 password, like using password recovery software. See my Help! I Forgot My Windows 8 Password! for the full list of ideas.

Follow these easy steps to reset your Windows 8 password:

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Considering that there are several steps involved, it might take up to an hour to reset your Windows 8 password.

Applies To: You can reset your Windows 8 password this way no matter what edition of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 you're using.
Here's How:
  1. Access Advanced Startup Options. In Windows 8, all of the important diagnostic and repair options available to you can be found on the Advanced Startup Options (ASO) menu.

    Important: There are six ways to access the ASO menu, all described in the link above, but some are only available if you can already get into Windows 8, which you can't do since you don't know the password. I recommend following Method 4, which requires that you have a Windows 8 setup disc or flash drive, or Method 5, which requires that you have, or create, a Windows 8 Recovery Drive. Method 6 works too, if your computer supports it.
  2. Touch or click on Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, and finally Command Prompt.
  3. Now that Command Prompt is open, type the following command:
4.  ·  copy c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe c:\
5.       ...and then press Enter. You should see a 1 file(s) copied confirmation.
6.       ·  Next, type this command, again followed by Enter:
7.  copy c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe
8.       Answer with Y or Yes to question about the overwrite of the utilman.exe file. You should now see another file copy confirmation.
9.       ·  Remove any flash drives or discs that you may have booted from in Step 1 and then restart your computer.
10.   ·  Once the Windows 8 logon screen is available, click the Ease of Access icon at the bottom-left corner of the screen. Command Prompt should now open.

What?! Command Prompt? That's right! The changes you made in Step 3 & 4 above replaced the Ease of Access tools with Command Prompt (don't worry, you'll reverse these changes in Step 11). Now that you have access to a command line, you can reset your Windows 8 password.

11. ·  Next you need to execute the net user command as shown below, replacing myusername with your user name, and mynewpassword with the password you'd like to begin using:

12.   ·  Close Command Prompt.
13.   ·  Login with the new password you set in Step 7!
14.   ·  Now that your Windows 8 password has been reset and you're back in, either create a Windows 8 password reset disk or switch your local account to a Microsoft account. No matter which you choose, you'll finally have legitimate, and much easier to use, Windows 8 password reset options.
15.   ·  Finally, you should reverse the hack that makes this password reset trick work in Windows 8. To do that, repeat Steps 1 & 2 above.

Once Command Prompt is open again, execute this command:
16.copy c:\utilman.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

17. Confirm the overwriting by answering Yes and then restart your computer.

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