If you're wondering how to reset Windows 7 password for login, you first have to consider two scenarios: where you know the password and want to change it for security reasons, and where you forgot or lost the password and you can't log in to your computer. The trick is much different for each situation and the later option is more challenging when you are locked out of Windows 7.
Before diving into the details, don't be too scared even forgetting Windows 7 password. There are a few of amazing tools available to help you unlock Windows 7 without inputting the password at login screen. The most important thing in here is to strickly follow the steps shared in each method. In our first part, we are going to share you the easiest method to reset Windows 7 password (Remember password). And the rest of parts are mainly focus on another suituation (forgot password).
If you know the current password and you're logged in, it's very easy to reset Windows 7 password with a simple CMD (Command Prompt) input. You'll need to be signed in as an admin to get this method to work; if you need to, switch the user so you have administrator privileges. Once you're ready, follow the simple steps outlined in below.
Step 1: Open Command Prompt by typing CMD in the 'search programs and files' search box when you click the Start menu. Be sure to right-click the shortcut link and select 'Run as Administrator'.
Step 2: The UAC notification will ask if the program can make changes to the computer. Click Yes to launch Command Prompt.
Step 3: Use this command followed by Enter to change a particular user's password: net user username newpassphrase
Note: Replace the necessary parts of the code before executing it. The username is the user you forgot the password. And the newpassphrase is the new password for login.
The reason why this method is so easy is that you already have administrator privilege with the current password and you're logged in, which tells Windows that you are an authorized user. On the other hand, a forgotten password is a stickier situation to be in. The next section shows you how to reset Windows 7 password when you don't know it and you're locked of the computer.
As far as I know, there are at least 10 available tools or tricks you can use to reset Windows 7 password on a locked computer. Some of them are totally free and some of them cost a bit. From an user perspective, we always prefer the easy solution that takes less time and effort. Hence, a password reset software like LabWin is the best shoice at here.
LabWin is the ideal tool to deal with unknown Windows passwords. The way it works is by letting you create a password reset disk on a different computer that you can subsequently use to unlock any Windows 7 or Windows 10 PC. It also works with normal user accounts, administrator and Server admin accounts accounts. It's super-simple to use and you don't need to know coding or command-line executions. PassMoz LabWin is a self-contained software, which means no other tools are required for the job. Let's take a quick look at how to use it to reset Windows 7 password.
Step 1: After downloading and installing PassMoz LabWin on a second computer (must have admin privileges), launch the program and insert an USB drive or DVD disc.
Step 2: Click the 'Burn' option next to the media storage device you just inserted and it will automatically create the password reset disk for you.
Step 3: Eject the disk properly from the second computer and insert it into locked Windows 7 PC. The idea is to boot off this media so PassMoz LabWin can be loaded into memory and starts resetting the password to blank.
Step 4: To boot from the USB/DVD rather than the local Windows files, start your computer and hit F2 to go to the BIOS setup menu. Here, change the boot order so it points to the inserted media. Save your changes and exit BIOS, which will resume the restart and take you directly to the PassMoz interface.
Step 5: Inside PassMoz on your locked computer, select Windows 7 as your OS, choose the user account to be unlocked and hit the 'Reset Password' button. Next, properly eject and remove the media and restart your PC normally. You'll be able to log in without a password.
Once you have bypassed Windows 7 password, we recommend that you apply a new password and save it in a secure location. But don't worry if you forget it again later because the password reset disk can be used any number of times on that PC. Be sure to keep the disk and the password away from curious eyes. If it fell into the wrong hands, your personal data is at risk as the attacker could easily reset Windows 7 password with that device.
Since the start of Windows XP, each Windows has two built-in account for login. One is the guest account and the other is Administrator account. However, most of us are not aware of the fact that all Windows 7 systems originally came with a default administrator account that was inactive. And the password is blank for that administrator account. It is an security bug in Windows 7, which means you can use that to reset Windows 7 password of other local accounts on the same PC. Let's look at how to do this.
Step 1: Since the built-in admin account is disabled, you need to first enable it through CMD. But you're locked out, which means you need to keep hitting F8 when you startup the PC. This will take you to the 'Advanced Boot Options' screen, where you can choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'.
Step 2: Follow the steps leading to CMD launch and run this command (hit Enter to run it after typing the command on the command line):
net user administrator /active:yes
Step 3: Now that the administrator user is active, log out and restart your computer. This time, you won't need a password because you're using the default administrator account.
Step 4: When it restarts and sign-in with Administrator account. Once you get into the desktop, launch elevated CMD again and run 'net user' command to reset password of locked Windows 7 account. The details are shared in Method 1.
Step 5: Restart Windows 7 PC and switch to the locked user account. Then use the new password for login.
This is a hidden trick to reset Windows 7 password and a bit complicated than using Windows password reset tools like PassMoz LabWin. Don't forget to disable the administrator account after password reset to avoid malicious attackers using this technique to steal information from the computer.
Hiren's BootCD is a famous system administration tool for advanced Windows users. There are more than 100 utilities being incorporated in this bootable package. And it is widely used for system repair and troubleshooting. Generally, there are two types of Hiren BootCD. The old version is based on text command. And the latest version is based on PE (preinstallation environment). The later is buit with a modern GUI and great for average users.
This tool allows you access to the Windows registry where the SAM files with the password hashes are stored. By loading your PC from pre-prepared media, you can access the SAM and set a new password for any local user or administrator account. The module to be used is called NT Password Edit. This is how you use it to reset Windows 7 password.
Step 1: Download the Hiren's BootCD ISO file from this location and burn the downloaded ISO image to a USB drive to make it bootable. You can use a free utility like UUByte ISO Editor for this.
Step 2: Boot Windows 7 computer from the USB by using the F2 key on startup to change the boot priority.
Step 3: When the locked PC boots into the BootCD utility, go to Start ?? Security ?? Passwords ?? NT Password Edit.
Step 4: In the module, enter your SAM file location, which is usually \System32\config\SAM.
Step 5: From the user list, select the locked account and hit 'Change Password'.
Step 6: In the password window that opens, you can leave both fields blank to remove the password. Alternatively, you can set a new password by typing it in the New Password and Verify fields.
Step 7: Eject the media and restart your computer normally. You will be able to log in with the newly changed credentials.
One of the most difficult part of this method is how to make the USB bootable, which is not a simpple copy & paste. You should be very careful with this. If failed, the user interface will not be loaded and it is impossible to reset Windows 7 password with the utility embeded into Hiren's BootCD PE.
The very last resort is to restore Windows 7 to factory settings, which basically wipes out all your settings, apps, and data. That's why it's the last option; if you don't have a backup that you made recently, you can expect to lose everything on C drive. For this Windows 7 password resetting method, you'll once again be using the Advanced Boot Options page that we saw for the Safe Mode method. These are the steps to be reproduced on your computer to reset it to factory settings:
Step 1: Keep pressing F8 on startup in order to get to the Advanced Boot Options window.
Step 2: Choose 'Repair your Computer' as your option and select it by hitting the Enter key.
Step 3: Under 'System Recovery Options', click 'System Restore' and confirm the action. This will access the Restore Partition and wipe your computer along with the login passwords.
Though systrem restore will definitely help you reset Windows 7 password, it is very dangerous because of the data lost after the process. However, a larget portion of beginning users tend to adopt this as thier choice. Why? It is because they never knew there are much more useful solutions out there for Windows 7 password reset.
In summary, if you already know the password and simply want to protect Windows 7 computer with a strong password, you can use the Net User method at the beginning of this article. . If you forgot Windows 7 password for some reason and you don't have the necessary experience, we recommend using PassMoz LabWin. You don't need any additional software or command-line inputs, and first-time users can easily figure out what to do in less time.