By default you can login to your Windows 10 laptop using Microsoft account. You can also setup a local administrator account to login without connecting to your Microsoft account. There are many ways to use the password in Windows 10 like normal password, PIN, image pattern, fingerprint or facial recognition. The problem comes when you forget the password and not able to remember for logging in to your laptop. There can be two possibilities:
- One is you have signed in with Microsoft account. That way, it will easier to reset Windows 10 password.
- Second is you have a local account. This way, again there will be two options, either you can reset by using third-party software like PCUnlocker or use Windows 10 repair option. In both the methods you need to create a USB flash drive/CD drive to reset the password.
1. Reset Password with PCUnlocker Software
This is relatively an easy method but will cost you some money. PCUnlocker is a premium tool that helps to reset the forgotten local administrator password in Windows. The developer Top Password Software Inc. offers three versions of the tool. Check the suitable version for your need and purchase the correct PCUnlocker version. The all in one enterprise version will cost you a one-time payment of $49.95. It has many features like removing and resetting local admin password or simply bypass the password.
You need to have the following stuffs for resetting password through PCUnlocker:
- Since your computer is locked, you need to have an additional computer. It can be Windows or Mac system, since you can burn a bootable disk from both.
- Premium PCUnlocker software downloaded from your purchase.
- An empty USB drive or a writable CD or DVD with minimum 1GB size.
Process of Resetting Your Password
The process of using PCUnlocker is simple.
- Burn the downloaded PCUnlocker ISO file and create a bootable USB or CD/DVD drive.
- Use this bootable drive to boot your locked computer.
- Reset the password from PCUnlocker options.
Let us explain the process in detail.
After purchasing the tool, download the zip archive file and extract the zip file content to one of your computer folders. The tool will contain an ISO disk image file and a readme text file.
Burning CD / DVD
If you have Windows 10 and prefer to create bootable CD/DVD then insert a writable DVD in the drive.
- Open Windows Explorer and right click on the PCUnlocker ISO file.
- Choose “Burn disc image” option.
- Windows Disc Image Burner will open by automatically selecting the DVD drive for “Disc burner”. If there are multiple DVD drives on your computer then choose the correct disc you want to burn.
- Click on the “Burn” button to start creating a bootable DVD.
- You will see a message when the burning process is completed.
Burning Bootable USB Drive
In our earlier article, we have explained how to burn a bootable USB from ISO file using Rufus software. But Top Password recommends using their own ISO2DISC tool. So download the tool from the official website and install it on your computer.
After installation of ISO2DISC, launch the tool and choose the ISO image as “pcunlocker.iso” file. Select “Burn to USB Flash Drive” option and choose your USB drive. Choose the partition style as “GPT (required for UEFI boot)” option from the dropdown.
Click “Start Burn” button and confirm erasing all data on your USB. The burning will start and you will get a confirmation message after the completion.
Now that you have a bootable USB drive which you can use for resetting local admin password of your locked computer.
Change BIOS Booting Option
Boot your locked computer and press F2 or Delete or F9 or Esc key to enter into “Setup” mode. The key may differ based on your computer’s manufacturer to enter into BIOS. Go to Boot section and change the booting sequence to USB as first device. If you want to boot from CD/DVD then choose that as a first booting device.
Press F10 to save your changes and exit.
Booting with PCUnlocker
Ensure to insert the USB or DVD. It will take few minutes longer for your computer to boot from the USB drive. PCUnlocker will automatically detect Windows 10 registry and list all user accounts available on your computer.
Resetting Your Password
- PCUnlocker also offers an option to reset Active Directory password. So ensure that you have selected the “Reset Local Admin/User Password” option.
- Select your user account.
- Click on the “Reset Password” button.
You will be prompted to enter a new password.
- Enter a new login password or leave it as blank to remove the password completely.
- Press OK to set the password.
- Click “Restart” button to reboot your computer.
Now you can change the booting sequence back to HDD or simply remove the bootable USB or DVD. You can login using the new password and access the content like before.
If you only want to bypass the current password without resetting then click on the “Options” button when PCUnlocker screen pops up. Choose “Bypass Windows Password” option to login to your computer. This method will work only with PCUnlocker bootable USB, so every time you need the bootable USB to start your computer.
2. Use Windows 10 Repair Option
Now, we are assuming that you have your USB flash drive/CD drive ready with you. Check out the article on how to create bootable USB drive in Windows 10 from ISO image. If you burn the ISO image to a CD/DVD then use that instead of USB drive. After the USB is ready, follow the steps given below.
- Plug-in your USB flash drive or insert CD/DVD drive and restart your PC.
- While restarting, press the boot key on your computer to go to BIOS setup. The boot key differs from PC to PC based on the manufacturer. You need to find out the key from your laptop’s manufacturer. In our case, we are using HP laptop so we use F9 to enter into BIOS setup.
- You’ll see boot menu there and it also differs from PC to PC.
- Select ‘removable devices’ if you are using USB flash drive or select CD-ROM drive if you’re using CD/DVD.
- When you have selected the option, it will ask to press any key to boot from USB drive/CD or DVD.
- Press any key from the keyboard.
- Now, your laptop will start booting from the external drive.
- Check the language, time / currency format and keyboard input and click on ‘Next’ button.
- Choose ‘Repair your computer’.
- Now, select the ‘Troubleshoot’ option.
- Click on ‘Advanced’ options.
- Click on ‘Command Prompt’ and it will open up a command prompt or CMD for you.
- Now, find out on which drive on the hard disk your Windows is installed. We have it in our ‘D-drive’. Many of you might have it in ‘C-drive’.
- Type ‘d:’ in CMD and hit enter. Now, type ‘dir’ and hit enter to see directories.
- You’ll see ‘Windows’ directory there. Type ‘cd windows’ and it will change your current directory to Windows folder.
- Change directory again to ‘system32’ folder. Type ‘cd system32’ and enter.
- Now, change the utility manager name to some different name. Type ‘ren utilman.exe utilman_bak.exe’. Hit enter.
- Type ‘copy cmd.exe utilman.exe’ and hit enter. Now, utility manager has been replaced by CMD.
- Type ‘exit’ and hit enter.
- Now, click on ‘turn off your PC’.
- Now, turn on your PC again. When you are on Windows lock screen and click on ‘Ease of Access’ button, it will allow you to open CMD and you can now easily ‘reset’ your password.
- In CMD, type ‘control userpasswords2’. Now, it will open up ‘User accounts’ window.
- Select your account and click on ‘reset password’ button.
- Type ‘new password’ and hit ok.
You are now ready to log-in with a new password into your Windows 10 laptop.