How to create a password reset disk

2020-04-01 - 5 min read

Forgetting your password might seem like a minor inconvenience, but being locked out of your computer can cause real problems. If your machine is password-protected, make sure to back up your login information. A password reset disk is a great way to do that.

We’re going to break down how to create a Windows password reset disk, along with the different steps you’ll need to take depending on your current operating system.

What is a password reset disk?

A password reset disk is a USB drive that can be set up and used to regain access to your Windows system. If you’re the sort of person who regularly forgets passwords, this method can be an essential failsafe.

All you’ll need is a USB drive, access to your computer, and the password you want to back up.

How to make a password reset disk

If you’re using Windows 8 or Windows 10, you’ll need to know the password for your Microsoft Account. If you don’t know it right now, you can recover it online.

Before you start, get a flash drive that you don’t need for anything else. You will not be able to create a Windows password reset disk using external hard drives, CDs, or DVDs. If the USB has previously been used as a reset disk for a different password, don’t worry - you’ll get a chance to overwrite the old login details later.

Once you’ve connected your USB drive to your computer, you’re ready to start.

Windows 10

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut “Windows key” + “S” to open your search bar.

  2. Search for and click on User accounts.

  3. Click on Create a password reset disk, and then click Next.

  4. Open the dropdown menu and select the USB device you’ve connected.

  5. You’ll be presented with a text box; type in your current password.

  6. Click Next and wait for the progress tracker to reach 100%.

  7. Click Next and Finish.

Windows 8

  1. Use the Windows search function to search for “password reset“.

  2. Click on Create a password reset disk.

  3. When the wizard opens, click Next.

  4. Open the dropdown menu and select the USB device you’ve connected.

  5. Type in your current password, then click Next.

  6. When the progress tracker reaches 100%, click Next and Finish.

Windows 7

  1. Search for “reset“ with the Windows search bar.

  2. Click on Create a password reset disk.

  3. Pick the USB drive from the dropdown menu and click Next.

  4. Input your current password.

  5. Click Next and wait for the progress tracker to reach 100%.

  6. Click Next and Finish.

Whatever system you’re running, make sure to put your password reset disk somewhere secure once the process is finished. Anyone with this USB drive can use it to gain access to your computer, so you don’t want to lose it. Consider labeling it as well to make sure you don’t forget its function.

Using your password reset disk

Let's say you've now forgotten your password, and you want to use the reset disk. Here are the steps you need to follow for each of the three operating systems we've covered.

Windows 10

  1. Insert your Password Reset Disk via the USB slot.

  2. On the Welcome screen, click Reset password.

  3. Click Next.

  4. Select the correct USB from the dropdown menu and click Next.

  5. Type in a new password and a password hint into the boxes provided.

  6. Click Finish.

Windows 8

  1. Insert your Password Reset Disk via the USB port.

  2. Turn on your machine and input any random characters into the password bar.

  3. A “password incorrect” message will appear. Click OK.

  4. Click on Reset password and Next.

  5. Type in a new password and a password hint into the boxes provided.

  6. Click Next and Finish.

Windows 7

  1. Insert your Password Reset Disk via the USB slot.

  2. When you see the Welcome screen, input any random characters into the password bar.

  3. After the failed attempt, click Reset password.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Select the correct USB from the dropdown menu and click Next.

  6. Type in a new password and a password hint into the boxes provided.

  7. Click Next, and the process will be complete.

A password reset disk is an easy and efficient way to ensure you never end up locked out of your own computer. Forgetting your password doesn’t have to be a problem. Why take the risk?

Benjamin Scott
Benjamin Scott
Verified author
Ben is our tech geek. He analyses difficult topics and brings them to the reader in a nice and simple language. In his free time, he loves to compete, so he likes to participate in various marathons and triathlons.
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