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How to Reset the Password on Windows 7

Monica Webster

So, you tried logging into your PC, and no matter how many times you enter the password, it’s not working. Is Caps Lock off? It most likely is, so let’s face it — you forgot what the password was. Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. But resetting the password on Windows 7 is relatively easy, and lucky for you, there are a few different ways to do it.

Reset Windows 7 password using Command Prompt

If the computer has another account with administrator access, you can log in through it and use Command Prompt to reset the password on your original account.

  1. Log in and click the Start button.

  2. Select All programs > Accessories and then right-click on Command Prompt. Select Run as administrator.

  3. In the Command Prompt type “net user” and hit the Enter key. You will see all the accounts on this computer.

  4. Type “net user username password”, where username is the account you want to reset, and password is the new password you want to use. For example, if your account name is “MillenniumFalcon” and you want your new password to be “youshallnotpassm8”, type in “net user MillenniumFalcon youshallnotpassm8”.

That’s it. You can now log in with the new password.

Reset Windows 7 password with the reset disk

This method only works if you created a reset disk before forgetting your password.

  1. First, insert the USB flash drive with your reset disk. After you type in the wrong password, you will see a Reset password option — click on it.

  2. The Password Reset Wizard will appear. Click Next.

  3. Go to the drop-down menu, select the password reset disk, and click Next.

  4. Enter your new password and a hint. Click Next, then Finish.

  5. Log in with your new password.

Reset Windows 7 Password with the install CD

If you still have your Windows 7 installation CD, you can use it to open Command Prompt and change the password there.

  1. Insert the CD and restart your PC. Watch for the Press any key to boot from CD or DVD... message and press a key when it comes up.

  2. When it loads and the Install Windows screen shows up, press Shift + F10 keys. This will open the Command Prompt window.

  3. Enter these commands:

    • move c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe.bak

    • c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

      Press Enter after each one.

  4. Type in “wpeutil reboot” to restart your computer. Let it load as usual.

  5. When you see the login screen, press the Shift key five times. A Command Prompt window will show up, and you can create a new password. Follow the instructions from step 4 of the “Reset Windows 7 password using Command Prompt” section.

Reset Windows 7 Password without disk

If you end up in a situation where you can’t use any of the previously described methods, fear not — there’s still a chance for you. You can use PCUnlocker, a program that will run off a USB flash drive. You will need to borrow someone’s PC for it to work, though.

  1. Download PCUnlocker and some software that loads ISO files to USB drives (try Rufus or UNetbootin). Insert your USB drive and burn the PCUnlocker ISO file into it.

  2. When it’s done, insert the USB drive into your locked computer and restart. Once again, make sure to catch the Press any key to boot from CD or DVD... message and press a key when it comes up.

  3. After it loads, you will see a PCUnlocker screen that will list all the accounts on your computer. Select the Administrator account and click on the Reset Password button at the bottom of the screen.

  4. Press the Restart button, and after your PC reloads, you will be able to log in without a password.

How to avoid forgetting the password in the future?

A good password hint would help, but if it’s too good, it might be easy for someone else to guess. And even if you don’t use that PC very often, or you don’t store anything valuable on it, you should never write a password down. It’s not safe and too easy to lose or accidentally throw away.

Instead, use a password manager. NordPass will keep all your passwords safe from snooping eyes, and you can look them up on your smartphone wherever you are. Add your PC password to your vault and don’t worry about a thing — it will be there when you need it.

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