Forgetting your password can be so frustrating. But it happens. Sometimes even more than we’d like. Fortunately, all hope’s not lost. There are a few methods you can do to reset your password and gain back access.
There are several ways to go about resetting your password in order to regain access to your account. But the methods will depend on whether the account you’re trying to gain back access is a local account or a Microsoft account. But whichever it is, as mentioned, there are many ways. So rest assured, you will get your account back.
Using a Microsoft account to sign in
If you cannot sign in using a Microsoft account to log in to your computer, go to Microsoft’s account recovery page and enter relevant data, or what the website is asking from you. Enter the security code from the choices given and enter it in the verification.
If you use a Microsoft account to log in to Windows 10 and find yourself locked out, head to Microsoft’s acount recovery website and enter your email address, phone number or Skype name, then click ‘Next’.
Choose how Microsoft will send you a security code, then enter the missing info and click ‘Get code’.
Once you’ve received the security code, you’ll need to enter it in the “Verify your identity” box. You’ll now need to enter a new password; re-enter it to confirm, then click ‘Next’ to finalise the process.
Using a local PC account to sign in
If you are using a local account and not a Microsoft account, then you can do this instead:
If you’re using Windows 10 version 1803 or later, select the ‘Reset password’ link under your username on the login screen.
You’ll need to answer your security question, then enter a new password. This will then be saved as your new password from now on.
Alternatively, if you’re signed in you can press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, then click ‘Change a password’. Enter the name of the account whose password you want to change, then enter a new password below.
Using a PIN to log in
A PIN is different from a password. If you used it to log in but forgot what it was, then this is how you do it:
If you’re already signed in to your account and want to change your PIN, that’s simple enough. First of all, make sure you’re connected to the internet. Now, click Start, then the Settings cog and go to ‘Accounts > Sign-in’ options.
Click ‘I forgot my PIN’, then enter your account password and click ‘OK’. You can then enter a new PIN, which can be simply numbers or include letters and symbols. When you’ve chosen one, enter it again to confirm, then click ‘OK’.
Another method for the local account is by using the command prompt. But be reminded that it’s not the simplest way. Here is how you do it:
Click Start and, in the Windows 10 search bar, type “cmd”. Right-click the first entry, then click ‘Run as administrator’.
Type the following phrase, replacing “account” with your account name and “password” with the new password you want to use:
net user account password
When you’re done, press ‘Enter’ and close Command Prompt.
This next method will only work if you have another account in your computer that is set up as administrator.
Restart your PC and sign in to the other administrator account, then in the Windows 10 search bar, type “Computer Management” and click the top result.
In the left-hand column, navigate to ‘Local Users & Groups > Users’, right-click the account you’ve been locked out of, then click ‘Set Password’ and enter a new password.
Note that Microsoft locks some files and information if a user’s password is reset this way. This method will also only work if the account signs in locally rather than using an online Microsoft account.
Whole computer reset.
This would only apply, though, if your version of Windows 10 is before 1803.
Things are a bit more drastic if you need to reset your password, as local accounts in early versions of Windows 10 didn’t have security questions allowing you to change a password.
If you’ve forgotten your local account password, you’ll have to completely reset your PC. That means losing all your data, programs and settings.
On the login screen, hold ‘Shift’ as you press and click ‘Power > Restart’. When your PC restarts you’ll see a “Choose an option” screen. Click ‘Troubleshoot > Reset this PC’, then click ‘Remove everything’.
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