The Windows operating system is the most popularly used in personal computers around the world, and a reason for this is not only the ease-of-use but also its security. The latest Windows 10, like other versions, allow users to set a password for their accounts. With this password, in order to access the Windows environment, you must enter the password at the Windows logon screen. Before we get into the guide on how to unlock Windows 10 passwords, let’s see a brief overview of this feature.
This feature is welcome, and this is proven as a majority of users have the passwords set for their accounts. However, the Windows password feature is so secure that it can backfire when the legitimate owner forgets it. When this happens, you are locked out of your machine, and your only bet is to somehow recover your password or reset it and unlock Windows 10 password. This is why you need this guide.
Here, you will learn how to unlock Windows 10 computer without password, using not one but six working methods. To start this post, we will show you how to unlock Windows 10 computer passwords using an administrator account.
Administrator account have elevated privileges over local user accounts. To show you how to unlock Windows 10 laptop password, we will start with this intuitive method where we do it using a different administrator account. This method is highly effective, but for it to work, you need to have created an administrator account that you will use to change the password. Follow the below steps carefully to learn how using an administrator account.
Step 1. Reboot the computer, and when you get to the Windows logon screen, log in with the second admin user account.
Step 2. Next, when Windows loads, right-click on the Start menu button and select “Computer Management.”
Step 3. Now, when Computer Management opens, click “Local Users and Groups” to see a list of all the accounts existing on the computer.
Step 4. Locate the locked account and right-click on it. From the options, select “Set Password.” Finally, enter a new password.
This solution is different from the first one, in that we will make use of a third-party application. The program we will use for unlocking the Windows 10 computer here is Windows Password Recovery. This is a highly reliable piece of software that handles the entire reset operation from start to finish, including the creation of a password reset disk. What makes Windows Password Recovery so special? Find out in the following section.Free Trial Buy Now
Step 1. Make the Windows password reset media
Carry out the step on a computer you have access to (a PC that is not locked). The password reset media can be in form of a USB stick or a CD or DVD. From the first page, to use a USB, click “USB device,” and for a disk, click “CD/DVD.”
Next, insert the USB flash or CD/DVD and hit “Begin burning” to create the new password reset drive.
Step 2. Boot locked computer from the password reset disk
Next, connect the USB or insert the password reset disk you just created into the PC that you want to unlock and boot the machine. Once the vendor logo shows, you will also see a key combination indicated on the screen. This is your BOOT entry key.
Press this key combination until you are in the BOOT menu. Here, set your computer to boot from the Windows password reset disk.
Step 3. Unlock Windows 10 with Windows Password Recovery
On selecting the boot media, the machine starts and takes you to the Windows Password Recovery Advanced interface. This is where the magic happens. First, from the “Select a Windows” space, choose your Windows 10 if you have multiple operating systems installed on your machine.
Next, select the user account whose password you wish to reset and click “Reset Password.” Alternatively, if you’d prefer to create a new user account and log in to Windows 10 using that, click “Add User.” When you are done, hit the “Reboot” button and reboot the machine.
If you make use of a Microsoft account on your machine rather than a standard local user account, then you are in luck. You can reset the password of Microsoft account easily using another computer or even a smartphone, so far as it has internet access and a web browser.
In this method, we will show you how to unlock Windows 10 computer without password using the Microsoft password reset page. Continue reading to learn how to do this.
Step 1. Open a web browser and visit the Microsoft password recovery website. On this page, enter your Skype ID, email, or phone number and hit “Next.”
Step 2. Next, you have to verify that you are the owner of the Microsoft account. You can verify using your email address or phone number. For this guide, we will use a phone number. Complete the missing digits and click “Send code.”
Step 3. Microsoft will SMS you a 4-digit one-time password. Enter it on the field now to proceed.
Step 4. You will finally get to the page where you can reset your Microsoft account password. Here, type in a new, secure password, re-enter this new password, and hit “Next.”
Step 5. Using this password, you can now logon to your Windows system. You have successfully unlocked your Windows 10 without password.
If you do not use a Microsoft account, you can also reset your password from the Windows Safe Mode. Continue to Method 4 to learn how to unlock Windows 10 computer without password.
What is the Windows Safe Mode? From the name, you would guess that it is a troubleshooting state, in which you boot your machine with most processes and software disabled. For our next trick, we will show you how to unlock Windows 10 laptop password using the Safe Mode.
Thankfully, Command Prompt is not disabled in this mode, because it will play a massive part in this solution. If you lost your Windows 10 password, use the steps below to boot into Safe Mode and reset your password.
Step 1. Turn off your machine and switch it back on. When it begins to boot, press the “F8” key to launch the boot menu to select “Safe Mode.”
Step 2. Next, scroll down the options until the Safe Mode option is highlighted, and then hit “Enter” to continue the startup. You will now see Windows load the various programs for Safe Mode.
Step 3. If successful, a Command Prompt window will open. Type the command below and then press “Enter” to run it. This command will change the password of the user account whose name you enter.
"net user" space "locked user account" space "new password."
For the above command, of course, do not type “Locked user account,” “space,” or “new password.” What you should do is replace “Locked user account” with your user account name, “space” there means you should hit the spacebar, and for “new password,” simply enter your new password.
Step 4. After entering the above command, reboot your machine. When you arrive at the login page, enter the newly created password, and you will be able to access your computer with it.
Now, I know that some of you may consider commands too technical. We still have more methods to present to you. For the fifth solution, we will show you how to unlock Windows 10 computer without password using a bootable flash drive.
Although the subheading says “how to unlock Windows 10 with a bootable USB drive,” you can use a CD or DVD also. Read the steps below and follow them carefully to unlock your Windows 10 computer using only this drive.
Step 1. Insert the bootable USB drive or disk and power on your computer. When the screen turns on, press the key combination that is displayed at the bottom of the screen. This will now be taken to the BOOT menu. From here, set your computer to boot from the bootable drive. Exit the BOOT and continue with the booting process.
Step 2. You will land at the Windows Setup screen now. On this screen, do not click “Next.” Instead, press “SHIFT + F10.” This will take you to a Command Prompt window.
Step 3. When in Command Prompt, you now have to enter the system drive and the system32 file. Do that by typing in the command below and pressing “Enter.” Here are the commands:
Note: The first command (“d:”) should be changed to whatever your system drive letter is. It could be the D: drive as is, C: drive, or any other letter.
Step 4. Now, disconnect the bootable USB or eject the bootable CD or DVD. The next step is to replace the screen keyboard with “cmd.exe” using a command, and then reboot the machine with the shutdown -r -t 00 command. The various commands are shown below:
copy cmd.exe cmd.exe.ori
copy osk.exe osk.exe.ori
ren cmd.exe osk.exe
shutdown -r -t 00
Step 5. When your computer restarts and arrives at the Windows logon screen, click “Ease of access” and then select “On-screen Keyboard.”
Step 6. Remember that we replaced the onscreen keyboard with Command Prompt, so when you select to launch the onscreen keyboard, it opens Command Prompt. In Command Prompt, type in the below command and hit “Enter.”
net user "user account"
Remember to replace “user account” with the name of your user account.
Step 7. Command Prompt will now ask you to “type a password for the user.” Enter a new password, hit “Enter,” confirm it by re-entering it, and then press “Enter” again.
Step 8. Now, to leave Command Prompt, type “Exit” and hit “Enter.” You will return to the Windows logon screen. Simply log in normally using the new password and unlock your Windows 10 computer.
Step 9. Finally, do not forget to set the onscreen keyboard back. The command sequel below helps you do that:
ren cmd.exe.ori cmd.exe
ren osk.exe.ori osk.exe
shutdown -r -t 00
The final solution we will explore in this guide is by using Ophcrack. This is a freely downloadable utility for unlocking Windows passwords. It makes the unlocking operation easy by providing you with a LiveCD. It has versions for mac OS X, Linux, and Windows. For this guide, we will look into the Windows version only.
We will walk you through how to unlock Windows 10 computer without password using Ophcrack. A USB flash drive or CD/DVD will be needed to perform this operation. Before proceeding to use this tool on your machine, I advise that you look at the limitations first and see if you can live with those if things go south.
Limitations of Ophcrack:
Step 1. Visit Ophcrack.sourceforge.io
To make use of this tool, you first need to visit its website at https://ophcrack.sourceforge.io/. When in the site, download the LiveCD by clicking “Download ophcrack LiveCD.” Note that you can perform these first steps on another computer (one that is not locked).
Step 2. Select the right ophcrack version for your system
After clicking the button in the last step, you now have to select an appropriate Ophcrack version to download. You are downloading this LiveCD on an unlocked computer, but the Windows edition you choose should be according to that of the locked machine.
Step 3. Download the Ophcrack LiveCD file
When you choose your preferred Ophcrack LiveCD format, it triggers the download of the ISO file immediately. For best results, do not select the “Open the File” option. Instead, go with “Save to Disk” or “Download File.”
This download size is around 650 MB and may take some time depending on your internet speed. Once the downloading is complete, proceed to the next step, still on an unlocked computer.
Step 4. Burn the downloaded Ophcrack LiveCD ISO to disk or USB
Now, it’s time to create the physical Ophcrack LiveCD. To do this, you need a USB drive, CD or DVD with at least 1 GB of free space. To do this on Windows 10, right-click on the ISO file and select “Burn disk image.”
The Windows Disc Image Burner wizard will open. Tick the “Verify disc after burning” checkbox and hit “Burn.”
Perform the steps that follow on the computer that you want to unlock.
Step 5. Boot your Windows 10 computer with the Ophcrack LiveCD
Insert your newly created Ophcrack LiveCD USB or disc into the locked PC and reboot it. When the computer screen lights up, press the key combination that is indicated at the bottom of the screen to get into your BOOT menu.
In this menu, set the machine to boot from the inserted Ophcrack LiveCD and hit “Enter” to continue booting.
Step 6. Access the Ophcrack LiveCD menu
After the booting, you should now see the Ophcrack LiveCD menu. If you wait long enough, it will proceed to the actual application. However, you can highlight the “Ophcrack Graphic mode – automatic” and hit “Enter” to move faster.
If the Ophcrack LiveCD menu fails to show up, then either the machine did not boot properly from the LiveCD, or you did not create the disk correctly. If it all shows up well, then proceed to Step 7 below.
Step 7. Load the Ophcrack LiveCD
You do not need to do anything here, but this step is essential. You will see a stream of texts on your screen now. Beside the white texts are little confirmations that the tasks run correctly. All the green texts must show “[OK],” else you may not be able to make use of Ophcrack.
Step 8. Allow Ophcrack LiveCD to unlock your Windows 10 password
Like in the screenshot you see above, the Ophcrack LiveCD software will now be launched. Immediately you see this screen, Ophcrack will begin to recover all your Windows user account passwords automatically.
The screen contains a table with the “User” and “NT Pwd” columns. The “User” column lists the various user accounts on the computer, while the “NT Pwd” column contains all the recovered passwords.
If the user account whose password you wish to recover is missing from the first column, it means that Ophcrack failed to find the account. In the same vein, if a row on the “NT Pwd” column is empty, then the password for the specific user account was not recovered.
Take note of the recovered password, if Ophcrack finds it, and then remove the Ophcrack LiveCD USB or disc from the computer and reboot the system.
Step 9. Log in to Windows 10 using the recovered user account password
You have successfully recovered your lost user account password using the Ophcrack LiveCD. It’s now time to try out the password. When you restart your computer and arrive at the Windows logon screen, select the user account and log in with the recovered password. You now know how to unlock Windows 10 laptop passwords.
Looking to learn how to unlock Windows 10 computer without password? In this post, you have been presented the best ways to unlock your Windows 10 computer without knowing the password. After recovering your password, it is advisable to change it to something you can remember. This, however, does not apply to the methods where you get to unlock Windows 10 password rather than change it. Of all the techniques taught here, I strongly recommend that you make use of Windows Password Recovery. They have great support, and it is an intuitive app, meaning that you are less likely to go wrong with it.Free Trial Buy Now