Reset Windows 10 password without using third party tools

If you forgot the password for your Windows 10 account and are unable to log in using any other account, then this article will definitely be useful for you. We will see how to reset the account password in Windows 10 without using third party tools. All we need is bootable media with Windows 10 Setup. Follow the instructions below.


You need to use the Windows setup disk with the appropriate architecture - 32-bit or 64-bit depending on which Windows you have installed.

  • If you have Windows 10 x86, use Windows 10 x86, Windows 8 x86 or Windows 7 x86 setup disk. You can use the boot media from the previos version of Windows.
  • In case you have Windows 10 x64, use Windows 10 x64, Windows 8 x64 or Windows 7 x64 setup disk.

If you are not able to boot from DVD media, that is, your PC does not have an optical drive, you can create a bootable flash drive.
To create a bootable USB disk, see these articles:

  1. Boot from the Windows installation disk/USB stick with Windows setup.
  2. Wait for the "Windows Setup" screen:
    Windows 10 setup screen
  3. Press Shift + F10 keys together on the keyboard. This will open the command prompt window: Windows 10 setup cmd opened
  4. In the command prompt, type regedit and press the Enter key. This will open Registry Editor. Windows 10 setup run regedit
  5. Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key on the left. Windows 10 setup select HKLM After you select it, run the File -> Load Hive... menu command. See more details here: How to access the registry of another user or another OS.
    Windows 10 file load hive
  6. In the load hive dialog, select the following file:
    DRIVE:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM

    Replace the DRIVE part with the letter of the drive where your Windows installation is located. Usually it is drive D:. Windows 10 file load hive disk d Windows 10 file load hive system file

  7. Enter any desired name for the hive you are loading. For example, I gave it a name 111:
  8. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\111\Setup

    Windows 10 file named loaded hive
    Edit the cmdline parameter and set it to cmd.exe
    Windows 10 edit cmdline parameter
    Change the SetupType DWORD parameter value to 2. Windows 10 edit setuptype parameter

  9. Now select 111 on the left and run the File -> Unload hive menu item in Regedit. Windows 10 unload hive Windows 10 unload hive 2 Close Registry Editor and all open windows. Windows 10 close winpe windows Your PC will be rebooted.
  10. Eject your bootable media and boot from your PC's local drive. The screen will look like this: Windows 10 password reset mode
  11. Type the following command in the opened command prompt:
    net user

    It will show you all accounts that exist on your PC. Windows 10 net user

  12. To set a new password for your Windows account, type the following command:
    net user login new_password

    If your login name contains spaces, type it as follows:

    net user "your login" new_password

    For example: Windows 10 net user set new password

  13. Type "regedit" to open Regisry Editor.
  14. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Setup

    Edit the cmdline parameter and set it to the empty value.
    Change the SetupType DWORD parameter value to 0. See this screenshot: Windows 10 reset registry values

  15. Close Registry Editor and the command prompt window to continue.

You are done! Windows 10 will restart. After that, it will show the login screen and you will be able to sign in using the password you just set! Windows 10 logon

Watch the whole process in this video:

Tip: you can subscribe to Winaero at Youtube.

The same can be done for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

13 thoughts on “Reset Windows 10 password without using third party tools

  1. MDJ

    Wow, this is definitely a security risk and I can already think of some evil ways to make use of this in PCs with restricted user rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you need to access the target PC with your own bootable media.
      having physical access to any PC, you can do anything you want.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  2. Graham Ansell

    I think the easier way of doing this is just renaming C:\windows\system32\utilman.exe to utilman.ex_ then copy cmd.exe utilman.exe, then when the logon screen shows click the ‘Ease of Access Centre’, up comes the command prompt in elevated mode, then here you can enable the Built-in administrator and log in, or reset your password or create another user to log in as.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are wrong.
      With next update, the utilman will be restored and you will lost your customizations.
      Also, SFC /SCANNOW will complain that your system files were modified.
      The mentioned in the article has no such issues and acts like you replaced the file. No difference in the end.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  3. Jason Alexander

    Correct. I ran into this issue today, where Win10 is removing the renamed Utilman (cmd.exe) and nothing happens when you click ease of access. Going to need another workaround.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  4. Tim Litten

    Brilliant solution to a very difficult problem. A minor quibble is the article is not dated. I like to see a date at the top of an article to help decide if I want to read it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  5. Zbigniew Lucki

    Great solution!

    Just got access to locked computer. Customer left computer to remove wiruses and did now left password. Was unreachable, but I don’t want to reset his password. So created a new user with admin rights and was able to scan for wiruses.
    In the step 12 just use:
    net user /add newUser NewPassword
    than:
    net localgroup administrators newUser /add

    Thank you again!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  6. Zbigniew Lucki

    Can admin edit my last post?

    There is an error, Second command supose to be:
    [b] net localgroup administrators newUser /add [/b]

    (omit user)
    Sorry

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Sure. Done!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  7. Bob

    Does this work for Windows 7/8.1/Vista/XP?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      This works in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
      I think it should work in Windows XP. I do not remember.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  8. Sim

    as a last resort, if your computer is completely bricked, load up a linux distro, erase the partitions and rerun the setup for the last Win OS version you were running before all these “upgrades” broke your PC

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sim

      trust its better that way, linux wipes will remove any windows residue, no possiblity of your OS recalling anything you’re not expecting

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply

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