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2 ways to reset Windows 10 admin password if forgotten

reset windows 10 administrator password without usb
Passwords. You can't live with them; you cannot live without them. A password is what keeps your personal data safe inside your Windows 10 PC. But what if you forget the admin password for your PC? You'll not be able to install any program, and will be locked out of your own PC. That's like being locked out of your car with the keys inside. So, it’s only fair that you know how to reset your Windows 10 admin password.

However, the method to reset your Windows 10 admin password varies based on whether it was a local account or a Microsoft Live account. But don't worry, we'll cover both of them here.

Scenario 1: Reset admin password in Windows 10 for Microsoft account

This method is pretty simple and is similar to when you forget the password to Facebook or any similar such website. They send a password reset link to your registered email, and you can set a new password in place of the old one using that link. Also, you can reset your Microsoft account password from any type of device and not necessarily from that locked PC itself as long as you have access to the internet and a web browser on that device.

a. Head over to Microsoft account recovery webpage using the below link

https://account.live.com/password/reset

b. Enter the email address associated with your Windows 10 login and click on the Next button
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c. Click on the option on how you would like to receive the security code (this is similar to the password reset link for Facebook), whether through email or SMS, and then click on the Get code button
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d. Enter the security code that you have received via email or SMS, and click on the Next button
reset windows 10 administrator password command prompt
e. Now, it would ask you to set up a new password for your account. Enter a new password, twice, and then click on Next
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f. That's it, now you can login to your Windows 10 PC using this new password

Scenario 2: Reset admin password in Windows 10 for local account

This scenario can be a little tricky. Since you have a local administrator account, there will be no password reset link, and you need to have access to a Windows 10 installation USB.

a. Boot your Windows 10 PC using the setup USB. You may have to get into the BIOS of your PC to make sure it can boot from a USB flash drive and UEFI and Secure Boot is disabled. If you don't know how to do that, you can check it from the website of your BIOS manufacturer

b. When you see the Windows Setup screen (shown below), press the Shift and the F10 together on your keyboard
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c. This would open a Command Prompt window like the one below
	reset windows 10 admin account password
d. In the Command Prompt window, type the below commands. Remember to press Enter after you type in each line of command, and don't forget to replace the letter c with the drive letter where Windows 10 is installed on your PC, and x with the drive letter of the Windows 10 installation USB

move c:\utilman.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe
copy x:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

Let me explain what these commands do. Do you remember the Ease of Access icon that you see on the login screen of Windows 10? That is a program called utilman.exe (short for Utility Manager). The first line of command takes a backup of that program. The second line of code replaces utilman.exe with a Command Prompt, like the one in which you are typing your command here. The Command Prompt is another program called, yes you got it right, cmd.exe

e. Next, take out the Windows 10 installation USB, and close the Command Prompt window by clicking on the X button at the top right. Then restart the Windows 10 PC normally

f. Now, once you can see the regular Windows 10 login screen, click on the Ease of Access button and a Command Prompt will open. In this Command Prompt window, type the below command to reset the password for the locked admin account on your Windows 10 PC. Remember to replace <username> and <password> with the username for the locked account, and the new password with which you would like to replace the old password respectively

net user <username> <password>

g. Once done, close this Command Prompt window by clicking on the X button once again, and restart your Windows 10 PC. However, this time when you see the Windows 10 login screen, login to your locked account using the new password that you had set for it. But wait, there’s more. We need to replace utilman.exe with the proper file which we had backed up earlier, otherwise anyone can change the password to your Windows 10 admin account like we did, and then login to your PC

h. Click on the Windows Start button to bring up the Start menu, then type in cmd. When you see Command Prompt listed under Best Match options on the menu, click on Run as administrator on the right side of the menu as seen below
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i. This should bring up a Command Prompt like earlier. In this Command Prompt window, type in the below command and press Enter. Remember to replace c with the drive letter where Windows 10 is installed on your PC, and close the Command Prompt window like before once you are done

move c:\utilman.exe c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

I know, that wasn't simple, but from now on you can create a Password Reset Disk for Windows 10 that you can use to reset a local admin account password on your Windows 10 PC in case you forget your password again. Here's an article which shows you how to do that. Even though this article talks about Windows 11, the process of creating a Password Reset Disk for Windows 10 is not so different.

One important thing, please remember that this method is to be used only in case where you are locked out of your own Windows 10 PC and is unable to login. However, it should not be used to login to someone else's PC without their knowledge at any cost. That is an illegal practice and is punishable by law.

If, however, you were able to login to your own locked account by following the methods given in this post, please don't forget to share it on your favorite Social Media website, and give us a Like on Facebook.
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