Reset User Account Password

ByLine
How to Reset a User Account Password in Vista
Synopsis
If you forgot the password for a user account, this will show you how to reset or change the password to gain access to the user account again.
How to Reset a User Account Password in Vista

information   Information
If you forgot the password for a user account, this will show you how to reset or change the password to gain access to the user account again.
Note   Note


  • The password used in Vista is case sensitive. You might double check to make sure that you do not have the Caps Lock key on by mistake when typing it in.
  • If you do not have a password for the user account, then clicking or pressing Enter with a blank field will usually work.
  • METHOD THREE below should only be used a last resort to reset a Administrator account when it is the only account created, but it should do the job for you. Your only other option is to reinstall Vista.
  • If you are using BitLocker Drive Encryption, then this will most likely not work.
  • If all of these methods fail, then you will need to reinstall Vista.
Tip   Tip
For a CMOS or BIOS Password:
You can usually reset this password by unplugging the computer and removing the battery on the motherboard for just a bit and/or temporarily crossing the CMOS jumper pin on the motherboard, then change or turn off the password in the BIOS at the next start. See your motherboard's documentation for these locations on it. You can usually find documentation at the motherboard's manufacturer's website.
warning   Warning
To avoid not being able to log on, be sure to write down you user account's username and password and store it in a safe place for future reference if you need it. Another great option is to create a Password Reset Disk. See: See: How to Create a Password Reset Disk in Vista





METHOD ONE
Reset Password while logged in an Administrator Account


Note   Note
This is if you have a administrator account that you can logon with to change or reset the password for a Standard or another administrator account.
warning   Warning
If you use an Administrator account to remove the password for any other user account, the user account with the removed password will lose access to its encrypted files, e‑mail messages that are encrypted, and stored passwords for websites or network resources. If the user account doesn't have any of these things, or the user doesn't mind losing them, then using an Administrator account to remove the password is a fast and easy way to recover from a forgotten password.

1. Logon to the Administrator account.​
NOTE: If you forgot the Administrator account password, then logon to another Administrator account.​
2. Reset or Change the forgotten password for the user account.​



METHOD TWO
Reset Password with your Password Reset Disk

NOTE: A password reset disk will allow you to reset the password for the user account it was created in. You had to of created one first though. See: How to Create a Password Reset Disk in Vista.
1. Start the computer up into the Logon Welcome Screen.​
2. Click on the Click to Play button in the video below.​




METHOD THREE
Reset Password with a Editor Tool


Note   Note
This should only be used on a Administrator account that you forgot the password for and do not have another Administrator account (METHOD ONE or TWO) or a Password Reset Disk (METHOD FOUR) to use to reset the password. This should only be a last resort to gaining access to an administrative account.
Tip   Tip
Depending on what you use, you will need to have the CD/DVD or USB key drive listed first in the boot order in the BIOS settings to be able to "Press any key to boot from CD/DVD.".
warning   Warning
If you reset the password using the tool below, the user account will lose access to its encrypted files, encrypted e‑mail messages, and stored passwords for websites or network resources.

Offline NT Password and Registry Editor
1. For how, see this site: Offline NT Password and Registry Editor
NOTE: If you have no access to your computer, then you will need to create this boot CD/DVD or USB key drive on another computer so you can use it to boot into yours with and use.​
2. Click the Bootdisk button at the top of that website. (See screenshot below)​
Bootdisk_button.jpg

3. Scroll down to the Download section and download the lastest version ZIP file (ex: cd######.zip) for the Bootable CD image under (CD release, see below on how to use).​
4. Extract the cd######.iso file from the downloaded ZIP file, then burn the ISO file to a DVD or USB key drive.​
NOTE: You can use any ISO burner program you like, but the free ISO Recorder or ImgBurn programs are good ones to use.
5. Follow the instructions from their website on how to use the boot CD/DVD or USB key drive. See: Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
NOTE: Please direct your questions about this tool to the site providing the tool.





METHOD FOUR
Reset Password by Doing a System Restore at Boot


Note   Note
This is for the following scenarios. For more information, see: Microsoft Help and Support: KB940765

Scenario

Description

Scenario 1:

You recently set a new password for the protected administrator account. However, you do not remember the new password, but do remember the old one.

Scenario 2:

You type the correct logon password. However, Windows Vista does not accept the password because the system is corrupted.

Scenario 3:

You deleted a password protected administrator account. Now, you cannot log on to another administrator account.

Scenario 4:

You changed a protected administrator account to a standard user account. Now, you cannot log on to another administrator account.



NOTE: You will be booting from your Vista installation DVD to perform a System Retore with the method at this link.​
2. Next, do the additional steps below for the scenario that is related to your situation.​



METHOD FIVE
Reset Password in Registry Editor at Boot






That's it,
Shawn



Related Tutorials


 

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Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hello Crystal, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You should be able to use Method Three in the tutorial on the first page to reset the password of your administrator account. Afterwards, you could change the passwords of the other accounts using Method One while logged on to your administrator account. :)
 

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