Windows 7 Password Reset

Windows 7 Password Reset

Not only will I show you how to create a Windows 7 password reset disk, but also I will provide lateral thinking ideas for coping with a lost password.

Topics Microsoft Windows 7 Password Reset


The Paradox of the Organized User

There is a paradox in that most methods to rest your Windows 7 password require you to be organized and think ahead, yet most organized people don’t lose their passwords! 

Because most people who are locked out don’t have a password reset disk, my number one suggestion is to logon to your machine with another account.  Providing this account has administrative privileges, you can reset the password for the locked-out account in the Control Panel, Users section.

Three Alternatives to the Windows 7 Password Reset

Before you contemplate the Windows 7 password reset, another straw that you could clutch at is the thought that you could remote desktop into your stricken computer.  Now I do realize that if you know the password for the remote logon then you could just as easily logon locally.  However, there are three methods in my madness. 

  • There is a slight chance that the second machine has the automatic or saved credentials setting for the remote connection.  Thus you could logon without remembering the password, and then change the password in the control panel.
  • Secondly, this is the real world.  Someone at that remote computer may remember your password!  I know it goes against all security practice, but nevertheless a common fact of life. 
  • Thirdly, and wackiest of all, by going to another machine may just trigger your sub-conscious to release the password that your conscious mind has forgotten.

P.S.  I am assuming that when you tried to logon you read the ‘Password Hint’, and it was no good.

How to Create a Windows 7 Password Reset DiskWindows 7 Password Reset

In order to reset your password in an emergency, you need to create a reset disk, although ‘reset USB stick’ would be a more up-to-date concept.

  • Click on the Start Orb, Control Panel –> User accounts.
  • What you are looking for is a link to ‘Create a password reset disk’
    It’s in the left-hand column – see screenshot.
  • Providing you have a floppy disk, or more likely, a USB stick, the wizard will guide you to creating a physical file that will reset your password.
  • Here is the Windows 7 wizard at his best, creating the password file on a removable disk.

Windows 7 Password Reset Wizard

Problems with the Forgotten Password Wizard

The main problem is that you cannot save the password file to a CD or DVD.  I will rephrase that, I have yet to find a way of saving the password to the CD drive, if you know a way, please let me know.

A secondary problem is that you cannot create password reset disks for other people.  While this could be useful and kind, on reflection one can see that this would breach security, and thus is not permitted by design.

There is no concept of a password reset file for domain accounts.  In this situation you just need to speak kindly to your domain administrator.

Solarwinds Config GeneratorGuy Recommends: The Free Config Generator

SolarWinds’ Config Generator is a free tool, which puts you in charge of controlling changes to network routers and other SNMP devices.  Boost your network performance by activating network device features you’ve already paid for.

Guy says that for newbies the biggest benefit of this free tool is that it will provide the impetus for you to learn more about configuring the SNMP service with its ‘Traps’ and ‘Communities’. Try Config Generator now – it’s free!

Download your free copy of Config Generator

How to Use a Windows 7 Password Reset Disk

The situation is that Windows 7 boots up, but that you cannot logon as you have forgotten the password.  All you have to do is enter a guess.  Even Windows 7 tells you that the name or password is incorrect, still you click OK.  At last you see a link to Reset password….

Once again the Password Reset Wizard guides you through the steps.  You just need to provide the USB stick in the removable drive.

Enter the password in the new password box, and again in the confirm box.  One more thing, how about typing a password hint this time to save you the grief of having to remember the USB stick.

Alternative Technique – Restore a Corrupted Administrator Account

If you only have one Administrator account and it’s corrupted, rather than you have forgotten the password, you could try a system restore.  The key concept is ‘Repair’.

  • Boot from the original Windows 7 DVD
  • Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.
  • Quickly go through the usual install menus:
  • Language
    Currency format
  • Look for the option: Repair your computer.
  • Select the best restore point that you want to use, and then click Next.
  • An unwelcome side effect is that you lose all updates and installed programs since the restore point; the good news is that you should now have an intact, non-corrupted administrator account.
  • If you are able to logon, probably the first step is to check the User Accounts in the Control Panel.

See also Windows 8's Password Eye »

Summary of Microsoft Windows 7 Password Reset

Guy’s thesis is that nobody ever uses the Windows 7 password reset for real.  If you are organized enough to create a password reset file on the USB stick, then you have the mindset to always remember your password.  Unfortunately, if you forget passwords, then you won’t bother to create the reset disk.  For this eventuality I have suggestions, one of which may just get you back into your computer.

If you like this page then please share it with your friends


Microsoft Windows Version 7 Configuration Topics