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Have you ever forgotten your Windows password? Ever had a friend ask you if you know how to retrieve their password? Ever needed a password for other reasons? In this guide you’ll learn how to retrieve your Windows password using a tool named ophcrack.

Tip: Once you’ve got access to your account, set up a password reset disk so you no longer have to crack your password.

Ophcrack is a free Windows password cracker based on rainbow tables, which comes with a Graphical User Interface version that automates the process for you. ophcrack is

To crack your Windows password:

1. Download the ophcrack LiveCD

2. Burn the ISO to a disc (how to burn an ISO to disc)

3. Put the disc in the PC that has the locked account and boot the PC from the disc (how to boot from CD)

4. Press Enter to run ophcrack in Graphic Mode with automatic scan

5. Sit back while ophcrack looks for your password hash in the available tables

I recommend you archive your burned disc for use in the future. Also, consider using a more difficult password to crack and then creating a password reset disk.

I tried and an 8 character password (letters, numbers–mixed case) and ophcrack got it in 15 seconds.

Password Not Found?

If the password is not found, you have a few options:

  1. Access the files using a Linux distribution without cracking the password
  2. Reset the Windows account password to gain access to the account (but lose access to any encrypted files)
  3. If it’s really important that you crack the password, you can purchase larger rainbow tables (link) although there are no guarantees you’ll find a match for your password

Last Updated: June 19th 2012

2012/06/19 — Updated screenshots to match latest version of ophcrack. Listed alternate options if cracking fails.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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111 thoughts on “Crack Windows Password [How To] [Updated]”

  1. animesh christie says:

    its nice
    its realy great
    if u knw anything more plz let me know

  2. Anastaoufik says:

    to open the downloaded file i need the passe duh

  3. Hhhhhhhh says:

    It says “found two partitions containing hashes” what do I do?

  4. Sss says:

    ok i boot from the disc str8 no f12 etc etc just booting from disc (like i do with other vistas) for some reason ophcrack dont work on a vista service pack 1.

    any ideas ?

  5. Inder Davinder says:

    it is not helpfully for simple users.

  6. Rich says:

    Glad to hear it worked so well for you!

  7. Adhil Saleem says:

    it work awesome ………goodddd

  8. Lilmax_2003 says:

    it says cannot find kernal image linux

  9. Bent Ears Audio Laboratories says:

    Ophcrack only works on newer systems. A few months ago, I found a couple of desktop computers set out on the curb as trash and on a hunch I grabbed them and brought them home. Both were password protected. One has even the SAFEmode admin account sealed with a password so I can’t use the little bypass which worked on the other one mentioned in the article. I learned about Ophcrack and after much wasted discs, finally successfully made an ISO Image disc…which – according to the folks at Ophcrack themselves! – won’t work in the older system (Pentium 2 600mhz processor). So I STILL haven’t accessed that system. The one I successfully opened is now in use in my studio as a dedicated virtual Minimoog. I uninstalled everything but the OS and soundcard drivers. Works just fine.

Comments are closed.

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