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Recently, we encouraged you to set (or change) a password for your Windows account. If you lose your password, you face the reality of losing access to your files and settings. In this guide, we show you how to create a password reset disk for your PC so, in a bind, you have an easy backdoor into your PC.

Note: you can also reset or crack the password; however, a little preparation will save you the hassle of doing this.

Before you begin this guide, you’ll need the following:

  • A USB drive (does not have to be empty)
  • A current password set for your account (how to)

Create a Password Reset Disk

To reset your password, you’ll need to create a password reset disk; to create a password reset disk:

1. Insert your USB drive into your PC

2. Click the Start button, type reset, and click Create a password reset disk.

3. On the Forgotten Password Wizard dialog, click Next

4. Select your USB drive from the drop down list and click Next

5. Type in your current account password and click Next

The password reset file is now written to your USB drive:

7. When the wizard completes the reset disk creation, click Next, and then click Finish.

Note: The file is encrypted as userkey.psw. If you lose your thumb drive, nothing can be done with this file to obtain your password. This file can only be used to reset your password locally at your PC. With that in mind, you may want to keep this thumb drive away from other PC users who should not have access to your account.

userkey.psw is placed on your thumb drive:

The file is encrypted and can not be used to obtain your current password:

Test Your Password Reset Disk

It’s a best practice not to wait until you’ve lost your password to test your disk. This section will show you how to test your disk:

1. Print this guide or bring it up on your cell phone (http://bit.ly/zWM6P2)

2. Insert your password reset USB drive

3. Click the Start button, click the right arrow next to Shut Down (or different if you changed it), and click Switch User

4. Type in or click your username, leave the password field blank, and press Enter

5. After you’re informed you’ve typed an incorrect password, click Reset Password

5. Click Next

6. Select the flash drive and click Next

7. Type your new password (can be the same as your current password) and password hint and click Next

8. Click Finish

Note: This password reset disk will last the lifetime of your account. You do not need to create a new disk after using the one you set up as part of this guide.

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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One thought on “Avoid Getting Locked out of Windows when You Forget Your Password [How To]”

  1. Ageless Male says:

    Thanks for the tip! This is very useful for the oldies like me.. ha! 

Comments are closed.

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