How to Find Your Computer Password If You Forgot

by Kara Page ; Updated September 28, 2017

Setting your computer with a password is a smart way to protect your private files, but if you forget that password you might find yourself locked out of your computer completely. Unfortunately, finding the original password requires downloading third party software that specializes in recovering passwords. But if you can log in to your computer as an administrator, you may be able to reset your password and regain access to your computer under your normal user name.

Reset Password

Restart your computer. At the login screen, type "administrator" in the username field. Type the password into the password field; if you have never set a password for the administrator, leave the field blank. Press "Enter."

Click "Start," type "lusrmgr.msc" into the "Search" field and press "Enter." Double-click "Local Users and Groups" and select "Users."

Right-click your user name with the forgotten password and select "Set Password." Type a new password twice to confirm, the press "Enter." Log out, then log in to your computer using your old user name and new password.

Recover Password

Download a password cracking program that lists your specific operating system in its specifications. Ophcrack, Windows Key and Cain & Abel all work on several different versions of Windows.

Click "Save" in the dialog box, then double-click the program icon on your desktop and click "Install." Launch the program when the installation is complete.

Click on your user name in the menu and click "Recover." If your password was particularly long, it may take the program a few hours to retrieve it.

About the Author

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.

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