How to Figure Out a Password on a Computer

by Robert Schrader

Passwords are sequences of characters you select to protect accounts for websites and, if you choose, your computer as a whole. The password you choose--and whether you choose different passwords for different purposes or use the same one at all times--depends upon several factors, but is usually one you remember easily, but is hard for others to guess. If you forget your own password, attempt to figure it out using any of several methods.

Input other passwords you commonly use if your first choice isn't working. For instance, if you alternate between the passwords "password1," "password3" and "password5," try each of these before you attempt to recover your password using other means.

Enter your password with case sensitivity and special character requirements in mind. The password "mypassword," for example, is different than "MyPassword." Alternatively, you may have rendered your password "myp@ssword" instead of "mypassword" to comply with your computer's security requirements. If you know your computer requires you to use capital letters or special characters, don't waste your time entering passwords that lack these two attributes.

Click the "Forgot Password" button--whether it appears on a website you're trying to access, your main operating system interface or within a program on your computer--to begin the process of recovering your password. Answer security questions you set when you signed up for your account--the name of your first-grade teacher, for example--to regain access to your account.

Contact customer service or technical support if you're unable to reset your password on your own. If you've lost the password to an account you pay for--web hosting, for example--you may be able to furnish your credit card account number or other payment details to confirm your identity and regain access.

About the Author

Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer, world traveler and creator of the award-winning blog Leave Your Daily Hell. When he's not out globetrotting, you can find him in beautiful Austin, TX, where he lives with his partner.