How to Reset a Windows Password With a USB

by Candace Benson
usb flash drive image by Bosko Martinovic from

On Windows Vista and Windows 7 computers, Microsoft provides the means to create a USB or floppy password reset disk and to use the disk in the future to reset the user's password. Since most computer owners no longer use floppy disks or have a floppy disk drive, the USB flash drive option works best. The user must login to each user account for which he or she wishes to create a reset disk.

Create the Password Reset Disk

Step 1

Start your computer. Login to the account for which you wish to create a password reset disk.

Step 2

Insert the USB flash drive into an available USB port on your computer. Close the AutoPlay window.

Step 3

Click "Start." Type "user" (without quotes) in the "Search" box. Click "User Accounts."

Step 4

Click "Create a password reset disk" in the left column of the "User Accounts" window.

Step 5

Click "Next" in the "Forgotten Password Wizard." Select your "USB flash drive" in the "Drive" drop-down list. Click "Next."

Step 6

Type the "Current password" for your user account and click "Next."

Click "Next" after Windows has created the disk, then click "Finish."

Reset the Password

Step 1

Start the computer.

Step 2

Click on "Reset password" after attempting to login to Windows and receiving an "Incorrect password" error.

Step 3

Insert the USB password reset disk that you created previously into an available USB port.

Step 4

Click "Next" in the "Reset Password Wizard."

Step 5

Select your "USB flash drive" in the "Drive" drop-down list. Click "Next."

Step 6

Type a "New password" twice. Type a "Password hint" to help you remember your new password. Write down the password that you have created and store it in a safe location until you have memorized it. Click "Next," then "Finish."

Login to your account by using the password you just created. Eject your USB flash drive after reaching the desktop.


  • Protect your password reset disk. Anyone who accesses it may view or alter your private account data and files by resetting the password.


Photo Credits

  • usb flash drive image by Bosko Martinovic from

About the Author

Candace Benson has nearly five years of experience as a volunteer coordinator and has worked for non-profits and state agencies. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Benson wrote for a number of video game websites and blogs and worked as a technical support agent. Benson currently writes for eHow.

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