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Forgot your Windows 10 local account password? You can log in to your PC with a PIN, picture password, or your face if you have any of these login options. You can also reset your password by answering security questions on the Windows login screen. But what if none of these work for you? Don’t worry, you can also reset your Windows 10 password with a USB drive. By plugging a USB drive into your computer, you can safely reset your forgotten Windows 10 password without losing any data. This post will demonstrate how to achieve it in three different ways.
Method 1: Reset Windows 10 password with standard password reset USB drive
All versions of Windows, including Windows 10, have a built-in feature that allows you to reset your local account password using a USB drive. This requires you to create a password reset disk for your account on a USB drive before you forget your password.
Step 1: Create a password reset disk on the USB drive.
Plug a USB drive into one of your computer’s USB ports, then go to Control Panel>User Accounts>User Accounts>Create a password reset disk.
When the Forgotten Password Wizard opens, simply follow its instructions to quickly create a password reset USB drive.
Step 2: Reset Windows 10 password with the USB drive.
Make sure that the password reset USB drive you created earlier is inserted into your computer.
Go to your Windows 10 login screen and then click on the Reset password option that appears after you enter the incorrect password.
The Password Reset Wizard pops up. Step through the wizard, enter a new password when prompted, and then click Next. That’s it; you’ve successfully reset your Windows 10 password using the USB drive.
Method 2: Reset Windows 10 Password using Stellar Recovery Password
What if you have recently changed your password and now have forgotten that? Well, in this case, a bootable USB drive will help you out. Stellar Recovery Password comes in very handy in such situations.
Step 1: Create a Bootable Media Drive
As you are not able to boot into your device normally, you need a working device to create a bootable media drive. Follow these steps on how to create a recovery disk drive –
- Connect a CD, DVD, or USB Flash drive to one of your computer’s ports first.
- Right-click on this drive, and choose to format this one with NTFS or FAT32.
- The company provides a download link to Bootable ISO Image after you purchase the Stellar Password Recovery. So, check your mail and download the Bootable ISO image from there.
- Copy/paste the downloaded image into the formatted disk drive and burn the same.
- Make any changes that seem necessary for your System BIOS or UEFI Mode.
Step 2: Boot your locked PC from the USB drive
Plug in the recently created bootable USB flash drive into one of your locked PC’s ports, and restart your computer. While Windows is booting, press and hold the boot key to view the Boot Menu. This key differs from one device to another, however, it is mostly one of the following – Esc, F2, F10, F12, etc.
When the boot menu appears, select your USB Flash drive, burned CD/DVD, and hit Enter.
Your device will now boot up using the inserted bootable media into one of your computer’s ports.
Step 3: Reset your Windows 10 password
Now that you have entered into your PC, you will see the Stellar Password Recovery appearing on the Screen.
Select your Operating system using the drop-down menu available in the top-left corner. Make sure to pick the previously installed OS.
Tick the checkbox against the username for which you would like to reset the password and hit Reset Password. Your username will be reset in no time. After this is over, you will see the following message – “Password Reset.”
That’s it, you may now reboot your computer and check if you can boot into your device normally now.
Method 3: Reset Windows 10 password with USB installation disk
You can also reset your Windows 10 password with a Windows USB installation disk. By booting your locked PC from a USB installation disk, you will be able to reset your Windows 10 password with Command Prompt. This would be a good option if you prefer to reset your Windows 10 password manually instead of using any third-party software.
Step 1: If you don’t have a Windows USB installation disk, create one on another accessible computer using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool or an ISO file.
Step 2: Plug the USB installation disk into the computer on which you want to reset your Windows 10 password, and boot your computer from it.
Step 3: After the computer has finished the boot from the USB drive, you will see the Windows Setup window. Choose Next>Repair your computer>Troubleshoot>System Image Recovery.
Step 4: In the “Re-image your computer” window, choose Cancel>Next>Advanced>Install a driver>OK.
Step 5: An Open window appears. Open your operating system drive (usually, drive C) and navigate to the Windows\System32 folder.
Step 6: In the Windows\System 32 folder, find the Utilman file and rename it Utilman1, then find the cmd file and rename it Utilman. You need to refresh the current folder before you can see the changes.
Step 7: Now, unplug the USB installation disk, close all the windows on your screen, and then choose to Continue to restart your computer.
Step 8: When you get to the Windows 10 login screen, click the Ease of Access icon in the lower right corner. This will bring up the Command Prompt window. All then you need to do is type net user <user name> <new password> and press Enter to reset your Windows 10 password. Note that you need to replace <username> with your actual account name and <new password> with your new password. After that, you’ll be able to log in to Windows 10 with your new password.
The above are three simple and effective ways to reset your Windows 10 password using a USB drive. Thanks to these methods, you don’t have to factory reset your PC or reinstall the system if you forget your Windows 10 password. To summarize, it is recommended that you use the Windows built-in feature to create a password reset USB drive for your account before forgetting your password. A bootable USB drive is your best option if you forgot your Windows 10 password before you could create a password reset disk.