How to reset the windows xp admin password.

Posted on 2006-05-26
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
How to reset admin password for windows xp? I have a windows xp pc which i forgot my admin password.
Question by:ittechlab
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    Use the free program from this site:

    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    If you are using windows xp home you can only access the Administrator account by starting windows in safemode (press F8 while starting up)
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    by:Nick Denny
    Most oem xp's are shipped with no admin password - try that 1st.

    If you are on domain you can log in with domain admin and reset local admin password.

    Expert Comment

    There are a variety of methods that can be used to reset your administrator password, without knowing the previous password.  First of all, I would not recommend performing r-k steps unless it is a last resort, because to me there are easier methods.  In addition, jakeblat was incorrect in stating that the computer had to be started in safe mode, because it does not have to be in safe mode.  From your brief statement, I did not get enough information.  As a result, I am assuming that your computer is part of domain, and you are a computer administrator (You have an account with administrator privileges); therefore, I will give the directions for two different methods.

    Method 1 (If you are a computer administrator)
    1.      Click Start, and then click Run.
    2.      Type in control userpasswords2
    3.      Click the user account that you forgot the password for, and then click Reset Password.
    4.      Type a new password in both fields.

    Method 2 (If you are part of a domain and are a computer administrator)
    1.      Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE twice.
    2.      Logon as a Computer Administrator.
    3.      Click Start, click Run, type compmgmt.msc, and then click OK.
    4.      In the Computer Management (Local) box, expand Local Users and Groups.
    5.      Click the Users folder.
    6.      In the right pane of the Computer Management window, right-click the user account whose password you want to reset, and then click Set Password.
    7.      Click Proceed.
    8.      In the New password box, type the new password for the user account.
    9.      Type the same password in the Confirm password box, and then click OK.
    10.      Click OK to acknowledge that the new password has been set.
    11.      Restart the computer.

    (Note: Some credit should be given to Microsoft for the methods)

    Please post back if theses methods worked.  If this issue is resolved, I would recommend you create a password reset disk.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

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    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I'd be surprised if the solutions provided by freshprince work, because they both require logging in to an Administrator account in the first place. The way I interpreted the question was that he has forgotten the password to his (only) administrator account and has locked himself out. Perhaps the question asker could clarify because the situation is unclear, and it's leading to different answers being given!

    Expert Comment

    First of all I was referring to a Computer Administrator account.  From what I understood from the question, ittechlab, forgot the password for the Administrator Account that is standard in all computers.  He obviously has another account on the computer because then he wouldn't be able to post this question; therefore, I was assuming that other account had administrator capabilities.  It is not a problem to switch the privileges to administrator, and I'm assuming that his normal account is administrator.  As a result, my solutions provided will work.  However, I do agree with you, in the fact that ittechlab could be more thorough in his question, because there are many different interpretations.

    Please explain your problem more thoroughly.


    Expert Comment


    To avoid any confusion with your question that would lead to answers that may or may not work I am going to provide a method that doesn’t even require logging into any account in Windows.  It is simply done by a little known access hole in Windows XP; however it requires a Windows XP CD.

    1. Place your Windows XP CD in your cd-rom and start your computer (it’s assumed here that your XP CD is bootable – as it should be - and that you have your bios set to boot from CD)
    2. Keep your eye on the screen messages for booting to your cd. Typically, it will be “Press any key to boot from cd”
    3. Once you get in, the first screen will indicate that Setup is inspecting your system and loading files.

    4. When you get to the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to Setup Windows now
    5. The Licensing Agreement comes next - Press F8 to accept it.
    6. The next screen is the Setup screen which gives you the option to do a Repair.

    It should read something like “If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, Setup can try to repair it”
    Use the up and down arrow keys to select your XP installation (if you only have one, it should already be selected) and press R to begin the Repair process.
    7. Let the Repair run. Setup will now check your disks and then start copying files which can take several minutes.
    8. Shortly after the Copying Files stage, you will be required to reboot. (this will happen automatically – you will see a progress bar stating “Your computer will reboot in 15 seconds”
    9. During the reboot, do not make the mistake of “pressing any key” to boot from the CD again! Setup will resume automatically with the standard billboard screens and you will notice Installing Windows is highlighted.
    10. Keep your eye on the lower left hand side of the screen and when you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press SHIFT + F10. This is the security hole! A command console will now open up giving you the potential for wide access to your system.
    11. At the prompt, type NUSRMGR.CPL and press Enter. Voila! You have just gained graphical access to your User Accounts in the Control Panel.
    12. Now simply pick the account you need to change and remove or change your password as you prefer. If you want to log on without having to enter your new password, you can type control userpasswords2 at the prompt and choose to log on without being asked for password. After you’ve made your changes close the windows, exit the command box and continue on with the Repair (have your Product key handy).
    13. Once the Repair is done, you will be able to log on with your new password (or without a password if you chose not to use one or if you chose not to be asked for a password). Your programs and personalized settings should remain intact.

    (NOTE: These methods have been tested by other users, but I personally have not performed these methods.  For information on where the methods were derived from please post as accordingly).

    I hope this has left a method that would work in any situation in which the administrator password has been forgotten.


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