Is it possible to get into laptop after losing password, without deleting files or complete reset.

Windows 10. Laptop.
Sign in Password lost or forgotton.  Cant open.
Can I gain access, without losing my files, in these circumstances?
Michael MurphyAsked:
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
Well there is a trick by using Sticky keys to enter into Admin Console...check the tutorial here
In short you are using the Windows 10 installation media (USB/DVD) replace the sticky keys file with the cmd
copy d:\windows\system32\sethc.exe d:\
copy /y d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

Open in new window

and then you login normally press 5 times (quickly) the shift key to enter the Sticky keys and because you replaced it it opens the command prompt (console)
There you enter the follwoing command...and presto new password
net user user_name new_password

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try Pogostick. Make a bootable USB key and see if it can replace the password.  I am not sure if it works with Windows 10 but try.

Follow this further tutorial for Windows 10.

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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
If the drive isn't encrypted, you can slave it off of another machine and get your data.

Or boot with Knoppix and get to your data...

Try this if the above tricks don't work.
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Comment one and 2 will both work if these are local accounts. If those are Microsoft accounts however, they cannot work.
The "pogostick" tool ("offline nt password and registry editor") can however activate the built-in account "administrator" and blank its password so that it functions as a backdoor.
Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
I operated the 'pogostick' tool.  I converted all the user accounts to 'blank' (instead of 'locked).
 Result as follows:
The icons of Two Accounts now appear on the desktop  when I boot. One is  titled :Administrator; the second is titled 'Joe Foley (made up name)' . The latter is the account I was trying to get into and which asked for a password.
However while I can now access the Administrator account, the other account remains blocked. .
Is there some way I can access the files in the 'Joe Foley' account through the Administrator Account?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you can access the Administrator account and log in, go to Users and Groups, Users and change the password for Joe. Make sure you know what it is, then sign off, sign on as Joe.

From Joe (assuming Joe was the machine administrator), disable "Administrator" . It should remain disabled.
fred hakimRetired ITCommented:
I use the Lazesoft suite for this.  McKnife's comment are valid for this as well.  Lazesoft has a comprehensive set of drivers for newer PCs and laptops, so if you have trouble getting pogostick to boot this make work.  It can handle any version of windows up thru 10.  And, when you create the boot CD/DVD it gives you an option for UEFI systems.    It uses a graphical interface, and its also got a pretty good set of utilities along with the password tools.  (it can also activate the administrator account).  

fred hakimRetired ITCommented:
As Mcknife pointed out, if they are using an online account, these tools are no going to work.

From the administrator account you can get to Joe's files by going to C:\users\Joe\...  However, you may get a security message, just click continue and Windows will provide access to the files.  In there you can find his documents, desktop, downloads etc.    

At that point you just copy the files, but you won't get any settings or license information for software he may have installed.  FabsAuto backup is pretty good at copying the files, bookmarks for various browsers, Outlook settings and files (if they used outlook)  and many settings for common software like quickbooks.   It is not free, but the regular version is not expensive.


You can then restore/ reinstall Windows, create a new Joe account,  Make it local this time unless he has some need for an online account.  

Reinstall any browsers, restore the files you backed up above.
Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
I  used the pogostick advice (created a bootable CD etc) as suggested by John Hurst. I got into the system as Inbuilt Administrator ( as McKnife prophesised I would).  

I still could not get into the other user account (of which I did not know the password), but after checking as advised above there appear to be no  files  or data belonging to this account - all that is there are the programs  (the laptop had been returned after repairs by Dell).

I deleted this barred account and hoped to set up a new user account over which i would have control. However I have been unable to do this. When I go to User Accounts in the Control Panel and try to 'add someone else to this computer',  I get a message :
'Local UIsers and Groups'
'This snapin may not be used with this edition of Windows 10. (By the way, the edition is Windows Home Edition). To manage use accounts for this computer, use the User Accounts tool  in the Control Panel'.
However I have already  tried this .

Also I could not access Microsoft  Edge because the laptop is under the control of the Inbuilt Administrator.... But I got round this and modified the security data successfully (following advice on internet).  I can now access iEdge

 At least I have got back into the laptop  (which belongs to an elderly colleague who will be able to use it now)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
That is good news that you are able to use the laptop.
Anything else needed? Please ask follow up questions or close this question now.

Merry Xmas.
Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You are very welcome
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