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Published on 04.13.07 by Brent Trahan

Reset a Forgotten Administrative User Account Password in Windows Vista

Learn how to reset a forgotten administrator user account password in Windows Vista without knowing the original password.


First off let me just say that I DO NOT promote hacking.

This guide points you in the right direction to learn how to reset an administrative accounts password without knowing the original password.

This should only be a last resort to gaining access to an administrative account.

IMPORTANT: If you reset the password using the tool below and that account has files protected with EFS encryption those files will be locked because the encryption is associated with the forgotten password. You can’t unlock them unless you know the password when they were locked.

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD

Download the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD. Click the bootdisk button, and then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and download the bootable CD image under Download.

This tool is made using Linux so it might be difficult for a non-Linux user to use. Just follow the directions on the site.

Don’t ask me any questions about this tool because I don’t know the answers. Please direct your questions to the site providing the tool.


Ophcrack is a free Windows password cracker based on rainbow tables. It is a very efficient implementation of rainbow tables done by the inventors of the method. It comes with a Graphical User Interface and runs on multiple platforms.

This is a little easier to use and can but installed or run from a live CD.

Petri IT Knowledgebase

The Petri IT Knowledgebase has a great page on how to crack Windows passwords.

MAXIMUMpcguides.com and the webmaster are NOT responsible for any damage or lost data caused from using these tools.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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15 Responses to “Reset a Forgotten Administrative User Account Password in Windows Vista”

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  1. romand says:

    Long time ago , I was confronted with the password problem. Finally , my friend Jane introduce the Windows password Reset.It help me access windows. It’s worth a try!

  2. julie says:

    are these free or do they charge? and if so, how much? what are the risks of downloading them?

  3. happykaka says:

    Three solutions for bypassing widows passwords without deleting anything else
    Method 1: Using the Third part utility—Windows Password Unlocker is highly recommended
    1.Download Windows Password Unlocker from Password Unlocker Official site http://sn.im/wpu .
    2.Decompress the Windows password unlocker and note that there is an .ISO image file. Burn the image file onto an blank CD with the burner freely supported by Password Unlocker.
    3.Insert the newly created CD into the locked computer and re-boot it from the CD drive.
    4.After launched the CD, a window pop up with all your account names(if you have several accounts); select one of the accounts that you have forgotten its password to reset it. Just one press, you have removed the password.

    Method 2: Using the forgotten password diskette
    If you have forgotten your Windows XP password, however have created a forgotten password diskette earlier to use the diskette follow the below steps.
    1 At the Windows XP login prompt when the password is entered incorrectly click the reset button in the login failed window.
    2 Insert the password reset diskette into the computer and click Next.
    3 If the correct diskette Windows XP will open a window prompting for the new password you wish to use.

    Method 3: change the lost password with another account with administrator right
    Reboot the computer into Safe Mode. Additional information about getting into Safe
    When logging into Safe Mode you should be prompted with an option to what account you wish to use. Select the Administrator account. If prompted for a password try simply pressing Enter on the keyboard for no password. If this does not work, try other passwords you may have used. If you’re unable to log into the Administrator account skip to the next suggestion.
    Once you’ve logged into the Administrator account open Control Panel and User Accounts.
    In User Accounts select the account you wish to change the password for, click change password and then enter the new password or click remove the password to remove the password from the account

  4. Chris says:

    if you lost windows password, you can go into safe mode (F8 when booting up) to recover windows password when you forgot user account password,but if you forgot administrator password,there is no way to change administrator password when you forgot it,you must use software to recover administrator password.my favorite is windows login recovery.

  5. Larry says:

    There is many methods to reset windows vista administrator password, for example, safe mode or third party software.

  6. marry says:

    Method 1: Reboot your machine. Press F8 before the Windows boot screen appears.
    You will be be prompted with a boot options menu.Select the Start Windows in Safe
    Mode option. Click through several self- explanatory screens until your reach the
    familiar ‘Welcome’ screen. Find the icon for the Administrator user. If the default
    settings of your system haven’t been changed, there should be no password for this
    account. Login as the admin.And last,go to control panel,click user account,change the password.
    Method 2:It that doesn’t help,the best and efficient way is using a third party tool
    like windows password key 8.0 which considered as the best tool to reset local administrator
    and user passwords on any Windows system.

  7. rcmichelle says:

    i like to use this one:

  8. Rajkumar.KS says:

    Brent the admin of the site is a great man.I asked him a question regrading password removal of admin account and the response came immediately . There are hardly any WEBSITE admin’s doing such a great work for free…

    IF U HAVE FOUND THIS SITE TODAY then I AM SURE that all u r problem in WIN 7 are over..S this site has the answer for all u r problems :-)

      • Arjun says:

        Dear Brent, I have a problem to log on windows 7. I forgot the password. When I use the command, I see two account: Administrator and Guest. But when I boot the PC it shows only one account – fahed. I forgot the password of my account – fahed. I booted the PC through another bootable DVD and got command prompt of c: drive where I used this command : net user administrator /active:yes, then rebooted the PC. Again it shows me only one account – fahed. So I can not log on as I forgot the password. Can you guide me how to resolve this problem and log on? I have windows 7 home premium 64 bit. Please help me to solve this issue.

  9. Rylai says:

    I know an easy way to reset lost windows password, just need to create a Windows password reset bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive to reset forgotten Windows password, i have created a bootable USB flash drive with the tool Windows Password Breaker and reset my administrator password successfully.

  10. Bllse says:

    I realize a safe method to remove the password and it need no

    reinstalling Windows. The program is called Windows Password

    Seeker which has been recommended at about.com. You can Google

    Windows Password Seeker or download it from passwordseeker.com.

    It can reset almost all Windows passwords in seconds. It also

    compatible with windows 7.

  11. Rachel says:

    I have forgotten my admin. account password; I’m on my guest account typing this and trying to retrieve the password…well, I can’t run any programs w/o admin. consent (w/o the password) so none of this is helping me…any ideas? Oh, I’ve tried the whole F8 deal, didn’t work…I’ve gotten two different trials downloaded, however I can’t run them because of the forgotten password on the admin. account. Help?

  12. Aslynn says:

    Rachel, I am having the same exact problem. I’m using the internet from another user account but I need onto my administrator account to access my pictures, documents, etc. I haven’t been able to use my laptop because the screen went out and I just now got the cable to hook it to my tv and now I can’t remember my password. And I don’t want to completely reset my computer because I don’t want to lose all my pictures and stuff.

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