We’ve all experienced the moment when we sit down at our computer, ready to tackle some work or catch up on social media, only to realize that we’ve forgotten our password. Panic sets in as we try every combination of letters and numbers imaginable, but nothing works. We’re locked out of our computers and cannot access our files or programs.
But we shouldn’t be worrying as all hope is not lost! We can use several methods to unlock our computers without a password. If we use a Windows operating system, there are ways to bypass the login screen and regain access to our computer.
In this guide, we will explore all the possible ways, from using built-in tools to third-party software and resetting our computer to its factory settings. So, stick with us!
Method 1: Unlock A Locked Computer without a Password Using the Password Reset Disk
If we have a password reset disk for our Windows computer, we can use it to unlock our computer without a password. Here’s how:
- Insert the password reset disk (CD, USB, DVD) into our computer.
- On the Windows login screen, click on “Reset password.”
- Next, we need to follow the instructions from the Password Reset Wizard to create a new password for our account.
- Once we have created a new password, we can log in to our computer.
Note: It’s important to have created a password reset disk before we forget our password to use this method. If we don’t have a password reset disk, there are other methods we can use to unlock our computer without a password.
Method 2: Unlock A Locked Computer without a Password Using A Windows Password Unlocker
As mentioned earlier, the previous method requires us to create a Password Reset Disk that we can later use to reset the password.
But creating this reset disk can be confusing for people who are not much into technical stuff.
This is where PassFab 4WinKey kicks in!
It is a reliable third-party Windows Password Unlocking software that allows us to create a Password Reset Disk within minutes that we can later use to unlock our locked computer without losing our precious data.
For easy understanding, the whole method is divided into three parts.
Part 1: How to create a password reset disk using PassFab 4WinKey:
- Download and install PassFab 4WinKey on an accessible computer (Obviously the one that is unlocked).
- Launch the program and select the “Start” button on the program’s home screen. It will initiate the download of the latest ISO file.
- Select the “USB Flash Drive” or “CD/DVD” option, depending on the type of disk we want to create.
- Insert a USB flash drive or CD/DVD into the computer. The program must detect the disk automatically and display its name.
- Select the inserted drive’s name from the drop-down menu.
- Click the “Start Burning” button to create the password reset disk.
- A notice box will warn us that our connected disk will be formatted, and all our existing data will be deleted. We need to click “Next” if we have no important data to lose.
- Once the process is complete, we must remove the disk from this computer to use it on the one that we want to unlock.
Part 2: Change the Boot Device Priority on our locked computer:
- Insert the “Password Reset Disk,” USB/CD/DVD into our locked computer.
- Restart the locked computer.
- Once the computer starts to boot, we must press the “ESC,” “F12,” or other boot key buttons, depending on our brand. Common Boot Keys for famous brands are stated in the table below.
|Boot Key||Desktop||Laptop||Motherboard Brand|
|F12||HP, Lenovo, Acer, ASUS, Hasee, Haier, THTF, Founder||Samsung, Hasee, Founder, eMachines、Gateway Gateway, MSI, Dell, IBM, THTF, GIGABYTE, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Haier, Lenovo, BenQ, ThinkPad, Acer||IBM, THTF, Lenovo, HP, SAMSUNG, Topstar, Acer, Wall SONY, Fujitsu, TOSHIBA, Founder, Hasee, Great Haier, Dell, ThinkPad, GIGABYTE, Gamen, Foxconn|
|ESC||Dell||ASUS, Sony||MAXSUN, UNIKA, SOYO, SONY, Colorful, Great Foxconn, Wall Spark, SAMSUNG, ECS|
|F9||HP, BenQ||BIOSTAR, HP|
|F8||ASUS, BenQ||ASUS, Yeston|
|F11||MSI||MSI, ONDA, ECS, Topstar, Yeston SOYO, Colorful, ASRock, Gamen|
|Long Press Option||Apple|
- Once the correct key is pressed, a boot menu will appear. Use the arrow keys to highlight the “Boot Device Priority.” Then select the inserted “Password Reset Disk” name as a Boot Option # 1.
- Press “F10” to save changes and exit.
Part 3: Reset/Remove Windows Account Login Password
- After pressing “F10”, the computer will exit the BIOS settings and restart
- A new PassFab 4WinKey interface appears, asking us to choose the Windows System available on our hard drive to unlock and access.
- Click “Next,” and we will have options to choose the account and the feature we want to use, including “Remove Account Password” and “Reset Account Password, along with several other options.
Now, we can either remove the password for the account or reset it to create a new one to unlock the computer.
- We must select the account to remove the password and unlock the computer.
- Click the “Remove Account Password” option, then click “Next” to proceed.
- Once the process is complete, we must click the “Reboot” button to restart and unlock the computer.
Method 3: Unlock the Computer having Windows 11/10/8 without a Microsoft Account Password
If we have a Microsoft account linked to our Windows 8/10/10 computer, we can reset the password and unlock the computer by following the steps:
- We need to click “I forgot my password” on the Windows 8, 10, or 11 sign-in screen or go to the Microsoft Account Password Reset page using another device with internet access.
- Enter the email address associated with our Microsoft account and follow the prompts to verify our identity using a verification code or by answering security questions.
- Once identity is verified, we need to enter our new Microsoft account password twice.
- After resetting the Microsoft account password, we must return to our locked computer and connect it to the internet.
- Enter the Microsoft account email address and the new password we just created to log in to our computer.
In case of trouble resetting passwords or verifying identity, we can contact Microsoft support for further assistance.
Method 4: Unlock the Locked Computer Using Safe Mode with Command Prompt
- There are numerous ways to access the Command Prompt in Safe Mode, such as by using the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).
- If we can reach the sign-in screen, hold down the Shift key as we click the Power icon and choose Restart.
- However, if we cannot get to the sign-in screen, we can still enter WinRE by using the power button on our PC to enter a special diagnostic mode.
- Once we have entered WinRE, we can use the Command Prompt to reboot into Safe Mode by clicking on Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Setting.
- Click on the “Restart” button.
- Now, we will have a menu with various startup options. We must press “6” to initiate “Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.”
Alternatively, we can access Safe mode with Command Prompt” by restarting our computer and continuously pressing the F8 key until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears. Select “Safe Mode with Command Prompt” and press Enter using the arrow keys.
- Once we’re logged in to Safe Mode with Command Prompt, type “net user [username] *” (replace [username] with the name of the user account we want to unlock) and press Enter.
- We’ll be prompted to enter a new password for the user account. Insert a new password and press the “Enter” button.
- “The command completed successfully” message should appear
- We need to restart our computer and log in using the new password.
Note: This method only works if we have previously created a local user account on our computer. If we use a Microsoft account to log in to our computer, we must reset the password online or use a Windows Password reset software.
Method 5: Unlock the Locked Computer with the Windows installation disk
Following are the detailed steps to unlock a locked computer using a Windows installation disk. However, this method only works with domain and local Accounts and doesn’t apply to Microsoft accounts.
Step 1: Boot from the Installation Disk
First, we need to insert the installation disk into our computer’s USB drive or DVD drive and restart it. Press the dedicated key (usually ESC or F12) when the computer starts to access the boot menu. Select the installation disk from the boot menu and press “Enter.”
Step 2: Choose Language and Keyboard Layout
Next, we must select our preferred language and keyboard layout from the options displayed on the screen and click “Next.”
Step 3: Access the Command Prompt
Click on “Repair your computer” and choose “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced options” > “Command Prompt.”
Alternatively, we can press Shift + F10 with our keyboard on the Windows Setup screen to open a CMD window.
Step 4: Identify the Drive Letter
Type “diskpart” and press “Enter” to launch the DiskPart utility. Type “list volume” and press Enter to display a list of all the drives on our computer. Identify the drive letter of the partition where Windows is installed.
Step 5: Reset the Password
Type the following commands in order. We can replace the “D:” with the partition’s drive letter where Windows is installed:
move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak,
When the system says ‘1 file(s) moved’,
Type the following command:
copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe,
When the system says ‘1 file(s) moved’ again, we are done
These commands will back up the Utilman.exe file and replace it with the Command Prompt (cmd.exe).
Type ” wpeutil reboot” and press the “Enter” button to close the Command Prompt and restart the computer.
Step 6: Restart our Computer.
Now, we must remove the installation disk and restart our computer. When we reach the login screen, click the “Ease of Access” button in the lower-left corner. This will open the Command Prompt.
Step 7: Reset the Password
In the Command Prompt, type “net user [username] *.” Replace “[username]” with the account username whose password we want to reset. Press Enter and follow the instructions to create a new password.
Step 8: Log in with the New Password
Type “exit” and press Enter to close the Command Prompt. We should now be able to log in to our computer with the new password we just created.
Method 6: Unlock Locked Computer by Factory Reset
If we have forgotten our Windows password and are locked out of our computer, and if all the methods above don’t work for us, we can reset our computer by factory resetting it.
- We must turn on our PC and wait for the login screen.
- Now, click the Power button while holding the Shift Key on the screen’s lower right corner to restart the PC.
- Let the PC restart and wait until we enter into the Windows Recovery Environment.
- Click on the Troubleshoot button on the “Choose an Option” screen.
- Now click Reset this PC.
Note: This will reset our computer to its factory settings and remove all data from it. Please note that this will erase all data on our computer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Locked Computers
How can I unlock my computer without a password?
There are several ways to unlock our computer without a password:
- Use a password reset disk
- Use a Windows installation disk
- Use Safe Mode
- Use Command Prompt
- Use a third-party tool like PassFab 4WinKey
Can I unlock my computer without losing data?
Yes, you can unlock your computer without losing data by some methods, but the safest and easiest way is using a third-party Windows password recovery tool like PassFab 4WinKey.
We have discussed several approaches to unlocking a locked computer without a password, including using a password reset disk, a Windows installation disk, Safe Mode, Command Prompt, and third-party tools.
Among these methods, PassFab 4WinKey is one of the best third-party tools. According to several reviews, it is a trusted and reliable Windows password recovery software that can reset or remove Windows passwords for local accounts, administrator accounts, and domain accounts.