How To Access Your PC if You Forget Your Administrative Password

You could get locked out of your own PC if you forget your administrative password, for some reason or another. Maybe you simply suddenly blacked out and forgot what it was. Maybe, because of something that knocked you out of your standard routine, you could not remember what to type, having relied on muscle memory for so long. Maybe it could even be something as mundane as that piece of paper you wrote it down on getting thrown in the trash. Whatever the reason, you now cannot access your own computer. Oh no right? What do you do? Do not panic. There is a way to solve this problem. Here is how to access your PC if you forget your administrative password:

  • A second administrative account. Creating a second administrative account allows you to have the same level of access to the computer and its files apart from your primary administrative profile. Most of the time, this account is automatically created. Using this other account you can change the password of your other account so you can access it again. Remember the password for this other account if you do decided to make one.
  • Using the hard drive as external memory. Remove the hard disk from the computer and connect to an enclave device so that it can be used as external memory or slave drive. You can then connect it to another computer to access the previously locked files.
  • Third-Party software access. Use third-party software to reset your forgotten password. Make sure that you have not encrypted your files. Be careful which software you choose to use though.
  • Resetting the password with a system installer. Taking your Operating System’s CD-ROM, whether Windows or Mac and inserting it into the computer will allow you do reboot the computer and reset the password. For Windows, access the “Setup” menu and choose the “Repair” option by clicking ‘R.’ This will repair your hard disks and copy your files. When it is done, your PC will reboot automatically. Press “Shift” + “F10” to open a command prompt. From here, you can access the control panel by entering “control.exe” (Windows 2000) or “nusrmgr.cpl” (Windows XP). You will now be able to reset your password. For MAC users, insert the CD, wait for the start-up tone and press and hold ‘C.’ Release after you see the spinning gear, select a language and continue. Click “Choose Utilities” and select “Reset Password.” Follow the instructions and exit the installer. Eject the CD and restart your computer and you should now be able to access your files with your new password. Be careful with keeping the CD’s for this method since others can access your computer using the same technique.

If you ever lock yourself out of your own computer, do not panic. There are steps that you can take to access your system and files again. If you somehow cannot access the computer again, you will have to reformat your hard drive, erasing all your data, before you can use the computer again.


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