If you needed a bootable (although not necessary) USB flash drive to reset your Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10 password, in this manual you will find 2 ways to make such a drive and information on how to use it (as well as some limitations inherent to each of them) . Separate guide: Reset Windows 10 password (using a simple bootable USB flash drive with OS).
I also note that I have also described the third option – an installation USB flash drive or a disk with a Windows distribution can also be used to reset a password on an already installed system, which I wrote about in an article A simple way to reset a Windows password (should be suitable for all recent OS versions, starting with Windows 7).
The official way to make a USB flash drive for password reset
The first way to create a USB drive, which you can use if you forgot your Windows password, is provided by the built-in operating system, but has significant limitations that make it rarely used.
First of all, it is only suitable if you can go to Windows right now and create a USB flash drive for the future, if you suddenly need to reset a forgotten password (if this is not about you, you can immediately proceed to the next option). The second limitation is that it is only suitable for resetting the password of a local account (i.e. if you use a Microsoft account in Windows 8 or Windows 10, this method will not work).
The very procedure for creating a flash drive is as follows (works the same in Windows 7, 8, 10):
- Go to the Windows Control Panel (in the upper right, select “Icons” rather than categories), select “User Accounts”.
- Click on "Create a password reset disk" in the list on the left. If you do not have a local account, then this item will not be.
- Follow the instructions of the forgotten password wizard (very simple, literally three steps).
As a result, the userkey.psw file will be written to your USB drive containing the information necessary for resetting (and this file, if desired, can be transferred to any other flash drive, everything will work).
To use a USB flash drive, connect it to the computer and enter the wrong password when entering the system. If this is a local Windows account, then you will see that a reset item will appear below the input field. Click on it and follow the instructions of the wizard.
Online NT Password & Registry Editor – a powerful tool to reset Windows passwords and not only
Online NT Password Utility & I first successfully used the Registry Editor about 10 years ago and since then it has not lost its relevance, not forgetting to regularly update.
This free program can be placed on a bootable USB flash drive or disk and used to reset the password for the local account (and not only) Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 (as well as previous versions of Microsoft OS). If you have one of the latest versions and you are not using a local, but an online Microsoft account to log in using Online NT Password & Registry Editor, you can still access the computer in a roundabout way (I will also show).
Note: resetting the password on systems that use EFS file encryption will make these files inaccessible for reading.
And now, a guide to creating a bootable USB flash drive for password reset and instructions for using it.
Go to the official download page for the ISO image and files for the bootable flash drive Online NT Password & Registry Editor http://pogostick.net/
pnh / ntpasswd / bootdisk.html, flip it closer to the middle and download the latest release for USB (there is also an ISO for writing to disk).
Note: if for some reason this method did not work, then you can download the ISO image of this utility and burn it to a USB flash drive using WinSetupFromUSB (using the SysLinux bootloader).
So, the USB drive is ready, connect it to the computer where you need to reset the password or access the system in another way (if you use a Microsoft account), put the boot from the USB flash drive into the BIOS and proceed with the active actions.
After loading, on the first screen you will be prompted to select options (in most cases, you can simply press Enter, without selecting anything. If problems arise in this case, then use one of the options by entering the specified parameters, for example, boot irqpoll (after that – press Enter) if there are errors related to IRQ.
The second screen will show a list of partitions in which installed Windows were detected. You need to specify the number of this section (there are other options that I won’t go into details about, those who use them and without me know why. And ordinary users will not need them).
After the program is convinced of the presence of the necessary registry files in the selected Windows and the possibility of writing operations to the hard drive, you will be offered several options, of which we are interested in Password reset, which we select by entering 1 (unit).
Next, select again 1 – Edit user data and passwords (editing user data and passwords).
From the next screen, the fun begins. You will see a table of users, whether they are administrators, and also these accounts are blocked or involved. On the left side of the list are the RID numbers of each user. We select the desired one by entering the corresponding number and pressing Enter.
The next step allows us to choose several actions when entering the appropriate number:
- Reset selected user password
- Unlock and engage the user (Just this feature allows you toWindows 8 and 10 with an accountMicrosoft access to your computer – just in the previous step, select the hidden Administrator account and enable it using this item).
- Make the selected user an administrator.
If you do not select anything, then by pressing Enter you will return to the selection of users. So, to reset the Windows password, select 1 and press Enter.
You will see information that the password has been reset and again the same menu as you saw in the previous step. To exit, press Enter, the next time you select – q, and finally, to save the changes made, we introduce y upon request.
This is a reset of the Windows password using the bootable flash drive Online NT Password & The Registry Editor is complete, you can extract it from the computer and press CtrlAltDel to reboot (and put the boot from the hard drive into the BIOS).