How to Change Your Password in Windows

Change your password in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP

What to Know

  • Windows 11, 10, and 8: Type sign in options in the search bar, select Sign-in options > Password > Change.
  • Earlier versions: Go to Start > Control Panel > User Accounts > User Accounts > Change your password.

You can change your password in Windows 11 through Windows XP via the User Accounts applet in Control Panel. However, the steps involved differ somewhat depending on which operating system you use, so be sure to take note of those differences when they're called out below.

Change Your Password in Windows 11, 10, and 8

Follow these instructions to change your password in Windows 8, 10, or 11.

  1. Using the search bar, type sign in options and then choose Sign-in options from the list of results.

    Sign-in options in Windows Search bar

    If that doesn't work, open Control Panel, choose User Accounts (Windows 11/10) or User Accounts and Family Safety (Windows 8), then the User Accounts link, followed by the Make changes to my account in PC Settings.

  2. In Windows 11 & 10, select Password and then choose Change.

    In Windows 8, choose Change from the Password section.

    Change button in Sign-in options window
  3. Enter your current password in the first text box and then select Next.

    Current password field in Change your password dialog
  4. Enter your new password twice to verify that you've typed it correctly. You can type a password hint, too, which will help remind you of your password should you forget it when logging in. It's required in Windows 11 and Windows 8.

  5. Select Next.

    Change your password confirmation boxes
  6. Select Finish. You can now exit any other open Settings, PC settings, and Control Panel windows.

Illustration of a man changing the locks on a door on a PC computer screen

Lifewire / Maritsa Patrinos

Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

  1. Select Start and then​ Control Panel.

  2. Choose User Accounts and Family Safety if you're using Windows 7.

    If you're using Windows XP (or some versions of Windows Vista), this link is instead called User Accounts.

    If you're viewing the Large icons, Small icons, or Classic view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Simply choose User Accounts and proceed to Step 4.

  3. Select User Accounts.

  4. In the Make changes to your user account area of the User Accounts window, choose Change your password.

    For Windows XP users, look instead for the or pick an account to change section, and select your user account, and then choose Change my password on the following screen.

  5. In the first text box, enter your current password.

  6. In the next two text boxes, enter the password you would like to start using.

    Entering the password twice helps to make sure that you typed your new password correctly.

  7. In the final text box, you're asked to enter a password hint.

    This step is optional but we highly recommend that you use it. If you try logging in to Windows but enter the wrong password, this hint will display, which hopefully will jog your memory.

  8. Select Change password to confirm your changes.

  9. You can now close the User Accounts window and any other Control Panel windows.

Tips and More Information

Now that your Windows password has been changed, you must use your new password to log in to Windows from this point forward.

Trying to change your password in Windows (because you forgot it) but can't get into Windows (again, because you forgot your password)? See our list of ways to find lost passwords in Windows for some options.

Another option is to create a Windows password reset disk. While not a required part of changing your password, we highly recommend that you do this.

You do not need to create a new password reset disk if you already have one. Your previously created password reset disk will work no matter how many times you change your Windows password.

  • How do you force-quit in Windows 11?

    To force-quit a program, simultaneously press Alt+F4 on your keyboard. You can also use the Task Manager or the Run service to quit apps.

  • How do you upgrade to Windows 11?

    To upgrade your computer from running Windows 10 to Windows 11, first check if your device meets the requirements. Then, go to Start > Windows Update Settings > Check for updates. Under Upgrade to Windows 11, select Download and Install.

  • How do you screen record in Windows 11?

    To take a screen recording, open the Xbox Game Bar and select the record icon. This feature comes with the software by default.

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