How To Change Another User's Password in Windows XP

Screenshot showing how to change another user's password in Windows XP
Changing Another User's Password.

Plenty of reasons exist for why you might want to change another user's password in Windows XP but chances are it's because another user on your computer has forgotten their password.

Luckily it's pretty easy to change another user's password in Windows XP.

Important: Your Windows XP account must be configured with administrator privileges to have the ability to change another user's password. See Tip #2 at the bottom of the page if you're trying to change the password to another account in Windows XP but you're not an administrator.

Follow the easy steps below to change another user's password in Windows XP:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: You can usually change another user's password in Windows XP in just a few minutes

Here's How:

  1. Click on Start and then Control Panel.

  2. Click on the User Accounts link.

    Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, double-click on User Accounts instead.

  3. In the or pick an account to change area of the User Accounts window, click on the account that you want to change the password for.

    Note: If Password protected is not listed under the account type then the user has no password set, meaning there's nothing to change. Let the user know that they don't need a password to log in to their account and if they want one, they can set one up themselves next time they log in... with a "blank" password.

  4. Under the What do you want to change about [username]'s account heading, click Change the password.

  1. Enter a new password for the user in the first two text boxes.

    You're asked to enter the same password twice to make sure you haven't mistyped the password.

  2. You can skip Type a word or phrase to use as a password hint.

  3. Click the Change Password button to confirm the password change.

    Warning: When you change a Windows XP password from outside the account, which is what you're doing here, the user you're changing the password for will lose access to all EFS encrypted files, personal certificates, and any stored network or website passwords. Most people don't encrypt files and the loss of stored passwords probably isn't a huge concern.

    If these caveats are a concern, the only way to prevent the problem is to discover the original password using a password recovery program like Ophcrack or Cain & Abel. Password resetting programs like ONTP&RE, Kon-Boot, and PC Login Now are not better options in this situation because they cause the same problem.

  1. You can now close the User Accounts and Control Panel windows.

  2. Log off your account or restart the computer and then have the user log in to their account with the password you chose for them in Step 5.

  3. After the user logs in, have him or her create a Windows XP password reset disk to avoid you having to take these steps again in the future after a lost password.

Tips:

  1. Not a Windows XP user? See How Do I Change Another User's Password in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.

  2. You won't be able to change another user's password in Windows XP if you're not an administrator.

    However, you can use a free Windows password recovery program to hack into the account or reset the password. With the majority of these tools, you don't need to have access to Windows XP at all. You can then have the user change their own Windows XP password themselves.

    See Help! I Forgot My Windows XP Password! for a few other ideas.