How to Reset Your Microsoft Account Password

What to do if you've forgotten your password

Windows desktop computer

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Your Microsoft account is what's called a single sign-on account, meaning that this single account can be used to log on (sign in) to a number of different services by Microsoft and partner websites.

Microsoft accounts are commonly used to sign on to Windows 10 and Windows 8 computers, the Windows Store, Windows Phone devices, Xbox video game systems, Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail.com), Skype, Office 365, OneDrive (formerly Skydrive), and more.

Learn how to reset a Microsoft password if you have forgotten it or thought it might have been compromised.

How to Reset Your Microsoft Account Password

Resetting your Microsoft account password is very easy and should only take 10 to 15 minutes in most cases.

When you reset your Microsoft account password, you change the password used for all of the sites and services you use your Microsoft account for.

  1. Open the Microsoft Account Password Reset page from any browser on any computer or device, even your smartphone.

    Screenshot of Recover Your Account page
  2. Enter your Microsoft email address or the alternate email address, phone number, or Skype name associated with the account and select Next.

    Screenshot of email address in Recover your account box
  3. Select the method with which you want to receive a security code, such as an alternate email address or phone number. Select Show More Verification Methods if desired.

    Screenshot of We Need to Verify Your Identity page on MS account password reset
  4. Type in the information requested, such as your complete email address or the last four digits of your phone number and choose Get Code.

    Screenshot of Get Code button on Microsoft account password reset page
  5. Enter the verification code you received and select Next.

    Screenshot of Verify your identity
  6. Enter the desired new password. It must be a minimum of eight characters and is password sensitive. Reenter the password and select Next.

    Microsoft requires that you do not use a password you have used in the past.

    Screenshot of New Password screen on Microsoft password reset
  7. A notification will appear that your password has been changed. Select Sign in to log in to your Microsoft account using the new password.

    Screenshot of notification that Microsoft password is changed.

If you reset your Microsoft account password so you can now log in to your Windows 10 or Windows 8 computer, be sure you're connected to the internet at the Windows sign-in screen.

If for some reason the internet is not available to you at this point then Windows won't get word from Microsoft's servers about your new password! This means that your old, forgotten password is still the valid one on the computer. In this case, or in any case where the above procedure doesn't work but you're sure you have a Microsoft account, you'll have to rely on Windows password recovery software like the free Ophcrack tool.

If you're trying to reset your Windows 10 or Windows 8 password but you do not log in to Windows with an email address, then you're not using a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows and this procedure won't work for you. What you're using instead is a traditional "local account" meaning the slightly more involved How to Reset a Windows 10 or Windows 8 Password tutorial is what you need to follow.