How to Unlock an HP Laptop

Troubleshooting a forgotten password

There are many ways to lock yourself out of your HP laptop, but even without a password, there are also several ways you can get back into your computer and get going again.

This article covers how to unlock an HP laptop running Windows 10 when you don't have the password for any of the computer's accounts.

You may quickly get back into your computer, but if you don't have any luck recovering your password, clean installing Windows is always an option. Though, this is the last resort you should only attempt if all else fails.

Causes of Locked HP Laptops

Losing access to your computer is easier than you think. Sometimes, the person who made the original user accounts, or set up your computer's admin accounts, might no longer use the computer and thus doesn't have the passwords anymore.

Regardless of how you end up there, though, all isn't lost. Depending on what information you have access to, you may well be able to reset a password and get back into your laptop.

Windows has a collection of features and services to help users get back into a computer they've lost access to, so it's essential to go through these steps before taking more radical action like a clean install of Windows.

How to Unlock an HP Laptop

Regardless of what specific model laptop you have, if you've got an HP laptop running Windows 10, you will have access to all of the features listed below.

  1. Reset your Microsoft account's password. When setting up Windows 10, you get a choice between signing in with your Microsoft account or setting up a local one. If you sign in with Microsoft, you use your Microsoft password to enter Windows. You can change this password through Microsoft's site.

    If you use a Windows password to, for example, keep your kids or roommates off your computer, you may want to consider not using your Microsoft account password to sign in to Windows. Instead, set up an easy-to-remember password to use to enter your computer.

  2. Reset your own Windows password via the Command Prompt. By using Microsoft's advanced startup options in Windows and booting into the Command Prompt, you can try to reset your password this way.

    To attempt this, you're going to need access to recovery or installation media for your copy of Windows. The easiest way to do this is to create a USB recovery drive for Windows.

  3. Reset another user's passwords in Windows. If you have access to an Administrator account on your computer, you can use this account to change other user accounts' passwords on the computer.

    You don't necessarily need to use the Administrator user account to do this, but your user account must have administrator-level privileges to change another user's account. If you don't see an option to change passwords on a user account, that means they either don't have a password or sign in with a Microsoft account, which you can't change even with administrator privileges.

  4. Use a Windows password reset disk. Now, you will need to have created one of these disks (or password reset USB drives) before losing your password, but if you haven't, once you get back into your computer, this is an excellent feature to try.

    If you do end up with a password reset disk, make sure you don't lose the disk either. Be sure to label it clearly and keep it somewhere nearby where you usually use your computer in a safe, secure location.

  5. Reset your HP laptop. If all else fails and you cannot get access to it anymore, it may be time to wipe the whole device and start fresh. Unfortunately, this does mean you will lose your files, and without access to the computer itself, you likely won't have much luck backing up.

    Chances are if you've forgotten your laptop's password, it wasn't your daily driver computer anyways. Still, after a reset, make sure to set up a backup of all your essential files you plan to store on the computer and create a password reset disk, so you don't have to reset your computer again.

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