Software & Apps Windows 6 Best Ways to Find Lost Windows Passwords Find lost passwords to Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, etc. by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on January 07, 2020 reviewed by Jessica Kormos Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jessica Kormos is a writer and editor with 15 years' experience writing articles, copy, and UX content for Tecca.com, Rosenfeld Media, and many others. our review board Article reviewed on Mar 26, 2020 Jessica Kormos Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email The Windows log-on password is one of the most important passwords we have memorized and if you've lost this password, you'll definitely be inconvenienced. Pick from one of several ways to find your lost password in Windows. Most of the methods listed below to find lost passwords apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Some of these ideas might work for older Windows operating systems as well. ©Lifewire 01 of 06 Reset Your Microsoft Account Password The quickest and easiest way to get back into Windows after losing your password is to reset it online—but only if you have Windows 10 or Windows 8 and only if you use a Microsoft account to log in. If that doesn't describe your situation, move on to the next idea. Since you use your Microsoft account as your Windows 10/8 credentials, and since Microsoft manages those accounts online, you can easily reset your lost Windows 10 or Windows 8 password from any browser, on any computer or device, including your smartphone. Not sure if you log in to Windows with a Microsoft account? If you log in with an email address, then you're using a Microsoft account. If you log in with something other than an email address, like your name or some other handle, then you're using a local account and this method won't work. Forgot Your Microsoft Account Password? Here's How to Reset It 02 of 06 Use Your Password Reset Disk If you don't use Windows 10 or Windows 8, or do but log in with a local account, the easiest way to get out of a "lost Windows password" predicament is to use your password reset disk—assuming, of course, you have one. You'll know if you do. Creating a password reset disk, which can actually be a flash drive or a floppy disk, depending on your version of Windows, is something you have to do before you lose your Windows password, not after. You only have to make a password reset disk once. No matter how many times you change your password after creating the disk, it will still work to reset your lost password. How Do I Create a Windows Password Reset Disk? 03 of 06 Have an Administrator Change Your Password The next easiest way to find a lost Windows password is to forget the idea of finding it at all! Just have one of the other users on your computer change your lost password for you. This will only work if one of the other people you share your computer with has a Windows log-on account that's set up with administrator access. One account usually is, so give approach this a try with as many accounts as you can. The first account that was set up in Windows is often times set up with administrator access. Obviously, you'll have to pass on this idea entirely if you're the only user on your computer. How Do I Change Another User's Password in Windows? 04 of 06 Hack Into Windows With a Password Recovery Tool Hacking into Windows might sound dangerous, illegal, and too complicated, but the reality is quite the opposite. Windows password recovery tools are just software programs that you can freely download from various legitimate websites and then use to either find the lost Windows password or quickly reset or delete it, allowing you back in. In most cases where the ideas above aren't options, a Windows password recovery program is the successful strategy. These password recovery programs are completely safe and easy to use, even for a computer novice, as long as you can follow some step-by-step directions. 6 Free Windows Password Recovery Tools 05 of 06 Reset Your Password With This Trick If downloading unfamiliar software, burning discs, or mastering flash drives doesn't sound like things you're interested in, try an unofficial, but workable, hack of the Ease of Access feature of Windows to gain access to the Command Prompt outside of a login session. Forgot Your Windows Password? Here's How to Reset It You'll have to do a little command-line work but all you'll need is access to your Windows installation or recovery media—and a little patience. On the other hand, the automatic password reset and recovery tools are probably going to be faster solutions from start-to-finish for most of you, than using this method. 06 of 06 Clean Install Windows This is the option you really don't want to try but we include it here because it's a certain fix for a Windows lost password problem. A clean install of Windows is a complete erasure of your hard drive, followed by a reinstallation of the Windows operating system. We have some great step-by-step tutorials linked below but the clean install process is time-consuming and you lose everything in the process. If you skipped the previous two ideas above because they sounded too complicated, please know that a clean install is much more involved. How Do You "Clean" Install (Delete & Reinstall) Windows?