How to Change a Password in Regedit

By Donna Armstrong

A computer's password is its first line of defense against prying eyes. All Windows operating systems produced after Window 3.x are equipped with a registry editor called Regedit. In Regedit, users can create and manipulate registry keys, bookmark keys as favorites and much more. If your computer's password has been compromised, you can change the password in Regedit.

Step 1

Click the "Start" button to view the menu. The start button is on the bottom left-hand side of the screen and may look like a round circle with a flag on it.

Step 2

Type "regedit" in the "Start Search" box. This is the white box at the bottom of the start menu. Hit the "Enter" key. Click the "Continue" button on the prompt that pops up. This prompt is asking permission to run Regedit. The Regedit window will automatically open after the "Continue" button is clicked.

Step 3

Select the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" option in the window on the left side of the Regedit screen. All of the following folders that need opening are in the left-side panel of the Regedit window. Click the plus sign beside HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Double click on the "Software" folder and find the "Microsoft" folder. Double click on the Microsoft folder to open it.

Step 4

Double click on the "Windows" folder and open the "Current Version" folder. Find and open the "Policies" folder. Then find the "Systems" folder under policies and double click to open it.

Step 5

Right click on the "DisableChangePassword" option in the right-hand window and select "Delete." Confirm the deletion by clicking the "Yes" button in the prompt that appears. This allows the password to be changed.

Step 6

Close the Regedit program.

Step 7

Press the "Ctrl" key, the "Alt" key and the "Delete" key down at the same time. A Windows security screen will appear.

Step 8

Select "Change Password" from the list of options. Type the new password in the box provided, and then retype the password in the "Confirm Password" box. Click "Save" when you have finished. The next time the computer is rebooted, the password will take effect.

Tips & Warnings

  • Password reset disks are useful tools if a computer has more than one password or the password is lost frequently. There is a link in the references section for creating password reset disks.
  • All users of the computer can access the Regedit program and view or change passwords unless their permissions do not allow them to do so. Network computers can allow remote access to Regedit unless the settings have been set to restrict such access.