How to Log Into Windows If I Forgot My Password

By Chris Caruso

Creating a login password for the Windows operating system is an effective and recommended security feature to protect valuable files. This password allows computer access only to those users who correctly authenticate themselves. However, when users themselves forget their own passwords, they are unable to log in to Windows and are locked out of accessing any of the computer's hard drives or programs. With Windows XP, there is a way to recover your password without reinstalling the entire operating system.

Step 1

Reboot the computer and press "F8" before the Windows screen initializes. A boot option menu will appear.

Step 2

Select "Safe Mode" from the list of boot options and press "Enter." Allow Windows to boot up automatically.

Step 3

Log in as the Administrator and click "Yes" when the message to continue in Safe mode appears. The graphics may look less defined in Safe Mode.

Step 4

Click on the "Start" menu button, select "Control Panel," then switch to Classic View. Click on the "Users" icon.

Step 5

Select the user account whose password you forgot and need to change. Select "Change Password." Type in the new password, confirm it and click "OK."

Step 6

Reboot the device and allow Windows to boot up normally. Type in the new password to log in.