How to Remove an Administrator Password in Windows XP

By Jason Gordon

Passwords--those ubiquitious alphanumeric codes that protect us and give us access to everything digital--can be confusing. Though your computer likely won't forget a password, you very well might. When this happens, you can be locked out of your whole system, as in the case of the Windows XP administrator password.

Step 1

Insert your Windows XP CD into your CD drive and boot your computer. If you receive the message "press any key to boot from CD," press any key.

Step 2

Press "Enter" to set up Windows. After you accept the license agreement, you will be asked if you want start a repair process.

Step 3

Press "R" to begin the repair process. Setup will now check your disks and start copying files, which can take several minutes. After this, reboot. Let the computer boot normally (do not press a key to boot from CD).

Step 4

Keep your eye on the lower left portion of the screen. When you see the Installing Devices progress bar, press "Shift" and "F10" at the same time. This will open a command line console.

Step 5

Type "NUSRMGR.CPL" (without quotes) at the prompt, then press "Enter." This will give you access to User Accounts. Remove or change your password. Write it down. After the repair is finished, you will be able to log on with your new password.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you simply want to remove administrator passwords, open a command prompt and type "control userpasswords2." Uncheck the checkbox that says "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer." The computer will no longer prompt you for a password.