How to Unlock the Administrator Password in Windows XP

By David Sandoval

Microsoft Windows versions produced since 2000 require at least one active user account for the computer to operate properly. For stand-alone computers, the user account is typically an administrator-level account. If the user account becomes locked out, the computer may seem as though it is unusable. Thankfully, there is a built-in "Administrator" account that allows any local user account on that computer to be reset. To access this hidden account, the computer must be booted into Safe Mode.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Microsoft Windows XP

Step 1

Turn on the computer. Press and hold the "F8" key immediately after the manufacturer logo screen (Dell, HP, Compaq, etc.) appears. Select "Safe Mode" from the Windows Advanced Options menu, and press "Enter".

Step 2

Click on the "Administrator" account logo when the system log-in screen appears. Click the "Yes" button on the "Windows is running in safe mode" pop-up warning.

Step 3

Click the "Start" button, select "Control Panel" and double-click the "User Accounts" icon. Click "Change an Account" and select the administrator-level account you wish to change. Click "Remove the Password".