I Forgot the Password to My Laptop: How Can I Get Back In?

By Tracy Moore

Passwords for personal accounts should be easy to remember and written down in case they are forgotten. In cases where a password is not remembered, there are ways to recover or change the password in order to gain access. In Windows-based systems, logging in as the administrator, using a reset disc, reinstalling Windows, and in some cases, reformatting your computer will solve this problem.

Log in as Administrator

Restart your computer and log in as the Administrator to gain access to accounts. Administrator accounts are automatically created when Windows is installed on a computer. If there is no account listed, type in the word "Administrator" in the username box and leave the password box blank. Once logged into the computer, click the "Start" button and type in the run box "control userpasswords2" and click enter. Click the "Users" tab and click the name of the account you want to change the password for. Click "Reset Password" and then type in a new password. Retype the password for confirmation and click "OK." Reboot the computer and log in with your username and new password.

Password Reset Disk

Restart the computer. On the log in screen, click on the username that you forgot the password for and hit "Enter." Click "Use Your Password Reset Disk" and the password wizard will start. Click "Next" in the password reset wizard box, and insert your password reset disc into the cd drive. Click "Next" again. Type a new password into the "Type in a New Password" box then type the new password in again in the next box to confirm. Type in a hint for your password in the third box and click "Next." Click "Finish" to complete the process, and attempt to log into Windows again.

Safe Mode

Restart your computer and press the "F8" key as soon as the computer turns back on. In the options, arrow down to select "Safe Mode with Network Support" and press "Enter" on your keyboard. Click on the "Administrator" username. Once on the desktop, navigate to "Control Panel," click "Switch to Classic View" and double-click the "User Accounts" icon. Click on "Change Account" under "Pick a Task." Click on the user account you need to change the password for. Click on "Change My Password." Type in a new password, and then again to confirm. Click "Change Password" once more and restart your computer in Normal Mode and log in with your new password and user account.

Reinstall

If none of the above methods work, you will need to reinstall Windows or reformat your computer (if you do not have the back-up disc or product key). Reformatting will cause all your information, pictures and documents to be lost. Before attempting to reinstall Windows, be sure to have the product key or serial number of Windows or it will not install. Insert the installation disk and follow the setup wizard.