3 ways to reset the administrator password in Windows 11

Windows 11

It may be that you have forgotten the Administrator password of your Windows computer and right now you are quite desperate. Let’s keep calm, since there are three ways by which you will be able to reset them, so continue with us because we are going to show you.

We have all forgotten a password that we needed at that precise moment in which it was totally necessary for the proper functioning of our Windows 11.

The problem is what type of password is the one that we have forgotten, since it is not the same as that of a website or a forum, which are normally very easy to recover, that it is a really important one.

If you’ve forgotten the password for a Windows administrator account, we understand your nerves, but don’t worry, as there are several methods you can use to recover it. 

We’re going to show you how to reset administrator passwords in Windows, even if you don’t have administrator rights.

Reset with a Microsoft account

It is clear that one of the benefits of having a Microsoft account with Windows is the fact that you can reset your password using the tools that are available to you.

The steps that we must carry out are the following:

  • We go to login.live.com and try to sign in with the Microsoft account that we use on the computer.
  • Once we have entered the email address of our account, since we do not know more, we must click on I forgot my password.
  • Now we will be guided so that we can put a correct one back, either by sending a link to our email account or, by clicking on Other ways to log in, having the option of sending an SMS to the phone number that we had registered in our account.

Once we have finished and we already have the new password, within the Microsoft account, we must take a few minutes to update our security information.

Adding a phone number and secondary email address, if we didn’t have it, is always very convenient. This will make it much easier to reset the admin password in the future.

Reset Windows password thanks to the lock screen

If we do not use a Microsoft account to log in to Windows, then we have a local type and the password we do not know is that, that is, we cannot change it using the previous method.

If the account whose password we don’t know is the only administrator account on the PC, we need to use a workaround to launch a Command Prompt.

  • On the Windows start screen we click on the power menu in the lower right corner.
  • Then we hold down the Shift key and click on Restart. If we see a warning that restarting can cause people to lose their work, we click on Restart anyway.
  • After that we will see the Advanced Settings menu. 
  • We click on Troubleshooting > Advanced options > Startup settings and then on Restart.
  • At that moment the computer will restart and then it will ask us which start option we want. We must press key 4 to Enable safe mode.
  • This causes Windows to load with only the essential drivers and services.
  • At the moment in which we are already in Windows we press the Shift key five times quickly. This should bring up the Command Prompt with administrator access.
  • Now, to reset the account’s password, we type net user to see all the accounts on the machine.
  • Then we can replace the username and password with the real username of our account and the new password that we want to configure: Take a look at this example to understand it:

net user username password

net user Manuel newpass123

  • If we want to create a new user, we must, again, change the username and password to the new username and password. For example:

net user username password /add

net user Miguel pass123 /add

  • Now we put the following command to make this new user an administrator:

net localgroup Administrators username /add

net localgroup Administrators Michael /add

  • We only have to exit safe mode, restart the computer normally and log in as usual with the usual  user or with the new one that we have just created.

Reset password booting Linux from a USB

There is another way to reset the Windows local administrator password is by using a bootable Linux USB drive. 

The steps that we must carry out are the following:

  • First, we need to create a bootable Linux USB drive on another computer. Ubuntu and Mint are two very interesting options.
  • Once we have created the USB drive, we start the computer and at the time of booting we press the F10, F12 or ESC key (it can even be another, it depends on the computer) to enter the system BIOS.
  • In it we change the boot order of the drives, so that the first thing the computer reads is the USB where we have the Linux boot drive.
  • Now when the computer boots it will read the Linux USB drive. Normally it will start the Linux environment directly, although there are times when this is not the case and there are some configuration tasks to complete If it asks us to install Linux, we should not do it.
  • We open the file explorer application of the operating system. On Ubuntu, this is the folder icon in the left sidebar. If we’re using Mint, there’s a folder icon in the bottom left corner.
  • With the explorer open we press Ctrl + L to edit the location path and write this: computer:///
  • We look for the drive where we have Windows installed. 
  • We right-click on your Windows drive and choose Mount so that Linux can access it.
  • Now we are going to enter the Linux Terminal, for that we press Ctrl + Alt + T if we have Mint or Ubuntu.
  • Next we type the following command to install a password reset utility: sudo apt-get install chntpw
  • Next, we change the working directory (cd means change directory) to your Windows folder. 
  • To get the correct location, we go back to file explorer and open the Windows drive, reaching the Windows > System32 folder,
  • Now, we click inside the address bar at the top of the file explorer window and press Ctrl + C to copy the address.
  • We return to Terminal, right click and paste the address that we have copied after the cd command. We must add /config to the end of the address. It could be more or less like this: cd /media/mint/DA6C861A6C85F215/Windows/System32/config
  • Next, we write sudo chntpw -l SAM (with this we will obtain a list of Windows users)
  • We should see the user whose password we want to reset in this list. 
  • Then we must put the command that we leave you below, replacing User Name with the name that we have seen before. If it has more than one word, the quotes are not necessary: ​​sudo chntpw -u “USER NAME” SAM
  • In the next message, we put 1 and press Enter. This will clear the user’s password, allowing us to log in without one. 
  • We hit 2 to unlock the user’s account, but this is only applicable if the account is disabled. If necessary, we can use 3 to make the user an administrator.
  • We put q to exit and save the changes. 
  • If we’re on Mint, we click the Menu button at the bottom right to find power and shutdown options. On Ubuntu, the power icon is at the top right.
  • All that remains is to restart Windows and we can log in with the blank password.
  • Then we go to Settings> Accounts> Sign-in options and choose Password to set a new one.

These are all the ways we have to get back into Windows if we have forgotten the password.

If this has happened to us, as you have been able to read, we will have to carry out quite a few steps, but if we do it correctly, we can reconfigure our Windows 11 with the password and thus be able to enter again.

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