Chances are if you found this page, it’s because you locked yourself out of Windows 7 and forgot the password to log back into your account. There are many ways to reset your password including several software applications that can do the job. However, I have found the easiest way (and free!) is as follows:
- Get your Windows 7 installation disk. If you don’t have one, you can download a free copy of the Windows Install disk here and burn it to DVD:
Windows 7 32-Bit (x86) Direct Download Links
Windows 7 64-Bit (x64) Direct Download Links
- Insert your Windows 7 Install disk in your CD/DVD drive, reboot your computer, and boot off the DVD.
- When the Windows 7 install screen comes up, click the link that says ‘Repair Windows‘ near the bottom left hand side.
- A new screen appears with several repair options, select the one that says ‘Command Prompt’
- When the command prompt opens, you will be in the X:\ drive. This is the Install DVD and not your Windows System. You need to find where your Windows 7 is installed. It may be C:\, however it is not uncommon for the Repair Disk to place it as drive letter D:\ or another drive letter. Search drive letters until you find one that has the Windows directory. For demonstration purpose I will use D:\ in this article. So if D:\ is your Windows installation drive, then you will have the following directory D:\Windows
- Now you are going to make a copy of the Sticky Keys application, because we are going to copy over it later. To make a copy of Sticky Keys run the following comand:
X:\> copy D:\Windows\System32\sethc.exe D:\
- Now we are going to copy the Command Prompt cmd.exe over the Sticky Keys appliction. To do this run the following command:
C:\> copy D:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe D:\Windows\System32\sethc.exe
- You’re now done with the Command Prompt and Repair Mode. Reboot your computer and remove the Windows 7 DVD.
- When the computer reboots, it will boot back up as normal into your login screen. Now press your shift key 5 times. The Command Prompt will open up.
- Run the following command in the Command Prompt:
C:\> net user [your_login_name] [your_new_password]
*Please Note that [your_login_name] is the login name you are resetting the passworld for, and [your_new_password] is the password you want to set for the login name.
- Close the command prompt, and now login with your new password! Once you are logged into your account, don’t forget to copy the sethc.exe back to it’s original location.
C:\> copy C:\sethc.exe C:\Windows\System32\sethc.exe
That’s it. You are done! You can now begin logging in with your new password.