How to recover your Windows 10 password

It can happen to the best: you want to log in to Windows 10, but unfortunately it seems that the password is incorrect. What now? Fortunately, the password is easy to recover with these steps. Computer!Totaal explains what to do. This is how you recover your Windows 10 password.

Since Windows 8, it's been fairly easy to log back into the operating system in case you've forgotten your password. Especially if you log in to Windows with a Microsoft account, the company offers plenty of options to reset your password. The advantage is also that (once you have access to Windows 10 again) you also get access to all other Windows accounts on your computer.

Step 1. Reset Password

If you log in to Windows 10 with a Microsoft account (ending in for example @live.nl, @outlook.com or @hotmail.com) and you have forgotten the password, you can recover it via the link //account.live .com/password/reset

On that page, first enter the email address of the account you want to reset. In the next step you indicate whether you want to receive a message at the telephone number that you specified when creating your account. You must then confirm the last four digits of that number. Enter the code you receive as an SMS.

If you do not have a phone number linked to your account, you must choose the option I don't have any of this data. You can then recover your account using a secondary email address that you provided when you created your Microsoft account.

When creating a Microsoft account you already had to enter the secondary address and you enter it here in the field Please provide an email address other than the one to be recovered.

Step 2. Enter email address

After entering the e-mail address and the captcha, you will receive a message with the code almost immediately. You can then enter that code in the field that appears on the page. You can then create a new password for your Microsoft account. Once that's done, you can log in to your computer with the new password.

Step 3. Windows 10 without Microsoft account

The procedure for recovering the account information explained above only works if you sign in with a Microsoft account. But what if you only use a local Windows 10 account? Even then you can reset your password, but you have to take a number of extra steps. You then have to deceive Windows 10.

Step 4. Boot Computer from Recovery Drive

To recover your forgotten password from a local Windows 10 account, you have to use the recovery option of Windows 10. You can use a bootable Windows 10 DVD or USB stick for that. If you don't already have one, you can do it through the Microsoft Media Creation Tool. You can download this tool from Microsoft's website. Then boot your computer with the DVD or USB stick, usually you can do that by pressing the F10 button immediately after starting your PC and then choosing the bootable device (DVD or USB stick). Your computer will then boot from that drive. After the first screen of the bootable drive appears, press the following key combination: Shift+F10. A command prompt will now appear on the x: drive, like the one below:

Step 5. Run additional commands

Windows 10 is so secured that you cannot simply change a password. However, there is a gap in that security. Because if you move and rename a particular Windows file and then drop another Windows file in its place, you can bypass Windows 10's security. After starting the computer in the normal way (ie without a bootable drive) you can get into the operating system without having to log in.

After you press the key combination Shift+F10 If you have opened the command window from the recovery DVD or USB stick, you can bypass the protection with two commands. the tool utilman.exe is normally used to display a virtual keyboard on the screen at the login window. But if you utilman.exe replaced with cmd.exe, the command window opens, instead of utilman.exe.

To get this done, first run the following command:

move d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak

Temporarily renames the utilman.exe file. With the following command you will now copy the executable file for the command prompt to where utilman.exe used to be and rename it to utilman.exe:

copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

Step 6. Restart and Login

After you have correctly executed the above commands, you can restart your computer from the command prompt with this command:

wpeutil reboot

Followed by enter. The computer will now reboot. When the computer has completely restarted and you have arrived at the login screen, click on the Accessibility logo in the bottom right. Instead of the accessibility options, a command prompt now opens.

Step 7. Create new account

Now that the command prompt is open, you have access to various functions even before you are logged into the system. So much for Windows 10's advanced security.

To create a new user now, use the net command. You add a standard user with the following command:

net user pietjepuk /add

Adds a user with the account name little puck to Windows 10. The account is not yet an administrator account, but you do need that to adjust the other accounts in Windows 10, for example if you want to provide them with a new password. With the following command you add the account little puck to the administrators group.

net localgroup administrators pietjepuk /add

Now that that's done, you can restart your computer. The pietjepuk account will then appear on the login screen and you can click on it to log in directly to your computer.

Step 8. Edit other accounts

Now that you are logged in with the account you just created, you can change the passwords of the other accounts so that you can use them again. Right click on the start menu button and choose computer management.

Once in Computer Management, open the menu at Local users and groups. Now find the user account you want to change, right click on it and choose Set Password. Now you can enter a new password. After you've done that, you can restart your computer. It is then possible to log in again with the account for which you forgot the password.

Step 9. Restore utilman.exe back to the original

In the first part of this article, we wrote how to change utilman.exe in Command Prompt. If you have done all the steps correctly, and you want to restore everything back to the way it was, you can restore utilman.exe back to its original state. Fortunately, it was backed up. In Windows 10, open a command prompt from the start menu with the command cmd.exe.

Give the following command there:

copy C:\Windows\system32\utilman.exe.bak C:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

Confirm overwriting the file with [YES] or [YES] and then everything is restored.

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