How to find a forgotten password

Nowadays we need a password for almost everything. Be sure to forget a password every now and then. In our editorial office we receive messages almost every day from readers who are panicking: they have forgotten an important password. Fortunately, there are solutions for that.

Tip 01: PC Password (1)

Haven't used one of your PCs in a while and now want to get started on it, but can't remember the Windows password? If you can still log in with a (different) administrator password, you have solved this problem quickly. You log in as an administrator and via Control Panel / User Accounts and Parental Controls / User Accounts / Manage Another Account indicate the problematic account and choose Change the password. Please note, if that user had encrypted his data with EFS (encrypting file system), he will no longer be able to access his files after the password change! Also read: How to create a strong password.

Tip 02: PC Password (2)

It becomes a lot more difficult when you can no longer log in as an administrator. It is possible, but only through a detour. Download an iso file of Ubuntu and create a live Ubuntu DVD or USB stick with it. Boot your system with this. After the start you choose Dutch and Try Ubuntu. In the desktop click it Traffic jamsicon and navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder on your hard drive. Click the file Utilman.exe right-click and name it for example Utilman.old. Make a copy of the file in the same folder cmd.exe and name that copy Utilman.exe. Exit Ubuntu and start Windows. When the login window appears, press Windows Key+U. You will no longer see the accessibility options (Utilman), but you will be directed to the command line (cmd) as an administrator, where you run the following two commands:

net user savior secret /add

net localgroup administrators savior /add

You have now created the administrator account called 'saviour' with the password 'secret'. Log in with this and change the forgotten password of your account. A more detailed description can be found here.

Tip 03: Different password

There are, of course, many other programs and services that require a password login. However, almost all web services provide a handy 'forgot password' function: you indicate that you no longer know your password and you receive a link by e-mail with which you can create a new password. This also applies to the password in Windows 8 and higher if you use a Microsoft account for this, you can find more information here.

But what if you forgot your password for, for example, your ftp client, e-mail program or wireless network, or you no longer remember the license code of some installed program and you want to install it elsewhere? There is a good chance that you will still find that forgotten password with the free tool recALL, don't be put off by the language of the site, you can set it to Dutch. RecALL can retrieve passwords from more than 200 programs as well as license codes from 2800 applications. Start the program and select Find passwords in the default location. Press Next one and wait for the scan results. You can also always export them to various file formats. If recALL cannot find the passwords of your ftp or e-mail program, choose Server Emulation and follow the further instructions: there is a good chance that it will work.

Tip 04: Wifi password

If you have forgotten the password for your wireless network, you will probably find it in the configuration window of your wireless router. Or you can use a free tool like WirelessKeyView. Can't remember your router's password? First google for something like default password or surf to, after which you can reset the router to factory settings. After this you can log in with the found data (default name and password). Keep in mind that you will also have to reset your own router settings.

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