Red is a computer and video game enthusiast working as a Freelance Computer Troubleshooter. When not tinkering, he is gaming.
There are many Windows password recovery programs available in the internet. However, most of them are for sale and/or available for trial. This tutorial bypasses all the hassle and cost of simply getting access to your administrator password.
In this tutorial, we will cover how to reset your Windows administrator password using a USB flash drive and two free software.
- Using another accessible computer or laptop, download the Offline NT Password Software and Rufus Bootable USB Creator. Note: Download the one with a filename that looks like this: cd140201.zip.
- Install the Rufus in your laptop or computer.
- Create a bootable USB flash drive using Rufus. Follow the instructions below (Step 1).
- Boot from your USB to access the registry system handling the administrator password to reset it (Step 2).
Step 1: Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Using Rufus
Using a computer you have access to, download the two software listed above. Both programs are no more than 20 MB in size.
- Insert your Flash Drive in the computer's USB port. Note that the USB will be formatted, whatever files inside will be erased. Be sure to transfer the files you need from the USB to your computer.
- Extract the file inside the zip file downloaded from Offline NT Password website. Put it in the desktop or folder you can access easily.
- Run Rufus from your computer.
- Set the settings to match the picture below. All of them are in default except the one with the ISO image. Be sure to select this.
- Click little icon (encircled red in the picture) and locate the file you have extracted. The file should look like this: cd140201.iso.
- Click Start. Wait for a few seconds for the program to format and make your USB Flash Drive bootable.
Step 2: Booting the Offline NT Password and Registry Editor From the USB
Now that your USB is bootable, it is time to get to work in the computer where you want the administrator password reset.
- Insert the USB in the computer.
- Now we need to make the computer boot from the USB. If you are using the newer systems, chances are they could be running UEFI Firmware instead of BIOS. Some systems boots to the UEFI/BIOS firmware after pressing F2 or Del at the initial boot sequence. However, if you cannot access UEFI through this, you have to do so through the Windows OS. To do so:
- Login to your account in Windows.
- Go to Start, then Settings.
- In the Settings window, choose Update and Security.
- Then click Recovery in the left side of that window.
- Below Advanced startup, click Restart now. It should load up more options for restarting.
- When the options appear, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings.
3. When the Firmware boots up, select Boot in the options at the top.
4. Select Boot Mode and change it to Legacy. Exit and save the settings.
5. After exiting from the BIOS/UEFI, press F12 (or depending on your system F8) to go to the Boot Option menu.
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6. In the Boot Option menu, select USB Flash Disk to boot the NT Password and Registry Editor.
Step 3: Resetting the Administrator Password
Now your computer should boot the software from the USB.
1. Don't worry about the texts coming up. All of the default options should lead you to the password reset. Keep pressing Enter until you get to this option.
2. You should now see the accounts in your screen. To select the account you want to reset, note its corresponding RID code on the leftmost side of the table. Type the RID code and press Enter.
You should meet these options after that.
The most useful options here are options 1, 2, and 3.
3. To clear the password, select option 1 by typing 1 and press Enter. To unlock an account, in cases where an administrator account is disable, select option 2. To promote an account to administrator, select 3.
4. After making the necessary changes, select q and press Enter. After exiting here, you will be taken back to the list of accounts. You can then change another account by doing the same steps above.
5. Press q again to exit. You will be prompted to save the changes you have made. Type y and press Enter. The software will save and exit from the registry.
6. To restart your computer, press Alt + Ctrl + Del. You can now login to your administrator account without a password. You can then add a new password by going to the user accounts in the Control Panel.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 Red Fernan
Red Fernan (author) from Philippines on June 25, 2019:
@Camille0 You are welcome. I’m glad you figured it out.
Camille0 on June 25, 2019:
I was locked out of Surface Pro 6 and there was no option to switch to legacy mode, and I couldn't get Offine NT Password and Registry Editor to work. Finally I used another software pcunlocker and it worked. Thanks any way.