Tech Tip: Accessing a Locked Out Windows Account

locked outIf you are locked out of your machine and forgot your password, do not fear! There is a way to bypass a locked windows account if you forgot your password. Below is the most effective method. You will need to have your windows installation disk handy (either in a CD-Rom or on a thumb drive), although a license is not required.



Step 1.)

Reboot your machine and open the boot menu once it starts turning back on. The boot menu key is different based on your computer’s manufacturer, but is normally somewhere between the F8 key and the F12 key. Once in the boot menu, set the machine to boot off the windows installation disk. It will then reboot off of the windows installation disk. Once you get to the first menu for region and language, press shift+f10 to bring up the command prompt.

In the command prompt, you will first want to backup the Utility Manager before you modify it. So, enter the below commands (with ? being replaced with the Windows drive letter, if you don’t know your Windows drive letter, type the below command

diskpart list volume

and you will get a list of drives on your machine)

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

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

Once these commands have been inputted, you will be able to access Utility Manager and launch the command prompt from login screen.



Step 2.)

Reboot your machine. Once you get to the login screen, open the command prompt, then input the following where USERNAME is your username and PASSWORD is the password you want to set:



Now you should be able to login with your username and the password you just set.



Step 3.)

If you are still unable to login, you will need to enable the default administrator account. In command prompt, enter the following command:

net user administrator /active:yes

You will be required to reboot here. After rebooting, the administrator account should be available. You will not require a password to login as the administrator.


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