It may be down to forgetfulness, stress, or simply because you haven’t used it in a while – no matter why you haven’t got your Windows password ready to hand, without it you won’t be able to use your PC. But help is at hand – just follow these tips and you’ll be back up and running again in no time at all.
You’ve already learned how to reset or crack passwords in an emergency. To save you from having to go through this somewhat tedious process again, it’s a good idea to plan for the worst and turn a USB stick into a password reset disk. It will store an encrypted copy of your local Windows password and allow you to access your Windows account in a flash should disaster strike. It even works with the Administrator account – but just the local one. This is what you need to do in Windows 10:
- Plug a blank, formatted USB stick into your computer. Type “control panel” into the Windows search box and hit enter. Then click “User Accounts” followed by “User Accounts”. You should now be in the “Make changes to your user account” window.Now click “Create a password reset disk” (be aware that this button only appears for local accounts, not for Microsoft accounts).
- In the wizard, click “Next”. In the next step, select a USB stick and click “Next”. Following that, enter your current password and click “Next”. The password reset disk will now be created. Once done, click “Next” and then “Finish”. Unplug the stick, write on it or slap a Post-It note onto it to remind you that it’s your password reset disk, and put it somewhere safe.
How to use your password reset disk in an emergency
If you can’t remember what your local account password is no matter how hard you scratch your head, it’s time to grab your password reset disk from that safe place.
- Plug the USB stick into your PC. On the sign-in screen, enter any password and press “enter”. Now click “Reset password”.
- In the wizard, first click “Next” and then in the next step select your USB drive. When you click “Next”, you can now set a new password. Enter it into the relevant fields and optionally add a hint to jog your memory. After clicking “Next” a few more times and then “Finish”, you’ll be able to access your account using your new password. And the added bonus: Even though you’ve set a new password, you won’t have to go through the process of creating a new password reset disk again as the old one will still work.