Forgotten your Windows 10 password? Top tips to save the day (part 1)

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.

If several people have access to your PC – even if we’re talking in theoretical terms here – then privacy should come before the convenience of just letting them use it without needing to enter any credentials. As such, make sure every user has their own account in Windows – and one that’s protected with a password that’s as secure as possible. This will ensure that nobody will be able to get at your private data apart from you. The only annoying thing is when you can’t recall this password. If there’s no chance of you remembering it, getting good advice can be costly. Thankfully though, it’s not that difficult to unlock your account again – depending on the type. A range of methods are at your disposal that will sort out this problem.

Solution 1: When the numpad plays up

One of the perennial issues when using Windows is that the numpad on the right-hand side of the keyboard can act up. So if your password includes a number, Windows can throw a wobbly after you’ve entered your password. Simple solution: Try typing any numbers your password may contain by using the number row above the letters. Also be sure that your keyboard layout matches your language so if you speak English, make sure it’s set to English (recognizable by ENG on the bottom right). If it isn’t set to the correct language, keys can get swapped around leading to Y becoming Z or vice versa.

Solution 2: Reset your Microsoft password

If you’ve forgotten your Microsoft account password (you’ll need it if you log in to Windows 8 or 10 using an email address and password), resetting it isn’t that difficult. This is what you need to do:

1. Open up a browser on any PC and go to login.live.com. Enter your Microsoft account email address and click “Next”. In the next window, complete the reCAPTCHA challenge and click “Next”. By the way: reCAPTCHA is not case-sensitive.

2. You now have a range of options to receive a security code such as via an authenticator app, email, text, or call. Choose a method, such as email. In this case, re-enter your email address and click “Next”.

3. You will then receive an email with “How to reset your Microsoft account password” in the subject line together with a reset code. Simply enter the code on the website and then click “Next”.

4. In the next step you can then set a new password. Clicking “Next” again resets your Microsoft account password and you will receive a confirmation email.

In part 2 you’ll learn how to reset local user account passwords.

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