Windows - How to reset the administrator password

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Windows - How to reset the administrator password

You can't remember the admin password? Do not panic, you can reset it without reformatting your computer ....


  • This methods works with Windows XP, Windows Vista, WIndows 7 and Windows 8
  • Windows installation CD.

Using the Windows installation CD

When Windows starts, a file called Utilman.exe is loaded automatically (or by pressing the Windows Key + U). This file handles all the items relating to the presentation of Windows (keyboard, ergonomics, etc ...). The purpose of the operation is to rename cmd.exe (command prompt), so that it loads instead of the utilman.exe file when you press the Windows key + U.
NB: You can easily change the user password via the command prompt!
Open the BIOS and change the boot sequence, setting your CD/DVD drive as primary boot device.
Insert the Windows installation CD/DVD and restart your PC.

Windows XP

  • A blue screen will be displayed at startup, with several choices. Press "R" to Repair or recover Windows XP.
  • You will get a black screen with several choices for the location of Windows.
  • Select the the location in which your current system is installed.

Windows Vista and 7

A menu will be displayed ar startup, click on "Repair your computer". You will then need to select your operating system and click on "Command Prompt".

With Windows 8

The procedure is almost the same as with Windows Vista and 7:
Click "Repair your computer"> "Troubleshooting" >Advanced" and then click on "Command Prompt".

Replace utilman.exe with the Windows command prompt

First you need to identify on which drive Windows is installed! Enter a letter at random to access the respective drive and use the "dir" command to list its content. Search for the "Program Files" entry (which indicates that Windows is indeed installed on this drive).
Enter the following lines (as in the picture):
Once the drive is identified (e.g drive E), enter the below commands:
  • cd Windows
  • cd System 32

Copy the Utilman.exe file using the below command:
  • copy Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.bak

  • Reboot your PC.

Reset your user password

Boot your PC and press Windows Key + U to launch the command prompt. Type these commands:
  • net user your_username new_password
  • net user your_username new_password /add
  • net localgroup Administrators your_username /add

You must then undo all the changes made to your system: Utilman.exe.
Restart your PC and open the command prompt
  • cd Windows
  • cd System32
  • del Utilman.exe
  • ren Utilman.exe.bak Utilman.exe

If you are using a Linux distribution, you can enter these commands:

Sign in with your new password!!
Jean-François Pillou

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