Forgot your Windows 8 password? Here are your options

First things first, don’t be embarrassed that you forgot your Windows 8 password. We’re told over and over again to make passwords longer and more complicated to help keep our data safe, making it harder and harder to remember. . Who are we trying to keep out here? Most of these tips work exactly the same for Windows 10, some work on all versions of Windows, and some apply to any forgotten password.

Even if your Windows 8 password wasn’t that hard to remember – you’re human. Everybody forgets things from time to time, even important things!

I forgot my Windows 8 password! What are my options?

Fortunately, there are several ways to get back in if you forgot your Windows 8 password, all of which we’ve detailed below.

Some of these ideas only apply if you sign in to Windows 8 using a local account (you sign in with a traditional username). Some work only if you’re using a Microsoft account (you sign in with an email address), and some work for both. We’ll let you know every time. However, all of these ideas apply equally to any edition of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 that you might be using.

Reset your Microsoft account password online

One option you were given when you first bought your PC or installed Windows 8 was to sign up for a Microsoft account or sign in with your existing Microsoft account. A really big advantage of doing that is that it gives you an escape plan if you ever forget your Windows 8 password.

So grab your smartphone, or any other computer, open your favorite browser and reset your Microsoft account password for the full tutorial.

You can reset a forgotten Windows 8 password online this way only if you use a Microsoft account. If you use a local account, your password is not stored with Microsoft online and therefore cannot be reset by them.

Use That Windows 8 Password Reset Disk You Made

A Windows 8 password reset disk is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a floppy disk or flash drive that can be used to reset your Windows 8 password if you forget it. If you have one, now is the time to find it and use it!

Unfortunately, it’s that if you have a bit that will probably get you to the next idea. A password reset disk is tied to your specific Windows 8 account, which means one must be created from within Windows, at the time you actually knew your password. In other words, if you don’t already have a Windows 8 password reset disk, your chance to create one is over.

Once you’re back to Windows 8 using one of the other ideas below, create a Windows 8 password reset disk so you can avoid all these problems the next time you forget your password.

Creating and therefore using a password reset disk is only an option if you sign in to Windows 8 with a local account.

Do[Educated] Guess Windows 8 password

Before you lay eyes on this one, give it a try. Seriously, try this, if only to please us. Guessing is probably the first thing he did once he realized he forgot his Windows 8 password, but was that a well-founded guess or just a few failed attempts?

Yes, there are several ways to hack Windows 8 back, but before you spend all that time and energy on them, give the educated guessers one good last chance.

Considering that both simple and well-crafted complex passwords are often inspired by the most familiar things in our lives, consider whether your Windows 8 password might have something to do with them:

  • The birthday of your spouse, partner, friend or child
  • An aspect of your first, middle, or last name
  • A favorite numbers game
  • A nice childhood memory
  • A favorite food or activity
  • The phone number you remember as a child
  • where you work or live
  • your pets
  • …Or maybe it is a combination of the above

These are just a few ideas on how to successfully guess your own password.

Make another user change their Windows 8 password

If more than one person uses your computer, and at least one of those other people is set as an administrator , that person can log in with their password and change their password from the User Accounts applet in Control Panel.

You can only have an administrator on your computer change your forgotten Windows 8 password if your account is a local account. The other admin user can have a Microsoft account or a local account, but their account must be a local account to change their password this way.

Use This Hacker To Reset Your Windows 8 Password

Reset a Windows 8 password with the “net user” command.

The word “hack” might be a bit of a push, but there is a free and relatively simple procedure you can follow that allows you to reset your Windows 8 password if you’ve forgotten it. With this hack, you will be able to reset your Windows 8 password directly from the Windows login screen, without a password reset disk or flash drive, and without the need for third-party software.

You’ll need to use Command Prompt and do a few things you may never have done before, but follow our instructions carefully and you’ll be fine.

This hack will only work if you log into Windows 8 with a local account. Several other sites recommend this process for Windows 8 in all cases, but it won’t successfully reset your Windows 8 password if you’re using a Microsoft account to sign in.

Reset or recover your Windows password with one of these tools

If for some reason the almost always working ideas above weren’t successful for you, it’s time to move on to some more “traditional” means of hacking your computer.

Various software-based hacking tools, called Windows password recovery programs, are available from various companies and software developers. Depending on the program you choose, it may find and display your forgotten Windows password, or simply reset it, allowing you to log in without a password.

We talked about a number of reset and password recovery tools in that list of programs linked above. For the most part, password recovery programs work for both local passwords and Microsoft account passwords. The password reset tools will only reset your forgotten Windows 8 password if you are signing in with a local account.

Reset your PC

The process of Resetting your PC in Windows 8 is very different from resetting your password. This process removes all programs, applications, and even all saved data .

In other words, you can sign in to Windows again because your computer is reset to its initial settings, just as it was when you first bought or installed Windows.

To complete the Reset your PC process, go to Advanced startup options, then select Troubleshoot > Reset your PC

See How to restart your computer in Windows 8 for a complete summary of this process.

This is obviously not a good way to get past a forgotten Windows 8 password, but if all else fails, it will almost certainly work. You will have the option to create a new local account or a Microsoft account. If you happen to have a second Microsoft account that you know the password for, you’ll have the option to sign in with it.

In very rare cases, where both of you have forgotten your Windows 8 password and your computer is down for some reason, you can choose to clean install Windows 8 as long as you have a Windows 8 installation disc or flash drive available. Performing a clean installation of Windows 8 accomplishes the same thing as a Reset Your PC.