10 Ways to Reset Your Windows 7 Password Without Logging in

10 solutions to try if you forgot your Windows 7 password

by Megan Moore
Megan Moore
Megan Moore
Megan is a Windows enthusiast and an avid writer. With an interest and fascination in all things tech, she enjoys staying up to date on exciting new developments... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • Having a strong password makes your device more secure, but also means you're more likely to forget it. Luckily, there are ways to reset your password on Windows 7.
  • Users with a Windows 7 Password Reset Disk can easily reset their password from the log-in screen.
  • There is a way to set up how to bypass the log-in so every time you start your Windows 7 you don't need to enter your password.

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Remembering passwords can be a hassle and sometimes easy to forget. A strong password is always recommended as it is the most secure but also the most difficult to remember. There are ways to reset your Windows 7 password if you’ve forgotten it, keep reading to find the solution.

Can you open a computer if you forgot the password?

It is possible to open a computer without a password, however, some methods may require the user to completely reset the PC, leading to a loss of documents, photos, data, and more. There are ways to get into your computer if you forgot the password without deleting the data, keep reading to find out.

Where does Windows 7 store passwords?

Passwords are stored in the Security Account Manager (SAM) database file on Windows 7. Stored passwords use a one-way hash format and are not accessible by non-administrative users.

Security Account Manager (SAM) database file.

How do I reset my Windows 7 password without logging in?

1. Via Password Hint

This one may seem obvious, but spending some time guessing your password just may do the trick. After entering your log in incorrectly, the pop-up message: The username or password is incorrect will appear. Click OK to reveal your Password Hint if you set one.

Set a password hint to help you remember your Windows 7 password.

If your Password Hint doesn’t ring any bells, then continue to the next step to reset your Windows 7 password.

2. Via third-party password recovery software

  1. Buy and download Stellar Password Recovery software.
  2. Open the program on your Windows PC.
  3. Use bootable media created within the Stellar tool.
  4. Choose your account and click the Reset Password button.
  5. Wait for the password to be changed and click on Reboot to finish.

Stellar Password Recovery is a password recovery tool developed to reset Admin or user passwords on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.

This suitable method will help you recover any login password using the bootable media drive. So, you have support for both BIOS and UEFI systems to reset your password without login in on your PC.

In addition, this solution comes with great compatibility for windows devices, multiple languages support, or extremely effective and simple UI.

Stellar Password Recovery

Forget about complicated steps to reset your password on Windows 7, this software does it in seconds.

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3. Use the Windows 7 Password Reset Disk

If you were motivated enough to create a Password Reset Disk or USB when you first set up your Windows 7, then you’re in luck. Having this makes resetting your Windows 7 password a breeze.

Click reset password to use the Windows 7 Password Reset disk.

Simply go to Reset passwords on the login screen and insert the USB or disk and create your new password. However, if you don’t have the Windows 7 Password Reset Disk or USB, skip ahead to the next step.

4. Use the Administrator account

If there is another account on your Windows 7 with administrative status, you can use this account to change the password of other users.

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Simply go to User Accounts in the Control Panel and you can change the password on any account.

Reset Windows 7 password in User accounts.

However, this solution only works if there is another account on your PC that has admin privileges. If you are the administrator and can’t remember your password, continue the steps below.

5. Using Safe Mode

  1. Restart Windows 7 and press and hold F8 while powering on.
  2. In the Advanced Boot Options, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt and press Enter. how to reset Windows 7 password without logging in using advanced boot options.
  3. Enter the command: net user and hit Enter to see a list of all users on the PC.
  4. Enter the command: net user username new_password. Substitute username for your account name and new_password for your new password. reset windows 7 password without logging in.
  5. Close Command Prompt and log in with the new credentials.

6. Using the hidden Administrator account

  1. While powering on your Windows 7, press Shift five times once the log-in screen appears. Windows 7 login screen.
  2. If you have the hidden administrator account enabled, the profile will appear here. Open hidden admin account.
  3. Enter the hidden Administrator account and access your PC without a password.
  4. Select the This PC icon, then Computer Management from the drop-down menu.
  5. Select Local Groups and Users, then select Users. Open local users and groups.
  6. Right-click on the account you forgot the password for and click Set Password. Reset Windows 7 password.
  7. After setting a new password, log out of the hidden administrator account then log into your account using the new credentials.

Windows 7 includes a built-in hidden Administrator account, however, keep in mind that this step will only work if the hidden Administrator account is enabled.

7. Via the Utility manager

  1. Boot your PC using the Windows 7 installation disk. Once the Install Windows screen appears, press Shift + F10.
  2. In the Command Prompt, type in the commands below, hitting Enter after each line. If you did not install Windows 7 in the C drive, then replace C with the location where Windows 7 was installed. enter the commands to reset windows 7 password without logging in.
    • C:
    • cd windows\system32
    • ren Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.bak
    • copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
  3. Close Command Prompt and click Yes in the Install Windows pop-up. Click Yes in the install Windows popup.
  4. Allow Windows 7 to boot normally then click on Ease of Access at the login screen.
  5. In the Command Prompt window type net user username new_password. Replace username with your account name and new_password with your new password. reset windows 7 password without logging in.

Remember to change the utilman.exe file back to its original form after logging in.

8. Adjust sethc.exe

  1. Power up Windows 7, while it’s turning on, press and hold the power button to force shut down the PC.
  2. Turn the computer back on to reveal the Windows error recovery screen. Click Launch Startup Repair (recommended). launch startup-repair to reset windows 7 password without logging in.
  3. Click Cancel when it asks to restore the PC. Allow the analyzing process to run its course.
  4. In the dialogue box, click View Problem Details and scroll to the bottom of the report. Click on the last link beginning with X:\windows\system32\. click on the link at the bottom.
  5. The notepad will appear with the online privacy statement. Select File then click on Open. Click on file then open.
  6. Next to Files of type, set it to All Files. Under the System32 folder, locate and select sethc and rename it to anything. rename sethc to anything to reset Windows 7 password.
  7. Still in the System32 folder, locate and select cmd.exe and rename it to sethc.exe. rename cmd to sethc.exe.
  8. Close all dialogue boxes and restart Windows 7. While the PC is powering on press Shift five times.
  9. The Command Prompt will appear at the login screen, type net user username new_password. Replace username with your account name and new_password with your new password. how to reset windows 7 password without logging in.
  10. Close Command Prompt and log in with the new credentials.

Use this method if you do not have your Windows 7 installation disk or your PC does not support USB booting.

9. Reset using System Restore

  1. Restart Windows 7 and press and hold F8.
  2. In the Advanced Boot Options, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt and press Enter. how to reset Windows 7 password without logging in using advanced boot options.
  3. Enter the command: cd restore and press enter then type the command: rstrui.exe and press Enter. Enter the following commands to reset windows 7 password.
  4. In the System Restore pop-up, click on Next. System restore windows 7.
  5. Choose a restore point then click on Next, then Yes to confirm.

The System Restore feature does not affect documents, photos, or other data, however, it may uninstall recently installed applications.

10. Reset to factory settings

This is a last resort solution. If none of the above solutions worked for you, then you may have no choice but to completely reset your PC. Performing a factory reset will wipe all data from your Windows 7 which is why this solution is a last-case scenario.

Factory reset Windows 7.

How do I bypass the login screen on Windows 7?

  1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard.
  2. Type this command: netplwiz and press Enter. Type the following and hit enter.
  3. Click your account name. Click on your Windows 7 account.
  4. Uncheck the box that requires users to enter a password then click OK.
  5. Enter your password when prompted and click OK.

Performing this action will bypass the login screen every time you start up your Windows 7 and will log you in automatically.

This isn’t recommended if you’re using a shared PC as anyone can enter your account. It’s not very secure in general, but you’ll never have to worry about being locked out of your account for forgetting your password.

We hope one of the above solutions helped show you how to reset your Windows 7 password without logging in. If you forgot your password in Windows 10, we have a guide for that as well.

Let us know in the comments which method worked for you or if you have a suggestion for a solution not listed in this guide.

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