Reset the Windows password


Lets say for some reason one day you forgot your login password (or have accidentally your children change it and they don't remember) , what you will do?

There's many software in the market that can reset your password with ease but most of everyday users they will not put themselves in a proccess of downloading the Hiren's CD (for example), make a boot cd/usb of it and reset the windows password .

We'll talk about a different approach that does not involve additional software than the version of windows installed on your machine.

All you need to have in your possession is a recovery disk of windows ( made of your own system preferably ) .

Setting up the environment

Creating a windows recovery disk is simplier than it sounds, from Start / Control Panel / System And Security / Backup And Restore / Create A System Repair Disk

Place an empty dvd and in a few minutes you will have a repair disk.

For this to work we'll also need two windows system files, sethc.exe and cmd.


All Windows have a proccess called sethc.exe (Windows Nt High Contrast Invocation) which activate (anywhere in the OS by default) by pressing five times the shift key.

Also known as sticky keys, there are accessibility features designed mostly for people with disabilities and by others as a means to reduce repetitive strain injury.


The well known command prompt (or console) which will be used to inputting the commands.

The Reseting

Reboot your system with the repair disk and from the options, select windows command prompt

From the command promp type ...

c:\ ( which will retuns the path to the root directory of your hard disk )

md temp ( to create a safe folder called temp in the root directory)

cd c:\windows\system32 (to switch to the folder with the files we need )

copy sethc.exe c:\temp ( for copying (and backup) the original file to the safe folder)

The trick you do here is to replace the sticky keys with the command prompt so the next time you'll run the setch.exe will execute the command prompt ;) ).

copy cmd.exe sethc.exe ( press Y when you asked to to overwrite the file).

Remove the repair disk from the drive and restart the computer, when windows login screen shows just press 5 times the shift key and the command prompt will pop up.

If you remember the user name in your Windows type net user yourusername * and press enter,

the console will prompt you for a new password, type anything you like and press enter.

That will replace the user password.

In case you do not remember the user name, type net user and you will see all available users, pick the one you like and retyoe the net user yourusername * command .

Cleaning up

Last but not least you have to return the sticky keys to its original location

copy c:\temp\sethcexe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe and type Y to replace the file.

Type in exit and press enter to close the console .

Do a final reboot and ... log in to Windows. :)