What to Do When You Can’t Remember Your Windows 8 Sign-in Password

Even if your Windows 8 password wasn’t that difficult to remember - you’re human. Everyone forgets things now and then, even important things !

I Forgot My Windows 8 Password ! What Are My Options ?

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get back in if you forgot your Windows 8 password, all of which are detailed below.

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

Reset Your Microsoft Account Password Online
An option you were given when you first bought your computer or installed Windows 8 was to sign up for a Microsoft account or sign in with your existing Microsoft account. One really big benefit of doing that is that it gives you an escape plan if you ever forget your Windows 8 password.

Note : You can reset a forgotten Windows 8 password online like this only if you’re using a Microsoft account. If you’re using a local account, your password is not stored with Microsoft online and so can’t be reset by them.

Make [Educated] Guesses at Your Windows 8 Password
I realize that guessing is probably the first thing you did once you realized you forgot your Windows 8 password, but were they educated guesses or just a few frustrated tries ?

Yes, there are several geeky ways to hack yourself back into Windows 8 but before you spend all that time and energy with those, give educated guessing a really good last shot.

Considering that both simple and complex, well-crafted passwords are usually inspired by the things most familiar to us in our lives, could your Windows 8 password have something to do with :
• your spouse’s, partner’s, friend’s, or child’s birthday ?
• an aspect of your first, middle, or last name ?
• a favorite set of numbers ?
• a fond memory from childhood ?
• a favorite food or activity ?
• the phone number you remember when you were a kid ?
• where you work or live ?
• your pets ?
• some combination of the above ?

Those are just a few ideas.

Have Another User Change Your Windows 8 Password
If more than one person uses your computer, and at least one of those other people is configured as an administrator, that person can log on with his or her password and change your password for you from the User Accounts applet in Control Panel.

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

Reset or Recover Your Windows 8 Password With One of The Tools

If for whatever reason the almost-always-work ideas above weren’t successful for you, it’s time to move on to some more "traditional" means of hacking into your computer.

A number of software-based hacking tools, called Windows password recovery programs, are available from various companies and software developers. Depending on which program you choose to use, it may actually find and show you your forgotten Windows 8 password, or it may simply reset it, allowing you to log in without a password at all.

Note : I talk about a number of password recovery and reset tools in that list of programs I just linked to. For the most part, the password recovery programs work for both local and Microsoft account passwords. The password reset tools will only reset your forgotten Windows 8 password if you’re logging on with a local account.

Reset Your PC
The Reset Your PC process in Windows 8 is very different than just resetting your password. This process removes all of your installed programs, apps, and even all of your saved data.

In other words, you get to log in to Windows 8 again because your computer is reset back to its initial configuration, just as it was when you bought it or first installed Windows 8.

This is obviously not a great way to get past a forgotten Windows 8 password but if all else fails, this will almost certainly work. You’ll have the option of creating a new local account or Microsoft account. If you happen to have a second Microsoft account you do know the password to, you’ll have the option of signing in with that.

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