How to reset any account type password on Windows 10

If you forgot your password to sign into Windows 10, don’t worry, it’s something that can happen to anyone. While it can be scary and frustrating, the recovery process to reset your password is now very simple, no matter the type of account you’re using without having to use workarounds or complicated hacks.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to reset your password to regain access to your Windows 10 account using your Microsoft account credentials, or if you’re using a traditional local account without having to create a reset disk. These instructions will also work to change the password for a standard or administrator account.

How to reset a Windows 10 Microsoft account password

If you’re using a MSA to use Windows 10, you can use these steps to reset your password, in case you forgot it, to regain control of your account:

  1. In the Lock screen, enter the wrong password once, and click the OK button.

  2. Click the I forgot my password option.

    Lock screen with I forgot my password option

  3. Enter your Microsoft account information.

  4. Enter the characters you see in the picture to proof that you’re not a robot.

  5. Click the Next button.

    Recover your account

  6. Use the drop-down menu to select a security verification method. (Usually, you want to use the email option.)

  7. Complete the challenge and click the Send code button.

    Verify your account

  8. Enter the code you received in your recovery email account or the method you used.

  9. Click the Next button.

    Enter security code

  10. Create a new password.

  11. Click the Next button.

    Reset your password

Once you’ve completed the steps, you’ll again have access to your account, but bear in mind that changing your credential will also change the password you use to check your emails online with the same Microsoft account.

Alternatively, you can reset your account password online using the Microsoft account recovery process.

How to reset a Windows 10 local account password

Starting with version 1803 (April 2018 Update) and later, Windows 10 includes a new recovery mechanism to reset your local account password without having to hacks, and it works very similar to the Microsoft account recovery process.

If you’re reading this guide while you still have access to your account, you should update your local account with security questions, which makes it possible to regain access to your account after you’re locked out.

If you’re already locked out of your account, and you didn’t add security questions, you can use this advanced workaround to reset your password.

Updating local account security questions

To update the security questions on your existing Windows 10 local account, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Sign-in options.

  4. Under “Password,” click the Update your security questions link.

    Windows 10 (version 1803) Sign-in Options

  5. Confirm your current password.

  6. Click the OK button.

  7. Use the drop-down menus to select a security question and use the text field provided to enter an answer.

    Update security questions Windows 10 local account

  8. Click the Finish button.

After completing the steps, you’ll be able to quickly recover your account if you forgot your password without having to resource to complicated workarounds.

Starting with Windows 10 version 1803 and later, you’ll be prompted to add security questions while creating a new local user account. However, you can always use the above steps to update your answers.

Resetting local account password

In order to reset your local account password on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. In the Lock screen, enter the wrong password once, and click the OK button.

  2. Click the Reset password option.

    Windows 10 lock screen with Reset password option

  3. Answer the three security questions and press Enter the third answer box.

  4. Reset your Windows 10 account password and press Enter to complete the process.

    Reset local account answering security questions on Windows 10

Once you’ve completed the steps, the password will be updated, your Windows 10 account will load, and moving forward, you’ll need to use the new password to access your account.

Although the instructions to recover your Windows 10 account using your Microsoft account credentials has been around for a while, the steps to add security questions to reset a local account password are only available on April 2018 Update and later versions.