The hack

How to reset forgotten password on Windows 11

Did you forget your password? Don't worry, here's how to regain access to Windows 11.

Windows 11 reset forgotten password
  • To reset your Windows 11 password, open Command Prompt in WinRE.
  • Then change “utilman.exe” to “cmd.exe,” and enable the “Administrator” account.
  • Sign in with the local Administrator account and reset your account password.

On a Windows 11 setup configured with a local account, at one point or another, you may lose access to the desktop for many reasons, including because you may have forgotten your password.

Although without a password, you typically cannot sign in to your Windows 11 account. A workaround on virtually every version of Windows allows you to regain control of the computer and reset the password to re-access your account.

Use these steps to reset your password or use a Microsoft account if you have configured the security questions. Also, this method works on Windows 11 with a local account on installations without encryption. If you use any type of encryption (such as BitLocker), you will need the original password to access the account. Otherwise, you may lose your data.

This guide will teach you the steps to reset a forgotten password and recover your account on Windows 11. 

Reset account password without logging in on Windows 11

To bypass the sign-in screen to reset your Windows 11 local account password, use these steps:

  1. Start computer with Windows 11 USB bootable media.

    Quick note: To start your device with an installation media, you may need to change the UEFI settings. This process usually requires pressing one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC, or the Delete key. However, you should visit your PC manufacturer’s support website for more accurate instructions.
  2. Use the Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut on the Setup page to open Command Prompt.

    Command Prompt on Windows Setup

  3. Type the following command to move from the X:Sources folder to the root folder of your Windows 11 installation and press Enter:

    C:

    In the command, we use C: because it’s usually the drive letter to access the hard drive after booting the device with USB, but you may need to play around to find the correct drive letter. You can confirm the location using the dir command. If the result shows the “Programs Files” and “Windows” folders, you’re in the correct location.

  4. Type the following command to navigate to the System32 folder and press Enter:

    Cd Windows\System32
  5. Type the following commands to replace the Utility Manager button with direct access to Command Prompt from the Sign-in screen and press Enter (on each line):

    ren utilman.exe utilman.exe.bak 
    ren cmd.exe utilman.exe

    Utilman.exe to cmd.exe commands

  6. Type the following command to restart the computer normally and press Enter:

    wpeutil reboot
  7. In the Sign-in screen, click the Accessibility button in the bottom-right corner to open Command Prompt.  

  8. Type the following command to enable the built-in Administrator account on Windows 11 and then press Enter:

    net user Administrator /active:yes

     

  9. Click the Power button in the bottom-right corner and select the Restart option.

  10. In the Sign-in screen, select the Administrator account.

  11. Open Start.

  12. Search for Computer Management and click the top result to open the app.

  13. Expand the Local Users and Groups branch.

  14. Expand the Users branch.

  15. Right-click the account to reset the forgotten password and select the Set password option. 

  16. Confirm the new password.

  17. Click the OK button.

    Computer Management reset password

  18. Sign out from the Administrator account.

  19. Sign back in using the account with the new password.

  20. Restart the computer using the Windows 11 USB bootable media again.

  21. Use the Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut on the Setup page to open Command Prompt.

  22. Type the following command to move to the root folder of the Windows 11 installation and press Enter:

    C:
  23. Type the following command to navigate to the System32 folder and press Enter:

    Cd Windows\System32
  24. Type the following commands to replace the Utility Manager button with direct access to Command Prompt from the Sign-in screen and press Enter (on each line):

    ren utilman.exe cmd.exe 
    ren utilman.exe.bak utilman.exe

    cmd.exe to utilman.exe commands

  25. Type the following command to disable the Administrator account and press Enter:

    net user Administrator /active:no

    Command Prompt disable administrator account

  26. Type the following command to restart the computer normally and press Enter:

    wpeutil reboot

Once you complete the steps, you will again be able to access your Windows 11 account.