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How to Recover Your Lost or Forgotten Password (Windows 7)

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This document pertains to HP computers with Windows 7.
The login password prevents unauthorized access to Windows. If you forget your login password, you are prevented from accessing Windows. Whenever you create a login password, it is important to create a password reset disc, and to write down the password and store it in a safe place. If you forget your password, you still might be able to access Windows.

Recovering the password using a password reset disc if already created

If a password reset disc was previously created, find the disc and use the following steps to reset the password:
NOTE: If you do not have a password reset disc, you must use one of the other sections in this document to access Windows.
  1. Start the computer and attempt to enter the login password at the Windows login screen.
  2. If the password was entered incorrectly, a message appears stating the user name or password is incorrect. Click OK.
    A new log in screen appears.
  3. Click Reset password, and then follow the on-screen instructions to use the password reset disc.

Changing the password from another User Account in Windows 7

Use the following steps if there is another account on the system that has administrator rights. You may need help from the owner of the account.
CAUTION:Changing the password can prevent you from being able to read EFS encrypted files that were created in the original account.
  1. Log in to another account that has administrator rights.
  2. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
  3. Click User Accounts and Family Safety, and then click User Accounts.
    Figure 1: User Accounts
    User Accounts
  4. Click Manage another account.
    Figure 2: Manage another account
    Manage another account
  5. Click the account with the forgotten password.
    Figure 3: Choose the account to change
    Choose the account to change
  6. Click Change the password.
  7. Type the new password. Enter the password again to confirm.
    Type a password hint to help remember the password in the future.
  8. Click Change password.
    You can now log into the account.

Going back to an older password

If you recently changed to a password that you cannot remember, you can use Microsoft System Restore to restore the system back to a time when you were using a password that you remember.
CAUTION: Restoring the system back to a previous point in time affects the passwords for all other accounts as well. Make sure that all other people using the computer will be able to use their passwords to log in.
  1. Turn on the computer and immediately press the F11 key repeatedly to open HP System Recovery.
  2. Under I need help immediately, click Microsoft System Restore.
  3. Follow the instructions to restore the computer to a previous state.

Accessing files and folders from an account when no other option is available

If there are no other accounts with Administrator rights, you do not have a password recovery disc, and you cannot restore to a time when you had a password you remember, try these other options:
  • Call local computer repair and service stores. Local stores may offer password recovery services for a fee.
  • Search the Internet for password recovery software. Using password recovery software is done at your own risk.
  • You can perform an HP System Recovery to completely erase all files, including password information, and go back to the way the system was when it was first purchased. For more information, see Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows 7)

Related Support about forgotten passwords

Microsoft Help and Support article 189126, Microsoft policy about lost or forgotten passwords (in English)

HP Support forums

Find solutions and collaborate with others on the HP Support Forum
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