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What to Do When You Forget Your Sign-in Password (Windows 8)

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This document pertains to HP computers with Windows 8.
The sign-in password prevents unauthorized access to Windows. If you forget your sign-in password, you are prevented from accessing Windows. Whenever you create a sign-in 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 might still be able to access Windows.
Windows 8 features the option to sign in to your computer using either a Microsoft account or a local user account. Accounts can be accessed using a regular password, or (if created) a picture password or a four-digit PIN code.
Use this document to help you recover or reset the password you use to sign in to Windows 8. Read the following sections that apply to the method you use to sign in to Windows.
NOTE: If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

Before you begin

Before attempting to reset your computer account password, make sure that you are using the correct keyboard layout to enter the password. Also, try all available methods to sign in to your account.
  • Check the keyboard input method: In Windows 8, the keyboard layout can be changed on the sign-in screen. If you have more than one keyboard layout set up in Windows, make sure that you are using the correct keyboard input method to type your password. In the bottom right corner of the sign-in screen, click the keyboard layout notification to view the current settings, and select a different keyboard layout if needed.
  • Use an alternative sign-in option (if available): If you set up a picture password and/or PIN code for your account, try entering your password using another method that you might remember. On the sign-in screen, click Sign-in options. Click an icon to choose Picture password, Password, or PIN. You are allowed up to five attempts of entering the picture password and five attempts of entering the PIN before those sign-in options become unavailable. The options will be restored after a successful sign-in to Windows. The regular password sign-in option remains available after the other options are eliminated.

Changing the Microsoft account password online

If you have forgotten the password for the Microsoft account (formerly referred to as Windows Live ID) that you use to sign in to your Windows 8 computer, you can reset the password using any computer or device that has Internet access.
  1. Open an Internet browser and navigate to the Microsoft Reset your password Web page: https://account.live.com/password/reset (in English).
  2. Select I forgot my password, and then click Reset your password.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to reset your password.
    When the password is reset, you will be able to use your Microsoft account with the new password to sign in to your Windows 8 computer. Make sure the Windows 8 computer is connected to the Internet before you attempt to sign in.

Recovering the local user account password using a password reset disc

If you have forgotten the password of your user account and you are unable to sign in to your account, you can recover the password by using password reset media. If password reset media was previously created, find the disc or USB flash drive and use the following steps to reset the local account password:
NOTE:This method applies to local accounts only. A password reset disc will not reset a Microsoft account password.If you do not have a password reset disc, use one of the other sections in this document to access Windows.
  1. Turn on the computer and attempt to enter the sign-in password at the Windows sign-in screen.
  2. If the password was entered incorrectly, a message appears stating the user name or password is incorrect. Click OK.
    A new sign-in screen appears with a password hint, if available, and an option to reset the password.
  3. Insert your password reset disc, and then click Reset password.
  4. The Password Reset Wizard appears. Click Next.
  5. Select the password key location from the drop-down menu, and then click Next.
  6. In the spaces provided, type a new password, type it again to confirm, and create a password hint to help you remember the password in the future. When done, click Next.
  7. If the password was reset successfully, click Finish.
  8. Use the new password to sign in to Windows. You do not need to create a new password reset disc for the new password.

Changing the local user account password from another user account in Windows 8

If you have forgotten the password of your user account and you are unable to sign in to your account, you can change the local user account password. 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. It will also delete all stored passwords for the account.
  1. Sign in to another account that has administrator rights.
  2. From the Start screen, type control panel to open the Search charm, and then select Control Panel from the search results.
    Figure 1: Control Panel
    Control Panel search results
    The Control Panel opens.
  3. Click User Accounts and Family Safety, and then click User Accounts.
    Figure 2: User Accounts
    User Accounts
  4. Click Manage another account.
    Figure 3: Manage another account
    Manage another account
  5. Click the account with the forgotten password.
    Figure 4: Choose the account to change
    Choose the account to change
  6. Click Change the password.
    Figure 5: Change the password
    Change the password
  7. Type the new password. Enter the password again to confirm.
  8. Type a password hint to help you remember the password in the future.
  9. Click Change password.
    Figure 6: Change password
    Change password
    You can now sign in to the account using the new password.

Going back to a previous local user account password

If you recently changed your local account password 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 local accounts as well. Make sure that all other people using the computer will be able to use their passwords to sign 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 on-screen instructions to restore the computer to a previous state.
For more information about Microsoft System Restore, see the HP support document Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows 8) .

Accessing your account when no other option is available

If there are no other accounts in Windows with administrator rights, and you do not have a password recovery disc, and you cannot restore the computer to a time when Windows used a password that you still 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.
    CAUTION:Some Web sites that appear to offer password recovery services might steal private information or install malicious software on your computer. Research thoroughly and use a trusted site if you decide to use this method.
  • You can perform an HP System Recovery to completely erase all files, including local account 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 8)

Related support

For more information about forgotten Microsoft passwords, see Microsoft Support article 189126, Microsoft policy about lost or forgotten passwords (in English).

HP Support forums

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