Article ID: 321305 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q321305

To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure you're running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). For more information, refer to this Microsoft web page: Support is ending for some versions of Windows

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INTRODUCTION

If you forget your Windows password or if your password expires, you must reset your password before you can log on to your computer.
You can reset your password, if one of the following condition is true:
  • You can log on as an administrator to assign a new password to your account. To do this, try Method 1.

    Note When we install Windows, it automatically creates an account "Administrator" and sets its password to blank.
  • You have previously created a password reset disk for the computer. To do this, try Method 2.
If you do not have a reset disk or cannot log on as an administrator, unfortunately, you may have to reinstall Windows XP and all other programs that were installed on the computer before you can use the computer again. This is for security. Without these safeguards, anyone could reset a password to anyone else's computer and gain access to private information.

More information


Note If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, you may want to try the steps in the following article before you try the steps in this article:

Method 1: Log on as an administrator to reset the password

The steps to do this differ if the computer is a stand-alone computer or a member of a workgroup of two or more, or a member of a domain. Select the appropriate set of steps from the following to try to log on as the administrator to reset the password.
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition
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To log on to a computer as the administrator to reset a password, try the following steps.
  1. Log on as an administrator.
    1. Restart the computer.
    2. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE two times, and then type the name of the administrator user account.

      Note If you do not know any other administrator user account, try to type Adminstrator in the User name box.
    3. In the Password box, type the administrator password, and then click OK.

      Note If you do not know the administrator password, leave it blank, and then click OK.
  2. Reset the password.
    1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. Type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.
    3. On the Users tab, click the name of the user account that you want to reset the password for, and then click Reset Password.
    4. Type a new password in the New password box, and then type the password again in the Confirm new password box, and then click OK.
    5. Restart the computer, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.
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Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition in a workgroup
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To log on to a computer as the administrator to reset a password, when that computer is in a workgroup of more than one member, follow these steps:
  1. Log on as an administrator.
    1. Restart the computer, and then press the F8 key during startup until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears.
    2. On the Windows Advanced Options menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.
    3. Select Microsoft Windows XP edition, and then press ENTER.

      Note In this step, edition represents the correct Windows edition.
    4. On the To begin, click your user name screen, click Administrator, and then type the administrator password.
    5. Press ENTER, and then click Yes.
  2. Reset the password.
    1. Click Start and then click Run.
    2. Type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.
    3. Click the name of the user account that you want to reset the password for.
    4. Click Change the Password, and then type a new password.

      Note If you do not want to use a password, click Remove password, and then continue to step "e."
    5. Click Change Password.
    6. Restart the computer, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.
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Windows XP Professional Edition in a domain
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To log on to a computer as the administrator to reset a password, when that computer is a member of a domain, follow these steps:
  1. Log on as an administrator.
    1. In the Welcome to Windows dialog box, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then type the name of the administrator user account.
    2. In the Password box, type the administrator password, and then click OK.

      Note If the administrator password is set to a blank password, do not type a password before you click OK.
  2. Reset the password.
    1. Click Start and then click Run.
    2. Type compmgmt.msc , and then click OK.
    3. In the Computer Management (Local) dialog box, expand Local Users and Groups.
    4. Click the Users folder, and then right-click the user account that you want to reset the password for.
    5. Click Set Password, and then click Proceed.
    6. Type a new password in the New password box, type the password again in the Confirm password box, and then click OK two times.
    7. Restart the computer, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.
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Video: How to change a user's password in Windows XP


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Method 2: Use a password reset disk

To log on to the computer by using a password reset disk, follow these steps. If your computer is or was a member of a domain, go to the "Windows XP Professional in a domain" section and follow those steps.
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition
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  1. Restart the computer.
  2. On the Windows XP logon screen, click the user name that you want to use, and then press ENTER.

    Note You receive the following error message:
    Did you forget your password? You can click the "?" button to see your password hint. Or you can use your password reset disk. Please type your password again. Be sure to use the correct uppercase and lowercase letters.
  3. Click Use your password reset disk. The Password Reset Wizard starts. The Password Reset Wizard enables you to create a new password for your user account.
  4. In the Password Reset Wizard dialog box, click Next.
  5. Insert the password reset disc into the CD drive, and then click Next.
  6. Type a new password in the Type a new password box, and then type the password again in the Type the password again to confirm box.
  7. In the Type a new password hint box, type a hint for the password, and then click Next.
  8. Click Finish, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.
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Windows XP Professional Edition in a domain
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To log on to a computer by using a password reset disk, when that computer is a member of a domain, or was disconnected from a domain, follow these steps:
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. In the Welcome to Windows dialog box, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE.
  3. In the Log On to Windows dialog box, type an incorrect password in the Password box, and then click OK.
  4. In the Logon Failed dialog box, click Reset. The Password Reset Wizard starts. You can use the Password Reset Wizard to create a new password for your local account.
  5. On the Welcome to the Password Reset Wizard page, click Next.
  6. Insert the password reset disc into the CD drive, and then click Next.
  7. Type a new password in the Type a new password box, and then type the password again in the Type the password again to confirm box.
  8. In the Type a new password hint box, type a hint for the password, and then click Next.
  9. Click Finish, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.
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NEXT STEPS

If you cannot reset your password, unfortunately, this content is unable to help you further. For your next steps, you might want to ask someone for help, or you might want to contact Support. For information about how to contact Support, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:
For more information about the password reset disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306214 How to create and use a password reset disk for a computer in a domain in Windows XP

Properties

Article ID: 321305 - Last Review: September 12, 2013 - Revision: 23.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbexpertisebeginner kbceip kbpubtypekc kbhowto kbenv kbinfo kbcip kbvideocontent KB321305

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