How to log on to your Windows XP-based computer if you forget your password or if your password expires

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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
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition in a workgroup
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition in a workgroup
Windows XP Professional Edition in a domain
Windows XP Professional Edition in a domain

Video: How to change a user's password in Windows XP



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
Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition
Windows XP Professional Edition in a domain
Windows XP Professional Edition in a domain

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
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Article ID: 321305 - Last Review: Sep 12, 2013 - Revision: 1

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

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