Table of contents
×

Here are some things you can try if you’re having trouble signing in to a Windows 11 device, including problems signing in after upgrading to Windows 11.

If updates are available, select Power > Update and restart to restart your device and finish installing updates. 

Make sure you’re connected to the internet by selecting Network on the lock screen of your device. If you’re having problems connecting to Wi-Fi or the signal is weak, try connecting your device directly to the router or modem with an Ethernet cable.

If connectivity problems persist, check your internet connection using a different device to see if it’s a network problem.

Try the following when typing your password to sign in:

  • Type your password using the on-screen keyboard. Select Accessibility > On-screen keyboard and select the keys to type your password.

  • Make sure Caps Lock is off.

  • Check that you’re entering the right information: a password in the Password field or a PIN in the PIN field. If you’re using a Microsoft account, you can switch between entering a PIN and a password by selecting Sign-in options.

  • If you use more than one keyboard layout, make sure the keyboard language you’re trying to use is selected. To check your keyboard layout, select the input method (a three-letter code in the bottom-right corner).

  • If you recently changed your password, try entering your previous one again. If your previous password works, you’ll need to lock your device and then unlock it using your new password.

  • Test your password by using another device to sign in to account.microsoft.com. If your password works, but account.microsoft.com shows your account is locked or interrupted, the site will walk you through those issues.

  • Before typing your password or PIN, select Reveal. This way, you can double-check that you’re typing the right password or PIN before you enter it.

If you're having trouble using your PIN to sign in to Windows 11, try resetting your PIN. Here's how:

  1. On the sign-in screen, select I forgot my PIN below the PIN text box. If there are multiple accounts on the PC, choose the one you need to reset.

  2. On the Enter your password screen, type the password for your Microsoft account, and then select Next.

  3. On the Help us protect your info screen, choose to receive your security code either as a text or email message. If you select text, type the last four digits of your phone number, and then select Send Code. Learn more about security info and security codes

  4. When you get the code as a text or email message on a separate device, enter it on the Enter the code you received screen, and then select Next.

  5. In the Set up a PIN dialog box, enter your new PIN and confirm it. Your new PIN is now set.

Note: Make sure you’re connected to the internet by selecting Network on the lock screen of your device.

How to reset your password depends on whether you’re using a Microsoft account or a local account to sign in.

To find out which kind of account you have, select Sign-in options on the sign-in screen. If you see the Microsoft account icon, you're using a Microsoft account. If you only see the Password icon, you have either a domain (work or school) account or a local account.

If you have a Microsoft account:

  1. On the sign-in screen, type your Microsoft account name if it's not displayed. If there are multiple accounts on the PC, choose the one to reset.

  2. Select I forgot my password below the password text box.

  3. On the Recover your account screen, type the characters displayed in the box below Enter the characters you see, then select Next.

  4. On the Verify your identity screen, choose to receive your security code either as a text or email message. If you choose text, type the last four digits of your phone number, and then select Send code. Learn more about security info and security codes

  5. When you get the code as a text or email message on a separate device, enter it and then select Next.

  6. On the Reset your password screen, create a new password, and then select Next. This sets your new password. Select Next again to return to the sign-in screen.

  7. Sign in with your new Microsoft account password.

If you have a local account:

If you added security questions to your local account to help you reset your password, select Reset password on the sign-in screen. (This link appears after you enter an incorrect password.) Then enter the answers to the security questions and choose a new password.

Otherwise, you'll need to reset your device.

Warning: Unless you've set up security questions, there’s no way to recover a forgotten password for a local account—the only option is to reset your device. Following the steps below will remove all your programs, data, and settings.

  1. Select Power on the lock screen.

  2. While holding down the Shift key, select Restart.

  3. On the Boot options menu, select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.

  4. Your PC will restart and will reset itself.

If none of the above worked, get more help with how to Change or reset your Windows password.

If you have multiple accounts on your device, try signing in with another account. On the lock screen, select another account from the list in the lower left. To sign in with an account that’s not listed, select Other user and type that account’s user name and password.

Starting your device in Safe Mode can help troubleshoot sign-in problems. If you can sign in using Safe Mode, it means that basic device drivers and default settings weren’t causing the sign-in problem.

Note: This sign-in option will work only if you have a password (for a Microsoft account or a local account) since PIN and biometric options are unavailable.

To restart in Safe Mode:

  1. Restart your device by selecting Power > Restart. When you see the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key while you select Power > Restart.

  2. After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.

  3. After your PC restarts, you'll see a list of options. The preferred option is to select 5 or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
    Learn more about signing in to Safe Mode when you experience a black screen or blank screen problem.

If you try to sign in to Windows 11 and receive the error message, "We can't sign in to your account," Windows will create a temporary profile and sign you in to that one. Get more info about this error message

Having trouble signing in to Surface with Windows Hello? Try these solutions to fix the problem.

Here are some things you can try if you’re having trouble signing in to a Windows 10 device, including problems signing in after upgrading to Windows 10.

If updates are available, select Power  > Update and restart to restart your device and finish installing updates. 

Make sure you’re connected to the internet by selecting Network  on the lock screen of your device. If you’re having problems connecting to Wi-Fi or the signal is weak, try connecting your device directly to the router or modem with an Ethernet cable.

If connectivity problems persist, check your internet connection using a different device to see if it’s a network problem.

Try the following when typing your password to sign in:

  • Type your password using the on-screen keyboard. Select Ease of Access  > On-screen keyboard and select the keys to type your password.

  • Make sure Caps Lock is off.

  • Check that you’re entering the right information: a password in the Password field or a PIN in the PIN field. If you’re using a Microsoft account, you can switch between entering a PIN and a password by selecting Sign-in options.

  • If you use more than one keyboard layout, make sure the keyboard language you’re trying to use is selected. To check your keyboard layout, select the input method (a three-letter code in the bottom-right corner).

  • If you recently changed your password, try entering your previous one again. If your previous password works, you’ll need to lock your device and then unlock it using your new password.

  • Test your password by using another device to sign in to account.microsoft.com. If your password works, but account.microsoft.com shows your account is locked or interrupted, the site will walk you through those issues.

  • Before typing your password or PIN, select Reveal . This way, you can double-check that you’re typing the right password or PIN before you enter it.

If you have multiple accounts on your device, try signing in with another account. On the lock screen, select another account from the list in the lower left. To sign in with an account that’s not listed, select Other user and type that account’s user name and password.

Starting your device in Safe Mode can help troubleshoot sign-in problems. If you can sign in using Safe Mode, it means that basic device drivers and default settings weren’t causing the sign-in problem.

Note: This sign-in option will work only if you have a password (for a Microsoft account or a local account) since PIN and biometric options are unavailable.

To restart in Safe Mode:

  1. Restart your device by selecting Power  > Restart. When you see the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key while you select Power > Restart.

  2. After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.

  3. After your PC restarts, you'll see a list of options. The preferred option is to select 5 or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
    Learn more about signing in to Safe Mode when you experience a black screen or blank screen problem.

If you try to sign in to Windows 10 and receive the error message, "We can't sign in to your account," Windows will create a temporary profile and sign you in to that one. Get more info about this error message

Having trouble signing in to Surface with Windows Hello? Try these solutions to fix the problem.

If you're having trouble using your PIN to sign in to Windows 10, try resetting your PIN. Here's how:

  1. On the sign-in screen, select I forgot my PIN below the PIN text box. If there are multiple accounts on the PC, choose the one you need to reset.

  2. On the Enter your password screen, type the password for your Microsoft account, and then select Next.

  3. On the Help us protect your info screen, choose to receive your security code either as a text or email message. If you select text, type the last four digits of your phone number, and then select Send Code. Learn more about security info and security codes

  4. When you get the code as a text or email message on a separate device, enter it on the Enter the code you received screen, and then select Next.

  5. In the Set up a PIN dialog box, enter your new PIN and confirm it. Your new PIN is now set.

Note: Make sure you’re connected to the internet by selecting Network on the lock screen of your device.

How to reset your password depends on whether you’re using a Microsoft account or a local account to sign in.

To find out which kind of account you have, select Sign-in options on the sign-in screen. If you see the Microsoft account  icon, you're using a Microsoft account. If you only see the Password  icon, you have either a domain (work or school) account or a local account.

If you have a Microsoft account:

  1. On the sign-in screen, type your Microsoft account name if it's not displayed. If there are multiple accounts on the PC, choose the one to reset.

  2. Select I forgot my password below the password text box.

  3. On the Recover your account screen, type the characters displayed in the box below Enter the characters you see, then select Next.

  4. On the Verify your identity screen, choose to receive your security code either as a text or email message. If you choose text, type the last four digits of your phone number, and then select Send code. Learn more about security info and security codes

  5. When you get the code as a text or email message on a separate device, enter it and then select Next.

  6. On the Reset your password screen, create a new password, and then select Next. This sets your new password. Select Next again to return to the sign-in screen.

  7. Sign in with your new Microsoft account password.

If you have a local account:

If you’re using Windows 10, version 1803, and added security questions to your local account to help you reset your password, select Reset password on the sign-in screen. (This link appears after you enter an incorrect password.) Then enter the answers to the security questions and choose a new password.

Otherwise, if you're using an older version of Windows 10 or haven't added security questions, you'll need to reset your device.

Warning: Unless your device runs Windows 10, version 1803, and you've set up security questions, there’s no way to recover a forgotten password for a local account—the only option is to reset your device. Following the steps below will remove all your programs, data, and settings.

  1. Select Power  in the bottom right-hand corner of the lock screen.

  2. While holding down the Shift key, select Restart.

  3. On the Boot options menu, select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.

  4. Your PC will restart and will reset itself.

If none of the above worked, get more help with how to Change or reset your Windows password.

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!

×