How can I recover my Windows Vista password?

I’ve managed to forget my password for my daughter’s laptop (Vista). My account is the only admin one on it. She’s a standard user so even though I can now logon to her account – I can’t access mine to change it…!!! I’ve probably tried 100000000000+ possible passwords and it’s now driving me mad. So, any idea how I can get in ..??? HELP…


I got this question from Anna, a colleague of mine who managed to lock herself out of her daughter’s laptop. Well, if you’re not capable of remembering you password, maybe you should just tell your daughter what it is. That way you won’t lose it again!

Seriously, Vista does give you store a reminder of what the password is, but I’m sure you’ve tried using that mechanism. Remember, it’s there for a purpose. To help you WHEN (not if) you lose your password, so next time use the facility properly. In the meantime, the only way to get your password back is to try and crack your account. Luckily, the Web is a wonderful and wacky place where you can download all sorts of software. One such package is called Ophcrack and is the one I would recommend for this.

Ophcrack actually comes in two offerings, one that you can install on your machine and the other where you create a disk you can boot off. I would think that in this case your will probably need ophcrack LiveCD which comes in two flavours; one for Vista and one for Windows XP. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Visit the Ophcrack Website
  2. Choose and Download the Correct Ophcrack LiveCD Version
  3. Burn the Ophcrack LiveCD ISO File to a CD
  4. Restart Your Computer With the Ophcrack LiveCD Disc In Your CD Drive
  5. Wait for Ophcrack LiveCD to Load
  6. Watch for Hard Drive Partition Information to Display
  7. Wait for Ophcrack LiveCD to Recover Your Password
  8. Remove the disk, restart your computer and login to Windows With the Ophcrack LiveCD Recovered Password

Sounds pretty easy, and although I haven’t actually used this particular package; I hear great things about it. There’s lots of great stuff on the web, so next time, instead of playing solitaire, messing with Facebook or looking at websites for talking watches, you can just look for more solutions to your problems.

Good luck!

10 thoughts on “How can I recover my Windows Vista password?

  1. Unfortunately, this software didn’t work (I think it was also the same download I had tried at the weekend – but I tried it again just incase I had downloaded the wrong version last time). However, not to worry…. whilst downloading, booting etc (and tutting alot!) my son asked “What are you doing?”. I explained. He then told me HE had changed the password last week!!! So – lessons learned:

    1. Make a “password recovery” disc for every user
    2. Have a pure “admin” account too. (I know, sounds obvious but I had just relied on my login).
    3. Ask EVERYBODY before going into panic mode..!!

    Thanks for your help anyway – coffee and toast on me next time.

    Oh and incase you’re wondering – the password was changed in good faith to try and stop my 13 year old daughter attempting to use MSN when she should really be asleep in bed.. (Lesson 4 – switch Vista parental controls back on??)

  2. *chuckle* .. I forgot to suggest: Ask everyone in your family whether they have changed the password for you 😉

  3. For work with mails there is not bad software-recover my outlook password,as far as i know it is free,program effective way to retrieve passwords from mail accounts and password protected PST files,recovers account details for the following services: Microsoft Mail, Microsoft LDAP Directory, POP3 and IMAP mail servers, Microsoft Exchange Server, web-based email,program can be used under all supported versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office,program for recovering Outlook passwords and Microsoft Outlook password recover quickly sorts all characters and composes a combination, that will be accepted by your mail client,tool for recover password Microsoft Outlook download can easily process multilingual alphabets and Unicode symbols.

  4. I worked for me. It saved me hours to reformat my laptop and install programs. Thanks for this blog. 🙂

  5. I down loaded your program and burned it suppposadly to a dvd+R but it did not burn, My laptop stated that there was an error on the system boot, can you help me try and retreive my passward.

  6. The download for the EXE is invected with a Trojan, according to AVG, and the developer’s comments specifically say it won’t work with Vista, which was the original poster’s OS.

  7. i had try ed this and it gave me the password but i had shut down and tryed to log back in with that password but said it was not the correct one i guess ill just keep fishing called dell gave them all the info but they said everthing is ok but he had a PASSCODE ON HIS ACCOUNT and he has recently passed away nothing i can do ill threw this system away i just need the pictures if you got an idea please let me know

  8. I have downloaded Windows Password Recovery Tool 3.0 from http://sn.im/resetwindowspassword it not only supports XP, 2000, and NT, I have personally tested it with Vista Home Premium and Ultimate. It works perfectly to reset any local user account to a blank password. I Wrote it to an old 128mb USB flash drive do this. Booting up and clearing a password takes a minute or two works like a charm.

  9. As a non-Windows user, could some explain the point of passwords on Windows at all?
    If you can just download software to get past a password, why bother with the password in the first place?
    I don’t get it.

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