How can I reset my Windows 8 Administrator Password without using a 3rd party utility?

If you have forgotten your administrator password or any local account password on your machine, follow these quick steps to regain access to your machine. This process also works for Vista and Windows 7.

The only thing required is a CD/DVD/USB of your Windows Vista/7/8 ISO.

Start your computer with the above USB/DVD attached and ensure you press a key when prompted “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” :

Once your ISO has booted up (here I am using a Windows 7 ISO), click on Next :

Then click on “Repair your computer”:


Click on Command Prompt

In the command prompt is where the ‘magic’ happens. Basically we are going to temporarily replace a system file (Sethc.exe – Set high contrast), with CMD.exe. We can invoke Sethc.exe by pressing the shift key 5 times, where this would normally activate the “Sticky key” confirmation dialogue box – you now get a command prompt with full admin access to your entire machine !

OK, in the command prompt, firstly create a backup of Sethc.exe :

copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\

(Above its presumed the C drive is your install of windows, but it is possible to be on another drive, if so – replace the C:\ with what drive letter contains your windows install)

Then you will overwrite Sethc.exe with CMD.exe:

copy c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe




That’s it, now just reboot your machine.

Once your machine has started and you are at the log in screen, tap the shift key 5 times and you should see:




We’re in !!! – now we just issue a Net user ali letmein2012

This will reset the account “Ali”‘s password to “letmein2012”




let me know if it works for you.


2 Responses to How can I reset my Windows 8 Administrator Password without using a 3rd party utility?

  1. Resetting windows user | Dev Freddy

  2. Dude, this’s awesome, earned a fan.

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