If you set a password for a user account, losing it is probably one of the last things you want to do. I’ve lost a password once, and it wasn’t fun. Some people write their passwords on a Post-It. Others save their passwords on the Cloud. The second solution is sort of elegant, but I’m about to teach you an even more elegant solution. You can create a USB drive that contains a key that resets your password. There’s a little-known tool in Windows 8 that allows you to do this, called the “Forgotten Password Wizard.” It’s accessible through your user accounts panel. Let’s learn how to do this!
Note: Once you have a password reset USB drive, you’ll be able to type in a new password to override your old one. Take the proper security measures to make sure that the USB drive doesn’t end up in the wrong hands!
Let’s walk through it step-by-step:
- Access your Metro interface and type “User Accounts.” Nothing shows up. That’s why we go to the next step.
- Click “Settings” below the text box.
- Click on the first result that shows up on the left side of the screen. This might differ depending on what version of Windows 8 you have.
- Click “Create a password reset disk”.
- Connect your USB drive to your computer if you haven’t done so already. The wizard will detect what’s connected to your computer. At the moment it does this, if you don’t have a USB drive plugged in, it will assume that you won’t be using it.
- Click “Next” on the wizard.
- Select the drive letter pertaining to the USB drive you plugged in and click “Next.”
- Type in your Windows password under “Current user account password” and click “Next.”
- Click “Finish.”
You’re done! Now, put the USB drive somewhere where no one will be able to access it except you. If it falls into the wrong hands, all your personal stuff is now theirs to see.
Resetting Your Password With The USB Drive
In the event that you have forgotten your password, here are the steps to reset your password.
- We know you forgot your password, but try one anyway. You should see the “Reset password” link below the password field.
- Click the “Reset password” link that shows up. Now, you’re in the “Password Reset Wizard.”
- Plug your USB drive into the computer before doing anything at all. This step is very important before clicking “Next.”
- Choose the drive letter pertaining to your USB drive. (Tip: To better determine what drive letter pertains to the USB drive, you should rename the drive to something familiar when you have access to your computer. I often name my drives to identify them. Just right-click a drive and click “Rename” to rename it.)
- Click “Next.”
- Type in a new password and repeat it in the next field. Make sure you create a password hint that doesn’t make the password too obvious. A Likely Scenario: My birthday is on the 15th of March (The Ides of March). So, if my password contained my birthday, my hint shouldn’t be “Type your birthday in.” Many people would know that information. Instead, I would put something like “The anniversary of Julius Ceasar’s betrayal and death on 44 BC was on this day.” They might be able to guess “03/15,” “March15,” or some other combination; but they would only be able to guess the entire password. You would.
- Click “Next.” Now, you get some message that wraps up the process. Just click “Finish.”
This concludes the password reset procedure and will give you access to your computer again.
If there are any changes to the operating system since the time this article was published, please let us know here in the comments section. Also feel free to use the comments section below to post any questions or thoughts on this subject.