Windows: How to reset the administrator password?
I forgot my Windows XP password,so how to find it?
migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 17 '10 at 7:11
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If you have boot access to the PC (ie can put a CD in its drive and boot from it), you can just reset it.
However, I don't know if you just want to reset your password or retrieve the previous one. Please update your post.
If you just need to reset it, use one of those tools here:
You cannot find (retrieve) your password, you can reset it if you have a physical access to the computer using the OS boot disk, as described by Mononofu, or in Petri IT Knowledgebase, as described in Windows: How to reset the administrator password?.
Easiest way is if there is another administrator account on the computer - when someone logs in as an administrator, you can reset password for any account.
Note: many people have a default administrator account on their machine without them even knowing so. The account in not password protected by default. The account is not shown in the default "visual" account selection GUI, you need to login to it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del keys twice. You will see textual login dialog. Now type "Administrator" (without quotes) in Username and leave Password field blank.
Yet another way is you can have your password hacked, provided it is not too complex. See method 2 in How to Retrieve a Lost Windows XP Password