In Windows 7, I want to have a second copy of my userkey.psw Password Reset Disk file, with the same password: one to keep in the building, the other to take offsite.

If I generate a second userkey.psw file using the Win7 utility, will it override an earlier one, even if the password has not changed?

If I make a copy of the userkey.psw file using Windows Explorer and put it on a CD, will it work?


You can copy the userkey.psw file from your password reset disk and put it in another location (CD or external hard drive). If you create a second password reset disk from the Control Panel, your previous password reset disk will go expired automatically and it will not be recognized by your system any longer. You don't need to make a new password reset disk even if you change Windows password later.

  • The link below does have the warning: "Discard any previous disks; they can no longer be used", which is shown on one of the password reset popups in the article. It is important to call that out, because it means that "generating a second userkey.psw" is not the same as making a copy of the first one.
    – wayfarer
    Aug 30 '17 at 17:56
  • That's correct!
    – Charles32
    Sep 7 '17 at 0:32

Vera Hu at social.technet.microsoft.com provided a link to this:


At the end of that article it explicitly states:

"You move the userkey.psw file to another USB flash drive, floppy, or other external drive for safe storage. You can use this same password reset disk file if you forget your password again, even though you have changed your password. It can also be on a different USB flash drive or a floppy the next time you use it. It is not tied to any hardware."

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