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How to Change or Reset a Windows Password

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Whether you want to change your Windows password for safety and security reasons or you need to reset the password because you forgot it and are no longer able to sign into your Windows device, we can assist you with all that. This guide will show you various methods to change or reset your Windows password, for both Local or Microsoft accounts.
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Whether you want to change your Windows password for safety and security reasons or you need to reset the password because you forgot it and are no longer able to sign into your Windows device, we can assist you with all that. This guide will show you various methods to change or reset your Windows password, for both Local or Microsoft accounts.
Windows Logo.

If you know the password of your Windows account and you wish to change it to something else, for any reason, you can do it in a few ways. It's important to know that on a Windows device there are two types of accounts you can sign in with:

  • Using a Local Account
  • Using a Microsoft Account

The process of changing the password is slightly different for each type of account. If you don't know the type of account you're using, we'll show you below how to tell the difference. Expand the instructions for the type of device you are using:

On a Windows 10 Device
  1. Open the Start menu, click your User account then select Change account settings.
    Start button, username in start menu and Change account settings option highlighted in Windows 10 Start Menu.
  2. In the new window, select Sign-in options.
    Sign-in options highlighted in Windows 10 settings.
  3. In the right pane of the window, look under Your info. You will see the type of account you're using under your username:
    Local Account
    Local Account highlighted under Your info in Windows 10 account settings.If you're using a Local Account it will simply say just that.
    Microsoft Account
    Email address associated with Microsoft Account highlighted under Your info in Windows 10 account settings.If you're using a Microsoft Account it will display the email address associated with that account.
On a Windows 8 Device
  1. Move the mouse to the top right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar.

    If you're using a tablet, slide your finger inward from the right edge of the screen.

    Top right corner pointed out in Windows 8.
  2. Then select Settings.
    Settings option highlighted in Charms bar of Windows 8.
  3. And go to Change PC Settings.
    Change PC Settings option highlighted in Windows 8 settings.
  4. After that, select Accounts.
    Accounts option highlighted in Windows 8 settings.
  5. In the right pane of the window you will see the type of account you're using under your username:
    Local Account
    Local Account highlighted under Your info in Windows 8 account settings.If you're using a Local Account it will simply say just that.
    Microsoft Account
    Email address associated with Microsoft Account highlighted under Your info in Windows 8 account settings.If you're using a Microsoft Account it will display the email address associated with that account.

Next, depending on the type of account and device you have, choose the method that fits your situation below:

Change the Password of a Local Account

On a Windows 10 Device
  1. Open the Start menu, click your User account then select Change account settings.
    Start button, username in start menu and Change account settings option highlighted in Windows 10 Start Menu.
  2. In the new window, select Sign-in options.
    Sign-in options highlighted in Windows 10 settings.
  3. In the right pane of the window, select Password.
    Password option highlighted in Windows 10 Sign-in options.
  4. Then click Change.
    Change button highlighted for Password option in Windows 10 Sign-in options.
  5. Enter your Current password and click Next.
    Current password field and Next button highlighted for local account password confirmation in Windows 10.
  6. Enter your new password in the New password and Confirm password fields, enter a Password hint that can remind you what the password is in case you forget it, and click Next.
    New password, Confirm password and Password hint fields, and Next button highlighted for local account password change in Windows 10.
  7. You'll get a confirmation that your password was changed. Click Finish.
    Finish button highlighted on the local account password change confirmation screen in Windows 10.
On a Windows 8 Device
  1. Move the mouse to the top right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar.

    If you're using a tablet, slide your finger inward from the right edge of the screen.

    Top right corner pointed out in Windows 8.
  2. Then select Settings.
    Settings option highlighted in Charms bar of Windows 8.
  3. And go to Change PC Settings.
    Change PC Settings option highlighted in Windows 8 settings.
  4. After that, select Accounts.
    Accounts option highlighted in Windows 8 settings.
  5. Then select Sign-in options.
    Sign-in options highlighted in Windows 8 account settings.
  6. In the right pane, click the Change button under the Password heading.
    Change button highlighted in Windows 8 Sign-in options.
  7. Enter your Current password and click Next.
    Password field and Next button highlighted on local Windows account verification screen in Windows 8.
  8. Enter your new password in the New password and Renter password fields, enter a Password hint that can remind you what the password is in case you forget it, and click Next.
    New password, Reenter password and Password hint fields, and Next button highlighted for local Windows account password change in Windows 8.
  9. You'll get a confirmation that your password was changed. Click Finish.
    Finish button highlighted on the local Windows account password change confirmation screen in Windows 8.

Change the Password of a Microsoft Account

Online from Any Device
  1. Open a web browser and navigate to login.live.com.
    Website address highlighted in browser.
  2. Enter the Email address, Phone number or Skype name associated with your Microsoft account, then click Next.
    Account entry field and Next button highlighted on Sign in screen on Microsoft web page.
  3. Enter the Password associated with your Microsoft account then click Sign in.
    Password field highlighted on Sign in screen on Microsoft website.
  4. At the top of the page, go to Security.
    Security tab highlighted in Microsoft account dashboard.
  5. Then go to Change your password.
    Change your password option highlighted in Microsoft account security settings.
  6. You'll need to verify your account by entering a security code. Depending on how you set the account up, you'll be asked to choose where the security code should be sent.
    Email address and phone number highlighted on identity verification screen for account on Microsoft website.
    Choose between:
    Sending an email to your alternate email address
    1. Enter your alternate email address that matches the one added to your Microsoft account and click Send code.
      Alternate email entry field and Send code button highlighted for account verification on Microsoft web page.
    2. In a separate window or tab of your web browser, sign in to your alternate email account and look for an email from the Microsoft account team which will contain the security code.
    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Verify.
      Entry field for security code received in email highlighted for account verification on Microsoft web page.
    4. Enter your Current password then the new one in the New password and Reenter password fields, then click Save.
      Current, new and reenter password entry fields, and Save button highlighted for changing password on Microsoft web page.
    Sending a text to your mobile phone number
    1. Enter the Last 4 digits of your mobile phone number including the last two that are already shown and click Send code.
      Entry field for last 4 digits of phone number and Send code button highlighted for account verification on Microsoft web page.
    2. You'll receive a text message on your mobile phone which will contain the security code.

      The security code is within the text message and is not the phone number that you receive the text message from.

    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Verify.
      Entry field for security code received in text message highlighted for account verification on Microsoft web page.
    4. Enter your Current password then the new one in the New password and Reenter password fields, then click Save.
      Current, New and Reenter password entry fields, and Save button highlighted for changing password on Microsoft web page.
On a Windows 10 Device
  1. Open the Start menu, click your User account then select Change account settings.
    Start button, username in start menu and Change account settings option highlighted in Windows 10 Start Menu.
  2. In the new window, select Sign-in options.
    Sign-in options highlighted in Windows 10 settings.
  3. In the right pane of the window, select Password.
    Password option highlighted in Windows 10 Sign-in options.
  4. Then click Change.
    Change button highlighted for Password option in Windows 10 Sign-in options.
  5. Enter your Current password and click Next.
    Current password field highlighted for Microsoft password confirmation in Windows 10.
  6. You'll need to verify your account by entering a security code. Depending on how you set the account up, you'll be asked to choose where the security code should be sent.
    Email address and phone number highlighted on identity verification screen for Microsoft account in Windows 10.
    Choose between:
    Sending an email to your alternate email address
    1. Enter your alternate email address that matches the one added to your Microsoft account and click Send code.
      Alternate email entry field and Send code button highlighted for account verification in Windows 10.
    2. Open a web browser, sign in to your alternate email account and look for an email from the Microsoft account team which will contain the security code.
    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Verify.
      Entry field for security code received in email highlighted for account verification in Windwos 10.
    4. Enter your Current password and the New password, then click Next.
      Current and New password entry fields, and Next button highlighted for changing password in Windows 10.
    5. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. Click Finish.
      Finish button highlighted on the Microsoft account password change confirmation screen in Windows 10.
    Sending a text to your mobile phone number
    1. Enter the Last 4 digits of your mobile phone number including the last two that are already shown and click Send code.
      Entry field for last 4 digits of phone number and Send code button highlighted for account verification in Windows 10.
    2. You'll receive a text message on your mobile phone which will contain the security code.

      The security code is within the text message and is not the phone number that you receive the text message from.

    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Verify.
      Entry field for security code received in text message highlighted for account verification in Windows 10.
    4. Enter your Current password and the New password, then click Next.
      Current and New password entry fields, and Next button highlighted for changing password in Windows 10.
    5. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. Click Finish.
      Finish button highlighted on the Microsoft account password change confirmation screen in Windows 10.
On a Windows 8 Device
  1. Move the mouse to the top right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar.

    If you're using a tablet, slide your finger inward from the right edge of the screen.

    Top right corner pointed out in Windows 8.
  2. Then select Settings.
    Settings option highlighted in Charms bar of Windows 8.
  3. And go to Change PC Settings.
    Change PC Settings option highlighted in Windows 8 settings.
  4. After that, select Accounts.
    Accounts option highlighted in Windows 8 settings.
  5. Then select Sign-in options.
    Sign-in options highlighted in Windows 8 account settings.
  6. In the right pane, click the Change button under the Password heading.
    Change button highlighted in Windows 8 Sign-in options.
  7. You'll need to verify your Microsoft account. Enter your account's password and click Next.
    Password field and Next button highlighted on Microsoft account verification screen in Windows 8.
  8. Enter your current password again in the Old password field, then enter your new password in the Create password and Renter password fields, and click Next.
    Old, Create and Renter password fields and Next button highlighted on Microsoft account password change screen in Windows 8.
  9. You'll get a confirmation that your password was changed. Click Finish.
    Finish button highlighted on the Microsoft account password change confirmation screen in Windows 8.

If you do not know the password of your Windows account and you need to reset it to recover your account, you can do it in a few ways. It's important to know that on a Windows device there are two types of accounts you can sign in with:

  • Using a Local Account
  • Using a Microsoft Account

The process of resetting the password is slightly different for each type of account. If you don't know the type of account you're using, we'll show you below how to tell the difference. Once you type in an incorrect password you'll be shown a message instructing you to try again. If you're using a Microsoft Account, the message will clarify that you need to type in the password associated with that account.
Microsoft account reference highlighted in message showing after incorrect sign-in password was typed in on Windows 10.
Next, depending on the type of account and device you have, choose the method that fits your situation below:

Reset the Password of a Local Account

On a Windows 10 Device
  1. Once you type in an incorrect password you'll be shown the Password hint that you created together with your password to remind you what it is in case you forget it. Use that hint to try to figure out what the password is.
    Password hint highlighted on Sign-in screen on Windows 10.
  2. If you can't remember your password using the password hint, then you can reset it using the security questions you set for your account. Click Reset password.

    Resetting a local account password using the security questions is only available to you if Windows 10 was updated to version 1803 or later.

    Reset password option highlighted on Sign-in screen on Windows 10.
  3. Enter the three security answers that you set up for your account and press Enter.
    Security answers fields highlighted for password reset on Sign-in screen on Windows 10.
  4. Enter your new password in the New password and Confirm password fields then press Enter.
    New password and Confirm password fields highlighted for password reset on Sing-in screen on Windows 10.
  5. Your other option is to reset the Windows 10 device to remove the password.

    Resetting the Windows 10 device to factory defaults will remove all personal files, customizations and installed apps. Make sure you're data is backed up before you proceed.

On a Windows 8 Device
  1. Once you type in an incorrect password you'll be shown the Password hint that you created together with your password to remind you what it is in case you forget it. Use that hint to try to figure out what the password is.
    Password hint highlighted on Sign-in screen on Windows 8.
  2. If you can't remember your password using the password hint, your other option is to reset the Windows 8 device to remove the password.

    Resetting the Windows 8 device to factory defaults will remove all personal files, customizations and installed apps. Make sure you're data is backed up before you proceed.

    Factory Reset Your Windows PC

Reset the Password of a Microsoft Account

Online from Any Device
  1. Open a web browser and navigate to account.live.com/password/reset.
    Website address highlighted in browser.
  2. Enter the Email address, Phone number or Skype name associated with your Microsoft account then click Next.
    Account entry field and Next button highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
  3. You'll need to verify your account by entering a security code. Depending on how you set the account up, you'll be asked to choose where the security code should be sent.
    Identity verification options highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    Choose between:
    Sending an email to your alternate email address
    1. Enter the hidden part of your alternate email address including the first two letters that are already shown and click Get code.
      Email entry field and Get code button highlighted for identity verification on Microsoft web page.
    2. In a separate window or tab of your web browser, sign in to your alternate email account and look for an email from the Microsoft account team which will contain the security code.
    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Next.
      Entry field for security code received in email and Next button highlighted for identity verification on Microsoft web page.
    4. Enter your new password in both the New password and Reenter password fields, then click Next.
      New and Reenter password fields and Next button highlighted on password reset screen on Microsoft web page.
    5. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. You can then sign in to your Microsoft account with the new password.
      Password changed confirmation screen on Microsoft website.
    Sending a text to your mobile phone number
    1. Enter the Last 4 digits of your mobile phone number including the last two that are already shown and click Get code.
      Entry field for last 4 digits of phone number and Get code button highlighted for identity verification on Microsoft web page.
    2. You'll receive a text message on your mobile phone which will contain the security code.

      The security code is within the text message and is not the phone number that you receive the text message from.

    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Next.
      Entry field for security code received in text message and Next button highlighted for identity verification on Microsoft web page.
    4. Enter your new password in both the New password and Reenter password fields, then click Next.
      New password, Reenter password and Next button highlighted on password reset screen on Microsoft website.
    5. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. You can then sign in to your Microsoft account with the new password.
      Password changed confirmation screen on Microsoft web page.
    The I don't have any of these option

    If you choose this option, you'll be asked to provide some information about your Microsoft account. It would be best if you provided these details from a device and location from which and where you've signed in before into the account.

    1. Enter an alternate contact email address where you'd like to receive the security code, then enter the characters you see in the verification image and click Next.
      Contact email address and captcha image and entry fields highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    2. In a separate window or tab of your web browser, sign in to your contact email account and look for an email from the Microsoft account team which will contain the security code.
    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Verify.
      Security code entry field highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    4. Next, you'll have to provide some information about your Microsoft account. Provide as many details as you can but most importantly your First Name and / or Last Name, and your Birth Date, then click Next.
      First and Last Name, Birth Date entry fields, and Next button highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    5. Provide as many details as you can on the next page as well, but most importantly your Other passwords that you've used with your account before, then click Next.
      Other passwords entry fields and Next button highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    6. You'll receive a confirmation message that the information you provided was submitted.
      Confirmation message that account recovery information was submitted on Microsoft web page.
    7. Check your contact email account periodically, and look for another email from the Microsoft account team for further instructions. If you provided enough information to verify your identity, you'll receive a link to reset your Microsoft account's password. Click that link to continue.
    8. You'll be asked to confirm your Microsoft account again. Enter the Email address, Phone number or Skype name associated with it then click Next.
      Account entry field and Next button highlighted for account confirmation on Microsoft web page.
    9. Enter your new password in both the New password and Reenter password fields then click Next.
      New password, Reenter password and Next button highlighted on password reset screen on Microsoft website.
    10. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. You can then sign in to your Microsoft account with the new password.
      Password changed confirmation screen on Microsoft website.
On a Windows 10 Device
  1. On the Sign-in screen, click I forgot my password.
    I forgot my password option highlighted on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
  2. You'll need to verify your account by entering a security code. Depending on how you set the account up, you'll be asked to choose where the security code should be sent.
    Identity verification options highlighted on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    Choose between:
    Sending an email to your alternate email address
    1. Enter the hidden part of your alternate email address including the first two letters that are already shown and click Get code.
      Email entry field and Get code button highlighted for identity verification on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    2. On a different device, open a web browser, sign in to your alternate email account and look for an email from the Microsoft account team which will contain the security code.
    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Next.
      Security code entry field and Get code button highlighted for identity verification on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    4. Enter your new password in the Create password field then click Next.
      Create password field highlighted for password reset on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    5. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. You can then sign in to your Microsoft account with the new password.
      Password charge confirmation on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    Sending a text to your mobile phone number
    1. Enter the Last 4 digits of your mobile phone number including the last two that are already shown and click Get code.
      Entry field for last 4 digits of phone number and Get code button highlighted for identity verification on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    2. You'll receive a text message on your mobile phone which will contain the security code.

      The security code is within the text message and is not the phone number that you receive the text message from.

    3. Enter the security code that you just received and click Next.
      Security code entry field and Get code button highlighted for identity verification on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    4. Enter your new password in the Create password field then click Next.
      Create password field highlighted for password reset on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    5. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. You can then sign in to your Microsoft account with the new password.
      Password charge confirmation on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    The I don't have any of these option

    If you choose this option, you'll be asked to provide some information about your Microsoft account. It would be best if you provided these details from a device and location from which and where you've signed in before into the account.

    1. You'll be provided a website link from where you'll be able to reset your password.
      Microsoft account recovery website link highlighted for identity verification on Windows 10 Sign-in screen.
    2. On a different device, open a web browser and navigate to the provided link. You can also just simply navigate to account.live.com/acsr.
      Web address highlighted in browser address bar.
    3. Enter the Email address, Phone number or Skype name associated with your Microsoft account, then enter an alternate contact email address where you'd like to receive the security code, then enter the characters you see in the verification image and click Next.
      Microsoft account, contact email address and captcha image and entry fields highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    4. In a separate window or tab of your web browser, sign in to your contact email account and look for an email from the Microsoft account team which will contain the security code.
    5. Enter the security code that you just received and click Verify.
      Security code entry field highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    6. Next, you'll have to provide some information about your Microsoft account. Provide as many details as you can but most importantly your First Name and / or Last Name, and your Birth Date, then click Next.
      First and Last Name, Birth Date entry fields, and Next button highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    7. Provide as many details as you can on the next page as well, but most importantly your Other passwords that you've used with your account before, then click Next.
      Other passwords entry fields and Next button highlighted for account recovery on Microsoft web page.
    8. You'll receive a confirmation message that the information you provided was submitted.
      Confirmation message that account recovery information was submitted on Microsoft web page.
    9. Check your contact email account periodically and look for another email from the Microsoft account team for further instructions. If you provided enough information to verify your identity, you'll receive a link to reset your Microsoft account's password. Click that link to continue.
    10. You'll be asked to confirm your Microsoft account again. Enter the Email address, Phone number or Skype name associated with it then click Next.
      Account entry field and Next button highlighted for account confirmation on Microsoft web page.
    11. Enter your new password in both the New password and Reenter password fields then click Next.
      New password, Reenter password and Next button highlighted on password reset screen on Microsoft website.
    12. You'll get a confirmation message that your password was changed. You can then sign in to your Microsoft account with the new password.
      Password changed confirmation screen on Microsoft website.
On a Windows 8 Device

If you forgot the password for your Microsoft account and you're unable to sign in on a Windows 8 device, you'll have to use one of the above methods to reset it:

  • Online from any device.
  • On a Windows 10 device.

    If you're using the same Microsoft account to sign in to both Windows 8 and Windows 10 devices.