A Windows password reset disk is a specially created floppy disk or USB flash drive that can be used to gain access to Windows if you've forgotten your password.
If you've ever forgotten your Windows password before, you can imagine how valuable a password reset disk is.
Be proactive and create a password reset disk right now. It's completely free, aside from needing a floppy disk or USB drive, and it's very easy to do.
How to Create a Windows Password Reset Disk
You can create a password reset disk using the Forgotten Password Wizard in Windows. It works in every version of Windows but the specific steps necessary to create a password reset disk depends on the Windows operating system you're using. Those small differences are pointed out below.
Note: You cannot use this method to reset your Windows 10 or Windows 8 password if you've forgotten the password to your Microsoft account.
In WIndows 10 and Windows 8, the quickest way to do this is with the Power User Menu; just hit the Windows Key + X keyboard combination to find a quick-access menu that includes a Settings/Control Panel shortcut.
For Windows 7 and older versions of Windows, you can quickly open Control Panel with the control command-line command or use the "normal" method through the Start menu.
Step #3: Click or tap on the User Accounts link.
Important: Before you proceed, make sure have some kind of portable media to create a password reset disk on. This means that you will need a flash drive or a floppy disk drive and blank floppy disk.
You will not be able to create a Windows password reset disk on a CD, DVD, or external hard drive.
Step #4: In the task pane on the left, choose the "Create a password reset disk" link.
Windows XP only: You won't see that link if you're using Windows XP. Instead, choose your account from the "or pick an account to change" section at the bottom of the User Accounts screen. Then, click the Prevent a forgotten password link from the left pane.
Note: Did you get a "No Drive" warning message? If so, you do not have a floppy disk or USB flash drive connected. You'll need to do this before continuing.
Note: You will only see a selection menu here if you have more than one compatible device attached. If you have just one, you'll be told the drive letter of that device and that the reset disk will be made on it. Click Next to continue.
Step #7: Windows will now create the password reset disk on your chosen media.
Step #8: When the progress indicator shows 100% complete, click "Next" and then click "Finish" in the next window.
You can now remove the flash drive or floppy disk from your computer.
Step #9: Label the disk or flash drive to identify what it's for, like "Windows 10 Password Reset" or "Windows 7 Reset Disk," etc, and store it in a safe place.
Tips & Talk Before and While Creating a Windows Password Reset Disk
You only need to create a password reset disk for your Windows login password once. No matter how many times you change your password, this disk will always allow you to create a new one.
While a password reset disk will certainly come in handy if you ever forget your password, keep in mind that anyone who possesses this disk will be able to access your Windows account at any time, even if you change your password.
A Windows password reset disk is only valid for the user account that it was created from. This not only means that you can't create a reset disk for a different user on a different computer, but that you can't use one password reset disk on a different account even on the same computer.
In other words, you must create a separate password reset disk for each user account that you want to protect.
Unfortunately, if you've forgotten your Windows password and can't get into Windows, you won't be able to create a password reset disk.
There are, however, several things you can do to try to get in. Windows password recovery programs are very popular solutions to this problem but you could also just have another user reset the password for you.
You can use the same floppy disk or flash drive as the password reset disk on any number of user accounts. When Windows resets a password using the reset disk, it looks for the password backup file ( root of the drive, so make sure that you store other reset files in a different folder.) that's at the
For example, you can keep the PSW file for a user called "Amy" in a folder called "Amy Password Reset Disk," and another one for "Jon" in a separate folder. When it's time to reset the password for the "Jon" account, just use a different (working) computer to move the PSW file out of the "Jon" folder and into the root of the floppy disk or flash drive so that Windows can read from the right one.
It doesn't matter how many folders you keep password backup files in or how many are on a single disk. However, because you must never change the file name (userkey) or file extension (.PSW), they have to be stored in separate folders to avoid a name collision.
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"Jeff, the Computer Guy"