Watch CBSN Live

Reset a Lost Windows Password

Losing or forgetting your Windows password is not just frustrating; it can be catastrophic, since it might cost you all the data locked away on that computer. More than once I've lost track of the old password I used on a laptop that was in a corner of the office gathering dust. At times like that, it's time to use a Windows password reset utility.

One I've used for a while is called Offline NT Password & Registry Editor. It's a free program you can burn to a boot CD or USB memory key, and then use it to reset your password.

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor works with pretty much every edition of Windows out there, including XP, Vista, and Windows 7. To use it, boot your PC using the program on a CD or on a flash memory key. Just follow the simple instructions on the screen to reset the Administrator account, and then reboot and log in -- that's really all there is to it.

That, and be sure to reset the password to something you'll remember this time. Might I suggest making your own cypher chart for creating strong passwords?

Photo courtesy Flickr user e-magic