Locking Windows with a password can prevent unauthorized users for gaining control of your precious data. But, what happen if you forgot your computer’s admin password? There might be situations where you’re locked yourself out of Windows account or you’re helping someone else to reset a forgotten PC password, here are quick and simple ways to recover Windows 10 password with Ophcrack or PCUnlocker bootable USB.
Method 1: Recover Windows 10 Password with Ophcrack
Ophcrack can be very useful in situations when you need to recover the plain-text password of your Windows admin account. It’s the most popular free Windows password cracker which applies Rainbow Tables to crack NT/LM password hashes.
This method should be your best bet when you have to recover access to your locked computer without losing all EFS-encrypted files, personal certificates or stored network credentials. Let’s see how to use it to crack Windows 10 password:
Step 1: To start, download the Ophcrack Live ISO image which is about 649Mb in size. After you’ve downloaded it, load the ISO to a USB thumb drive using the freeware Rufus or other bootable USB creator software.
Step 2: Reboot your Windows 10 PC with your created USB drive and it will bring up the boot loader. Just select the default option “Graphics mode – automatic” and press Enter.
Step 3: After booting to the Linux desktop environment, Ophcrack will automatically mount your hard drive and load the user accounts stored in the Security Account Manager (SAM) database. You don’t need to do anything, just wait for Ophcrack to crack passwords of all local accounts on your computer.
Step 4: You’ll see the progress of the cracking process in the bottom of the Ophcrack window. When a password is found, it will be displayed in the NT Pwd field. You can then click the Save button in the toolbar to export the password.
Ophcrack is capable of recovering 99.99% of all passwords under 14 characters on Windows 7/Vista/XP. However, the Live CD doesn’t come with free rainbow table for Windows 10 or Windows 8, so you may have purchase the expensive rainbow tables from their website when you need to recover a Windows 10/8 password.
Method 2: Reset Windows 10 Password with PCUnlocker
PCUnlocker is yet another Windows password recovery program that enables you to reset forgotten Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP account password with bootable CD/USB. This software works differently than Ophcrack, it lets you reset or bypass the login password instead of recovering it. So you can quickly regain access to your Windows admin account without losing files, no matter how long or complex your original password is.
I’ve tried it with Windows 10 and it can also successfully let me log in even if my computer is protected with a forgotten Microsoft account password. Here’re the steps:
Step 1. First off, download the PCUnlocker ISO file and save it to your desktop, then use the freeware Rufus to create a bootable USB drive.
Step 2. Insert the bootable USB into the computer you need to reset forgotten Windows 10 password on. When you turn on the machine, press the BIOS key (F12, F2, DEL, ESC, F8, etc.) to access the boot options menu. Use the arrow key to select your USB and press Enter.
Step 3. When you reach the following screen, select your admin account from the list and click on the Reset Password button.
Step 4. You’ll be prompted to confirm if you’re proceed to reset the password. Click Yes and your password will be removed in seconds.
Step 5. Reboot. You can now access Windows 10 with your admin account. Rest assured that the original files will remain untouched in its original location.
When you forgot Windows 10 login password, the only method that Microsoft gives is reinstallation of Windows which means you’ll lost all data and files. With the help of Ophcrack and PCUnlocker, you should be able to recover forgotten Windows 10 password easily. That can save you a lot of time and frustration!