How do I recover from a maliciously changed password?

Jun 10, 2016
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My son and his partner have just split. As her parting gift she has changed the password to his Win10 laptop so he can get no further than the first log-in screen which displays his name with a password box. There were no user accounts previously so no passwords for either of them. There are now two accounts, one in his name one in hers. Any ideas much appreciated!!



Noob Whisperer
Nov 19, 2013
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You might be able to rescue your computer by enabling the normally hidden / disabled Administrator account and use that to possibly fix the password problem on your local user account.
You'll need to boot from the installation media. If you do not have the installation media on hand you can download the ISO from here
Once you have the ISO, you can use ImgBurn to burn it to a DVD or Rufus to burn it to a USB ThumbDrive, either of which you can use to boot your computer.
Follow the steps outlined here

Another option that I have used successfully is a third party software boot disk.

NOTE.... IF the computer is UEFI with "Secure boot" enabled, I don't believe you will be able to boot from the CD you create from the ISO (Offline Windows Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk / CD, the pogostick link immediately above) unless you enter the System Setup Utility (BIOS) and turn off Secure Boot and change the boot option from UEFI to Legacy or UEFI + Legacy or UEFI + MBR depending on what's avaialble and how robust your BIOS might be (if it even supports changing turning off secure boot, some newer ones do not.

You will likely need the installation media to boot the computer independent of the operating system.
Choose Windows 10, the first item in the first drop down (not single language at the bottom)
Next choose your language and your bit version (32 or 64 bit to match your system architecture or in the case of an upgrade, to match your currently installed version of Windows).
That will provide an ISO that will upgrade, repair (or clean install) either or both Windows 10 Pro and Home.
Once you have downloaded the ISO you can use ImgBurn to burn it to a DVD
Rufus to burn it to a USB ThumbDrive
When you've managed to boot from the installation media you need to click the Repair Your PC link on the second page after the Choose a Language and Keyboard layout page.
That should get you to the Advanced Troubleshooting options, where you should be able to launch the command prompt as suggested in the article above from

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