|OK, so you're logged in now, and you've forgotten your password. Unfortunately, if you've forgotten your password, there's little you can do while logged in to your user profile. But, not to worry... Windows XP is so easy to bypass passwords. I'm assuming that you're a home user, and unless your machine was set up professionally, your computer has more backdoors than a sleazy bar. |
Before doing this, TRY to remember your password. I'm not trying to chastise you, but could you provide some insight as to how you could log in to Windows with your password, and then forget it once you're logged in? If I were a betting man, I would say that you changed your password in the control panel, and then immediately forgot what it was. Do you have a password hint? You could have provided one when you first installed Windows or at the Users Control Panel. Regardless, we're going to do this with minimal problems.
As much as you probably don't want to, you're going to need to shut your computer off. Now, if you absolutely could not bear it if this process doesn't work and you're afraid of being locked out forever (which is impossible with an XP machine.) Use a USB drive and back up your most vital documents. Personally, it's an unnecessary step, but it's there for you.
OK, with your computer turned off, follow the procedures:
1. After 30 seconds, turn the computer on.
2. Start pressing the F8 key until you get a menu of options.
3. Use your arrow keys to select the following option: Safe Mode with Network Support.
4. Press enter. You'll see a scary screen with a bunch of text flying by. It's normal. Booting into Safe Mode may take longer than normal. Be patient.
5. You're probably set up to use the welcome screen. When it comes up, you'll notice that there's a NEW user account... It's a chess piece and it says ADMINISTRATOR. Congratulations, you've found the hidden ADMIN account, and it DOESN'T have a password. What was Microsoft thinking?
6. You guessed it, click on the ADMINISTRATOR account and log in to that profile.
7. Once the desktop is loaded, click Start, go to control panel, and double click the User Accounts. *icon only visible if you are in Classic Control Panel view. Switch to classic view.
8. The system will show you the user profiles installed on the computer. Click your profile (the one that you don't know the password to.)
9. You'll see some options on the left hand side of the window, one of which is to "RESET PASSWORD." Click on that bad boy. Because you have ADMIN access, you'll just go through the steps, establish a new password, and you'll be done.
10. Close all windows, log out, and shut down the machine. Turn it back on and enter your new password when prompted.
Wow, isn't is scary how easy it is to completely remove or change a user password in Windows XP? Please, upgrade or plug the security holes (that would require a book.)
... there is a possibility that this won't work. Maybe this backdoor has been plugged by MS, but I doubt it. Then again, I haven't used XP since Vista came out. Haven't looked back. Now using Windows 7. What a major improvement.
Best of luck to you!