Introduction: Unlock Windows User Account If Your Password Expired or Forgot

Lost the password of the only administrator account on your computer? Windows password has expired but you forgot the original password? Just imagine yourself in such a situation! How to unlock a locked or expired user account without admin privileges? This tutorial will show you step-by-step procedure to unlock Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP user account with a bootable WinPE CD.

Step 1: Make a Bootable CD

Use an alternate PC to download the PCUnlocker ISO image which is a WinPE-based bootable media. The file you downloaded is a zip file that contains the disk image, you will need to extract the image from the zip file (i.e. drag it to your desktop).

Download ImgBurn and install, launch the program. Select the ‘Write image file to disc’ option. Next click the browse option and navigate to the disk image you just extracted. Click Open.

Select the burn to disc icon (Note: This will be greyed out, until there is a blank CD in the drive). The image is very small, it will not take long to burn.

Step 2: Boot Your Locked PC From CD

This procedure uses the boot CD you have just created, for it to work you need to make sure the machine will attempt to boot to its CD/DVD Drive before it boots to its hard drive. (Or it will simply boot into Windows login screen again).

This change in boot order (boot sequence) is carried out in the machines BIOS. When you turn on the machine watch for a message that looks like Press {key} to enter Setup. Typically Esc, Del, F1, F2, F12, or F9. When in the BIOS locate the boot order and move the CD/DVD Drive to the top of the list.

Step 3: Unlock Windows User Account

Once your computer boots from the CD, the entire Windows PE boot image will be loaded into memory. After the booting procedure is complete, you'll see the PCUnlocker program. It automatically searches for your Windows SAM database on your local hard drive, and then show you a list of local user accounts for your Windows installation.

From the list box you can find out which user account is locked out, disabled or password protected. Choose a user account with an expired or forgotten password, and click on "Reset Password" button. The program will remove your forgotten Windows login password, set your password to never expire, and unlock your locked or disabled user account.

Click on "Restart" button and reject the WinPE CD. The computer will reboot and it then automatically log back into your Windows user account without asking for a password!