How To Change or Reset a Windows 8/8.1 Password

by Reads (158,378)

Windows 8 and 8.1 provide several new ways to access a computer compared to previous versions of Windows; we now have the option to connect a Microsoft account, set a PIN and create a picture password. This can naturally complicate the process of Windows password recovery; in this article we take you through the steps to accomplish that.

Windows 8 Password Reset via Microsoft Account

When you set up your Windows 8 account, Windows gave you the option to link that computer account with your Microsoft (or Hotmail/Live) account; if you did this, Microsoft has a process to reset your password:

  • Go to the main Microsoft account login page.
  • Click the “Can’t access your account?” link and follow the steps to reset your password.

Windows 8 Password Recovery via Local Account

If a Windows account is linked with a Microsoft account (including Hotmail/Live accounts), you’ll first have to disconnect it before you can remove the password.

To do so, follow these steps (note: you’ll need to know the password for your Microsoft account per the instructions in the previous section):

  • Bring up the Charms menu by pressing the Windows key + [C] simultaneously (touchscreen users: swipe in from the right side)
  • Click or touch “Settings”
  • Click “Change PC settings”
  • Click “Accounts” from the left-hand menu
  • Under your account name, click “Disconnect”
  • Enter the password for your Microsoft account and follow the steps to disconnect your account

Removing/Resetting a Local Account Password

This step involves using the Command Prompt when logged in under an account with administrative privileges.

  • Access the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  • Type “cmd” — this will bring up the Command Prompt in search results
  • Use the following command line to remove the password for any account (replacing “username” with the name of the user account you wish to remove the password for):
    • Net User username “”
  • The password for the account is now removed.

How to reset a Windows 8 password

It’s a good idea to set a new Windows 8 password for an account after removing its password. Follow these steps:

  • Bring up the Charms menu by pressing the Windows key + [C] simultaneously (touchscreen users: swipe in from the right side)
  • Click or touch “Settings”
  • Click “Change PC settings”
  • Click “Accounts” from the left-hand menu
  • Click “Sign-in options”
  • Under the “Password” section, click “Add” or “Change”

Setting a Windows 8 PIN

Windows 8 has a feature that lets you set a four-digit PIN to quickly unlock your computer, much like mobile phones. You’ll still have to enter your full Windows 8 password when you login for the first time, however.

  • Bring up the Charms menu by pressing the Windows key + [C] simultaneously (touchscreen users: swipe in from the right side)
  • Click or touch “Settings”
  • Click “Change PC settings”
  • Click “Accounts” from the left-hand menu
  • Click “Sign-in options”
  • Under the “PIN” section, click “Add”

 Setting a Windows 8 Picture Password

Another new Windows 8 feature is the ability to set a picture password for your account.

  • Bring up the Charms menu by pressing the Windows key + [C] simultaneously (touchscreen users: swipe in from the right side)
  • Click or touch “Settings”
  • Click “Change PC settings”
  • Click “Accounts” from the left-hand menu
  • Click “Sign-in options”
  • Under the “Picture Password” section, click “Choose Picture”
  • After choosing a picture, you’ll be prompted to create a series of three gestures which will become your picture password.

I found picture passwords are only practical with touchscreens; it’s difficult to accurately duplicate gestures using a traditional mouse and worse yet, anyone looking at your screen can see the gestures you’re making.

Conclusion

Performing a Windows 8 password reset is potentially more complicated than it was with previous versions of Windows; this is mainly due to the fact that there are new ways to access an account such as connecting a Microsoft account. In this way we walked through the steps to reset the password not only for a Microsoft account but also for non-connected Windows 8 accounts. Finally we walked through the steps to create a new password, picture password and PIN.

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