Reset Administrator password with Windows installation media

If you forgot administrator password and cannot login to your laptop or PC, or you cannot install program because it requires administrator password, there is a simple solution to reset any local account password on Windows if you have a copy of Windows installation media (DVD, or USB).
Note: This method applies on Windows 7, 8, and 10, but it can only be used to reset local account. If you’re using Microsoft account, you need to visit the link below and follow the guide to reset password.
Incorrect password

In this article, I will show how to reset administrator password on Windows 10 with the Windows installation DVD.

Watch on YouTube


  1. Insert the DVD and reboot your PC. If it doesn’t boot from the DVD or USB, you may have to check boot order in BIOS and configure it to boot from the DVD or USB first.
    Boot from Windows installation DVD
  2. On this screen, click Next.
    Windows Setup screen
  3. Click Repair your computer.
    Select Repair your computer
  4. On Choose an option, press Shift + F10 to open command prompt window.
    Open Command Prompt window
  5. Find which drive that contains your Windows system. Usually, it should be C drive, but in this example, the Windows system is on E drive as indicated by Windows and Program files folders.
    Locate Windows system drive
  6. Type the below command to backup the original sticky key file.
    Note: You should replace drive letter with your Windows system drive.

    copy e:\windows\system32\sethc.exe e:\sethc.exe

    Backup sticky key file

  7. Type this command to replace the sticky key with the command prompt executable.
    copy e:\windows\system32\cmd.exe e:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

    Then, type y and press Enter to confirm.
    Replace sticky key with command prompt executable

  8. Type exit to close the command prompt window and click Continue to boot to Windows 10.
    Boot into Windows 10
  9. Once you see the login screen, press Shift 5 times. You will see a command prompt window.
    Open Command Prompt window
  10. Type this command to reset password.
    net user 123456

    Note: Replace username and password as you want.
    Reset administrator password

  11. Login to Windows with the new password.
    Login with the new password
  12. After that, I suggest to change password again.
    1. Right-click Windows icon at bottom left and select Computer Management.
    2. Expand Local Users and Groups and select Users.
    3. Right-click on the user account and select Set Password.

    Reset user password

  13. Click Proceed.
    Proceed to set user password
  14. Type the new password and click OK.
    Type new user password
  15. Finally, you have to restore the original sticky key by reboot your PC with the Windows installation media again and open the command prompt window as in step 2-4.
    Open Command Prompt window
  16. Type this command to restore the original sticky key.
    copy e:\sethc.exe e:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

    Then, type y and press Enter.
    Restore the original sticky key

  17. The sticky key file is restored and it is safe to delete the backup file. Type this command to delete the file.
    del e:\sethc.exe

    Delete the backup sticky key file

As you can see, you can easily reset user password so it’s better not to store personal data on PC that is shared with others or you could use some encryption to protect your data.

One Response

  1. Milan Magar September 3, 2022

Leave a Reply