How to Retrieve Lost Windows' Passwords

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Press "Ctrl, Alt, Delete" twice when faced with a situation in which a password cannot be retrieved. Discover why it's important to make a password easy to recall, or to write a password down, with help from a software developer in this free video on computers and Windows.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Technology
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Dave Andrews. Today, I'm going to show you how to retrieve lost Windows passwords. Now, it's happened to you. You're sitting at your desktop, you're trying to log into your computer, and you just can't remember your password to get in. So I'm going to show you how to get in. We're actually going to change the password to something you can remember. Let's go to our computer. So here I am at the log on screen for Windows XP. If I try to click on my user, it's going to ask me for a password. And of course, I don't have a clue what it was. So at the log on screen, what we're going to do is we're going to press the Ctrl Alt Delete button twice. If I press it once, press it again, I actually get a log on screen here that looks a whole lot different than the Windows log on screen or the welcome screen that we're used to seeing. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to remove my user name. And most computers, when they ship from the manufacturer, come with a user on there called Administrator, and whose password is normally blank. So I'm going to type administrator and leave the password blank. I'm going to click okay. So now as you can see, it's logging me into the computer as an administrator. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to change my user's password by going to Start, I'm going to go to Control Panel, I'm going to find User Accounts, I'm going to find my user, Dave. Just click on his name. And I'm going to change the password to one that I can remember. You have to type it twice to confirm it. Make sure to write down your password or make it something that you can easily recall for future logins. My name's Dave Andrews, and I've just showed you how to retrieve a lost Windows password.

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