Technical support policy for lost or forgotten passwords

Microsoft takes security seriously. This is for your protection. Microsoft accounts, the Windows operating system, and other Microsoft products include passwords to help secure your information. This article provides some options that you can use to reset or recover your password if you forget it. Be aware that, if these options don’t work, Microsoft support engineers can't help you retrieve or circumvent a lost or forgotten password.

If you lose or forget a password, you can use the links in this article to find published support information that will help you reset the password.

How to reset a password for a domain account

If you lose or forget the password for a domain account, contact your IT administrator or Helpdesk. For more information, see Change or reset your Windows password.

How to reset a password for a Microsoft account

If you lose or forget the password for your Microsoft Account, use the Recover your account wizard.

This wizard requests your security proofs. If you have forgotten your security proofs, or no longer have access to them, select I no longer have these anymore. After you select this option, fill out a form for the Microsoft Account team. Provide as much information as you can on this form. The Microsoft Account team reviews the information that you provide to determine whether you are the account holder. This decision is final. Microsoft does not influence the team's choice of action.

How to reset a password for a local account on a Windows device

Local accounts on a device include the device's Administrator account.

Windows 10

If you lose or forget the password for a local account on a device that runs Windows 10, see Reset your Windows 10 local account password.

Windows 8.1 or Windows 7

If you lose or forget the password for a local account on a device that runs Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, see Change or reset your Windows password. In that article, you can select your operating system version from the Select Product Version menu.

How to reset a hardware BIOS password

If you lose or forget the password for the hardware BIOS of a device, contact the device manufacturer for help and support. If you do contact the manufacturer online, make sure that you visit the manufacturer website and not the website of some third party.

How to reset a password for an individual file

Some applications let you password-protect individual files. If you lose or forget such a password, you can rely on that application only to reset or recover it. Microsoft support engineers cannot help you reset, retrieve, or circumvent such passwords.

Using third-party password tools

Some third-party companies claim to be able to circumvent passwords that have been applied to files and features that Microsoft programs use. For legal reasons, we cannot recommend or endorse any one of these companies. If you want help to circumvent or reset a password, you can locate and contact a third party for this help. However, you use such third-party products and services at your own risk.