How To Reset An Old Windows PC without the Administrator Password

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Let’s say you found an old PC in your closet and you want to reset it to give it a little bit new life. But there is no way for you to remember any passwords used on that PC a very long time ago. So, what to do?

Raymond Chen has a pretty cool idea. Guess what, all you need to do is to turn on and off the computer three times and you will get the option to reset your computer to give it a fresh start.

Here are the detailed steps you can follow:

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Turn on the computer, but while it is booting, turn off the power.
  3. Turn on the computer, but while it is booting, turn off the power.
  4. Turn on the computer, but while it is booting, turn off the power.
  5. Turn on the computer and wait.

This happens after three consecutive failed reboot attempts.

Diagnosing your PC 600x305 - How To Reset An Old Windows PC without the Administrator Password

Windows goes into recovery mode and one of the options there is to reset the computer.

Windows 10 recovery mode and reset option 600x315 - How To Reset An Old Windows PC without the Administrator Password

One of the reasons for that option is to address this specific problem of finding an old machine that you forgot the password to, and you want to just reset the PC and start over clean.

Obviously, this has nothing to do with resetting administrator password. This is only to reset the PC and starts over with a fresh install of Windows.

I tested on a Windows 10 installed old laptop but haven’t done the same on any Windows 7 loaded computer. Theoretically speaking, it should still work but please share if you find it’s not the case.

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