Windows 7 Tutorials

This tutorial explains how to reset Windows 7 administrator password step by step using command prompt without any third party CD or software.

Forget Windows 7 admin password, looking for a way to unlock the Windows 7 password or just want to learn how to bypass Windows 7 password without any reset disk, hacking or live CD then this tutorial is the perfect resource for you.

Suppose we forget Windows 7 admin password and there is no other user account to login. To add worse, we did not create a backup password reset disk. So what options left now; reinstall Windows or buy third party software or tool.

No… there is no need to buy any expensive tool or CD to reset the Windows 7 password. To reset Windows 7 password, all you need is a little knowledge of command prompt.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s learn how to reset Windows 7 administrator password step by step using command prompt.

Windows 7 has an inbuilt utility Utilman.exe for disabled people. This utility was developed for the people who are hard of sight or hearing. This utility allows users to configure the accessibility options like Magnifier, High contrast theme, Narrator and On Screen Keyboard before they login into the system. In order to help the disabled people in login process, this utility is available before the login process.

We can run this utility either by pressing Window + U keys combination or by clicking Ease of Access icon on login screen. This will load Utilman.exe application from Windows\System32\ directory. This application runs under the system account which has the highest level of privilege.

accessibility-options

A utility with system privilege without login is the major security breach. This gives us a back door to run other utility with system privilege without login.

The cmd.exe utility provides command prompt which allows us to reset any user’s password. So if we could disguise cmd.exe in Utilman.exe, we could get command prompt without login. Once we accessed the command prompt, resetting user password is matter of few commands. Let’s learn it practically.

Power off the system without shutting down the Windows, power on system again and let the login screen arrives. Repeat this process until Windows displays following error message.

Error: Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might have caused the issue after you install Windows Updates.

Select Launch Startup Repair (recommended) and press Enter Key

launch-startup-repair

Wait until Windows loads necessary files for recovery

window-load-files

Once necessary files are loaded, Windows will try to fix the problems automatically. This process usually take longer time so stay cool, we need to do nothing here.

start-up-recovery-running

After a long wait [around five to ten minutes] we receive following message

Windows cannot repair this computer automatically.

Click View problem details

view-problem-details

It opens a message box with problem details. Scroll the message to bottom, at the end of message it contains hyperlinked privacy statement, click it.

problem-details-file

Privacy statement opens in notepad, Click File menu item and click Open option

privacy-file

Click Computer to show all drives

privacy-file-computer-drive

Drive letters showing here are different from the drive letters we see in My Computer while system boots normally. Figure out the partition which contains Windows installation files and open the Windows folder

window-files

Open System32 folder

window-folder

Changes file type to All Files

file-type-all

Select Utilman.exe file and do Right click and click Copy

utilman-copy

Do right click again and from Right click menu click and Paste.

utilman-paste

Select the copied file and do right click and click Rename

utilman-rename

Rename it with some descriptive name

window-rename-utilman-type

Such as Utilman-org

utilman-org

We have taken the backup (Utilman-org.exe) of original Utilman.exe file. Now delete the original Utilman.exe file.

Select the Utilman.exe file and do right click and click Delete

utilman-delete

Confirm the delete operation

utilman-delete-confirm

Now select the cmd.exe file and do right click and click Copy

cmd-file

Paste the copied file

cmd-paste

Select the copied file and do right click and click Rename

cmd-copy-right-click

Rename it with Utilman

cmd-rename-utilman

Just take a pause here and understand what we have done so far.

  • We forced Windows to launch Startup repair console.
  • Through the startup repair console we accessed \Windows\System32 folder.
  • In System32 folder we made a backup copy of original Utilman.exe file with name Utilman-org.exe.
  • Later we deleted the original Utilman.exe file.
  • After this we made a copy of cmd.exe file and renamed it with Utilman.exe.

This way we disguised cmd.exe in Utilman.exe.

utilman-cmd-verfiy

That's all we need to do here. Close the dialog box, close the file, and close the Startup repair box and Click Finish to shut down the system.

startup-finish

System will be shutdown in few seconds. Turn it on again. Let the Windows boots normally this time. At login screen click Ease of Access icon. We have replaced Utilman.exe file with cmd.exe file, so this time it will launch command prompt instead of accessibility options dialog box.

command-prompt-at-login-screen

Bingo! We have command prompt without login. From command prompt we can change any user’s password. For example, let’s change the password of Administrator account.

net user administrator *

net-user-command

Update the administrator password.

You will not see any asterisk [*] signs here while typing the password. It is a normal behavior at command prompt.

net-user-command-password

Close the command prompt and use the new password to sing in

login-screen

Great! We have successfully logged in system. Not it’s time to revert the change which we made in system file.

Open My Computer and open the windows partition

window-partiton

Switch to System32 folder. In this folder we have Utilman.exe file which is disguising cmd.exe file. We will delete this file and restore the original Utilman.exe file back.

window-replaced-utilman-file

Select Utilman file and do right click and click Delete option

window-utilman-delete-option

Confirm delete operation

window-utilman-delete-confirm

Select the Utilman-org file and do right click and click Rename

window-utilman-org-right-click

Rename Utilman-org to Utilman

window-rename-utilman-type

This will restore original Utilman.exe file back.

window-utilman-restored

To confirm it, restart the system and click Ease of Access icon again, this time it should launch Ease of Access window.

accessibility-options

Congratulation! We have successfully changed Windows 7 administrator password and as promised without changing any system file or using any third party tool or software.