How to Change Another User's Password in Windows

Change a Different User's Password in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP

Screenshot of how to change a different user's password in Windows 10
Changing a User's Password (Windows 10).

The biggest reason you might want to change another user's password is if the other user has forgotten theirs. It happens to the best of us so try not to make your family member, roommate, or other partner on your computer feel too badly about it.

There are plenty of ways to get around a lost Windows password but one of the easier ones, assuming of course that there's more than one user on the computer, is to just change the password from within another account.

You'll be happy to know that changing the password on another user's account is really easy, no matter which version of Windows you have. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which of those several versions of Windows is installed on your computer.

Warning: When you change a Windows password from outside the account, which is what you're doing when you change another user's password, the user you're changing the password for will lose all access to EFS encrypted files, personal certificates, and any stored passwords like those for network resources and website passwords. Most users don't have EFS encrypted files and the loss of stored passwords probably isn't a big deal but I wanted you to know the consequence of resetting a password in this way.

Important: Your Windows account must be configured as an administrator if you want to change another user's password. If not, you may need to try this Windows password reset trick or use a free Windows password recovery program to change the password instead.

How to Change Another User's Password in Windows 10 or 8

  1. Open the Windows 8 or 10 Control Panel.

    On touch interfaces, the easiest way to open Control Panel in Windows 10 or Windows 8 is via its link on the Start menu (or Apps screen in Windows 8), but the Power User Menu is probably faster if you have a keyboard or mouse.

  1. On Windows 10, touch or click on the User Accounts link (it's called User Accounts and Family Safety in Windows 8).

    Note: If the View by setting is on Large icons or Small icons, then you won't see this link. Touch or click the User Accounts icon instead and skip to Step 4.

  2. Touch or click User Accounts.

  3. Several links down on the Make changes to your user account area of the User Accounts window, touch or click on Manage another account.

  4. Touch or click on the user you want to change the password for.

    Tip: If you don't see Password protected listed somewhere under the username then that user doesn't have a password setup and should be able to login without entering anything in the password field.

  5. Now that you're in the Make changes to [username]'s account screen, touch or click on Change the password.

    Tip: Don't see a Change the password link? This probably means that the user you want to change the password for logs into Windows 10 or Windows 8 with a Microsoft account, not a "traditional" local account. This is actually good news, as it's even easier to reset a Microsoft account password. See How to Reset Your Microsoft Account Password for help.

  6. On the Change [username]'s password screen, enter a new password in both the first and second text boxes.

  1. In the last text box, you're asked to Type a password hint. This is not required.

    Tip: Since you're probably changing this person's password for them because they've forgotten it, it's fine if you want to skip the hint. Once this user has access to Windows 8/10 again, have them change their password to something more private and set up a hint then.

  2. Touch or click the Change password button to save the password change.

  3. You can now close the Change an Account window and any other open windows.

  4. Sign out, or restart the computer, and have the person you reset the password for try logging in to Windows 8 or 10 again.

  1. Once logged in, be proactive and either have the user create a Windows 8 or Windows 10 password reset disk or switch to a Microsoft account, either of which will provide an easier way to get a new password in the future.

How to Change Another User's Password in Windows 7 or Vista

  1. Click on Start and then Control Panel.

  2. Click on the User Accounts and Family Safety link (Windows 7) or User Accounts link (Windows Vista) .

    Note: If you're viewing the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel in Windows 7, you won't see this link. Instead, click on the User Accounts icon and skip to Step 4.

  3. Click on the User Accounts link.

  4. Toward the bottom of the Make changes to your user account area of the User Accounts window, click the Manage another account link.

  5. Click on the account that you want to change the password for.

    Note: If the words Password protected are not listed under the user type then the user has no password configured, meaning he or she can log in to the account without a password. Obviously, in this case, there's nothing to change so just let the user know that they don't need a password and can set one up themselves next time they log in.

  6. Under the Make changes to [username]'s account heading, click the Change the password link.

  7. Enter a new password for the user in the first and second text boxes.

    Entering the new password for the user twice helps ensure that you've typed the password correctly.

  8. In the third and final text box, you're asked to Type a password hint.

    Since you're probably changing this user's password because they've forgotten it, you can probably skip the hint. The user should change their password to something more private after they get access to their account again.

  1. Click the Change password button to confirm the password change.

  2. You can now close the User Accounts window.

  3. Log off or restart the computer and then have the user log in to their account with the password you chose for them in Step 7.

  4. Once logged in, have the user create a Windows 7 password reset disk or a Windows Vista reset disk to avoid a problem like this in the future.

How to Change Another User's Password in Windows XP

  1. Click on Start and then Control Panel.

  2. Click on the User Accounts link.

    Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, double-click on User Accounts instead.

  3. In the or pick an account to change area of the User Accounts window, click on the account that you want to change the password for.

    Note: If Password protected is not listed under the account type then the user has no password set, meaning there's nothing to change. Let the user know that they don't need a password to log in to their account and if they want one, they can set one up themselves next time they log in... with a "blank" password.

  4. Under the What do you want to change about [username]'s account heading, click Change the password.

  5. Enter a new password for the user in the first two text boxes.

    You're asked to enter the same password twice to make sure you haven't mistyped the password.

  6. You can skip Type a word or phrase to use as a password hint.

  7. Click the Change Password button to confirm the password change.

  8. You can now close the User Accounts and Control Panel windows.

  9. Log off your account or restart the computer and then have the user log in to their account with the password you chose for them in Step 5.

  1. After the user logs in, have him or her create a Windows XP password reset disk to avoid you having to take these steps again in the future after a lost password.

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