Breaking The Password Code


Q. My son was playing with my home computer and he added a password. Now he’s forgotten the password, and I can’t access any of my files. What can I do? Can I ever get back into the computer?

A. First of all, I suggest you take an appropriate action to be sure this never happens again. But worry not; the Windows password is hardly a serious obstacle. Here’s how to defeat it: While you’re starting up the computer, hold down the F8 key. In a short time, a menu will appear on the screen. One of the choices will be Command Prompt Only. Highlight that command and hit Enter. At the C prompt (C:), type “cdwindows” (without the quote marks, of course). Then type “del *.pwl” (again without the quotes), which will remove the password, and turn off the computer. The next time you boot up you won’t need the password.

Removing a password from Windows is somewhat harder than adding a new one, but it can be done.

However, if you want to put in a new password to keep your son out of the computer, go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Passwords and click on Change Windows Password. Then pick a password, and certainly don’t share it with the kid.

SPONSORED REPORT

Solving the lease accounting challenge

The challenges of the new lease accounting standard have been pervasive to say the least. In this free, independently-written report, you'll learn effective adoption strategies as well as resources for easing the transition to the new standard.

FEATURE

Tackling TCJA changes this tax season

Return preparers must be ready for how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has modified many common features of individual and business returns.