1. Computing

How To Change Another User's Password in Windows 8 or 8.1

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Screenshot of a Local account in the Change an Account screen in Windows 8

One way to get out of that embarrassing situation of a forgotten Windows 8 password is to ask another user on the same computer (that's you) to change the password from his or her account.

Most people don't know this, but every Windows 8 user with administrator-level privileges has the ability to change any other user's password... and it's really easy to do.

Important: See Tip #2 at the bottom of the page if you're trying to change another user's password in Windows 8 but you're not an administrator.

Follow the steps below to change another user's password in Windows 8:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: It'll probably only take a minute or two to change the password of another user in Windows 8.

Applies To: The process to change another user's password outlined below works equally well in either the standard or Pro version of both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Here's How:

  1. Open the Windows 8 Control Panel.

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

  2. Touch or click on the User Accounts and Family Safety link.

    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.

  3. Touch or click User Accounts.

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

  5. Touch or click on the "...user you would like 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.

  6. 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 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.

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

  8. 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 again, have them change their password to something more private and set up a hint then.

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

    Warning: Whenever a Windows 8 password is changed from outside the account (like what we're doing here), that user permanently loses access to EFS encrypted files, personal certificates, and stored network and website passwords. Most users haven't encrypted their files so that's not usually a concern. The loss of website and network passwords is unfortunate but probably worth gaining access to the computer again. See Tip #3 below for more on this.

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

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

  12. Once logged in, be proactive and either have the user create a Windows 8 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.

Tips:

  1. Not using Windows 8? See How Do I Change Another User's Password in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.

  2. You can only change another's password in Windows 8 if your account has administrator privileges. If it doesn't, the above method won't work.

    Luckily there are a number of other ways to reset or discover a lost Windows 8 password. See I Forgot My Windows 8 Password! What Are My Options? for a complete list, most of which don't even require a second user on the computer or any kind of working access to Windows 8.
  3. If you're unwilling to lose access to encrypted files, certificates, or stored passwords, and you're not using a Microsoft account to logon to Windows 8 (see the tip in Step 6), your only remaining option is to try a real password recovery program like Ophcrack or Cain & Abel. Any Windows 8 password reset procedure or program will result in the same loss of access.

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