If you need to reset your Windows Vista password, probably because you've forgotten it, trust me that not only is this very possible, it's not even that hard.
Unfortunately, aside from a password reset disk (discussed in Step 1 below) there is no Windows-provided way to reset a Windows Vista password.
However, there are freely available Windows Vista password reset tools that you can download from another PC and then use to reset the password to Windows Vista on your PC.
Note: If you want to reset the password for Windows Vista but you can still access Windows with your current password, you don't need to follow these instructions. See How To Change Your Windows Vista Password (from within Windows) if you need help.
Follow these easy steps to reset your Windows Vista password:
Reset your Windows Vista password with your password reset disk.
I put this step here knowing that you probably don't have a password reset disk. However, you should have one, and once you get back in to Windows Vista using the rest of the steps on this page, please make one as soon as possible. You can see more about this in Step 8 below once you're done.
Choose one of the following password reset tools for Windows Vista and download it:
Either program will reset your Windows Vista password but ONTP&RE (Offline NT Password & Registry Editor) is always my first choice. It's more difficult to use than the other but is usually more reliable and avoids a data corruption possibility that exists with PC Login Now.
Important: I highly recommend that you read my review and go through the walkthrough for the Windows Vista password reset tool you choose. You can skip the rest of the basic instructions on this page if you use a tutorial instead.
Burn the ISO file you downloaded to a disc. Make sure your burn the image properly and don't just burn the file itself to the disc or the Windows Vista password reset program you chose will not boot, let alone reset a password.
Boot from the disc you created and let the password reset program start.
Reset your Windows Vista password using the instructions provided during the operation of the program.
Important: Again, I highly recommend that you step through the tutorials for these two Windows Vista password reset tools that I linked to in Step 2 above, especially if you're using ONTP&RE. There are more than one very confusing steps that screenshots do a great job at clarifying.
Once whatever Windows Vista password reset you chose confirms that your password has been reset, remove the disc from the drive and then restart your computer.
With your password reset, you can now login to Windows Vista without a password. In other words, leave your Windows Vista password blank, assuming you're asked for one.
Did The Windows Vista Password Reset Fail?: If so, try the other program from Step 2 and also see Tip #1 at the bottom of the page for help. There are lots of reasons you might not have been successful -and also some other options to consider.
Create a new Windows Vista password. Now that you can get back in to Windows Vista, create a new password right away. If you don't, anyone with access to your computer can get into your account without using a password.
Having a secure password is important so please don't keep using Windows Vista without setting one up. Just make sure you choose a password that you'll remember!
Create a Windows Vista password reset disk. A password reset disk is special flash drive or floppy disk that you create in Windows Vista that can be used to easily reset your password if you ever forget it again.
As long as you can keep your password reset disk in a safe place, you'll never again have to worry about forgetting your password, or using one of these password reset tools.
The Windows Vista password reset tools I linked to in Step 2 don't always work. If they didn't for you, you could try an actual password recovery program like Ophcrack but in my experience, ONTP&RE and PC Login Now both tend to work better for Windows Vista passwords than Ophcrack.
You might want to see my Windows Password Recovery Programs FAQ page as well for more discussion about all of these programs.
Finally, you should also know that password reset and recovery tools aren't the only way to get back in to Windows Vista if you've forgotten the password. See Help! I Forgot My Windows Vista Password! for a full list of your options.