Forgetting your Windows 10 or 11 computer password can feel frustrating, but do not worry. The solution lies in executing a factory reset. In this article, we will guide you on how to do a factory reset on both Windows 10 and 11 without a password.
Understanding Windows 10 and 11 Reset Options
Before we dive into the factory reset process, it’s crucial to understand what a reset does. A factory reset, also known as a hard reset, will restore your computer to its original settings, as it was when you first purchased it. This process will delete all your applications, files, and settings.
In Windows 10 and 11, the reset option can be found under the Recovery section in the Settings menu. Here, you have two options:
What to Do Before Factory Resetting Windows 10 or 11 Without a Password?
Before proceeding with the factory reset, ensure you have backed up all your essential data, as the process will erase everything from your computer. You can back up your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox.
In order to back up files, the professional backup software named as MiniTool ShadowMaker is the best option for you to back up your important files. Moreover, MiniTool ShadowMaker is a backup tool that can help you with backup files, folders, partitions, disks, and the operating System. It is also a USB clone tool to help to clone the USB drive to keep data safe.
Below are the ways to back up your files before factory resetting Windows 11:
Way #1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker
Step 1: First, make sure to install MiniTool ShadowMaker and then launch it.
Step 2: Now, click on the Keep Trial option
Way #2: Choose a Backup Source
Step 1: First, go to the Backup page and then click the Source module
Step 2: Now, select folders and files
Step 3: Next, choose the files you want to back up to keep them safe, and then click on the Ok button to continue.
Way #3: Choose a Target Disk
Step 1: First, click on the Destination module in order to select a target disk.
Step 2: After that, you will 4 option to select an external hard drive as the destination
Step 3: Now, click on the Ok button in order to continue
Way #4: Begin to Back up Files
Once you have chosen the backup source along with the destination, click Back up Now to perform the task quickly. Or you can also click on Back up Later to delay the backup task.
It is worth mentioning that after backing up all the files, it is then time to Factory reset Windows 11 without a password.
How to Factory Reset Windows 10 Without Password?
Below are the ways to reset Windows 10 to Factory reset from login screen with password;
Step 1: In order to reset your PC, make sure to hold down the Shift key on your keyboard. As with the key held down, just press the restart option, which is under your power menu
Step 2: Now, click on the troubleshoot option in order to proceed
Step 3: Next, in the Troubleshoot menu, make sure to click the Reset this PC option
Step 4: Now, you can select to save your files or reset Windows 10 completely, removing all files and settings. So, in order to save your files, you better click the Keep my files option. Otherwise, you can click Remove Everything instead.
This will start the reset process, and you may need to follow further on-screen instructions in order to continue. So, once the process is complete, you can set up your Windows PC with a new user account, which lets you bypass the old admin password completely.
How to Use Windows Installation Media to Reset or Reinstall Windows 10 Without Password?
Another easy way to reset or reinstall Windows 10 with a password is the use Windows Installation Media. If your PC is having issues, you can better decide whether to wipe the hard drive completely or use Windows installation media to reinstall or reset Windows. It is pertinent to mention that you can download the Windows 10 installation disk image from the Microsoft website.
Moreover, Linux users can use WoeUSB to reset or reinstall, while macOS users can use the official Boot Camp Assistant app installed on all Mac devices. Below are the steps to Use Windows Installation Media to Reset or Reinstall Windows 10 Without Password:
Step 1: First, if you have the Windows 10 ISO file and Rufus tool downloaded, just open Rufus on your second Windows PC. Just check that your USB flash drive is selected in the drop-down menu, and then click the Select button to choose your ISO file.
Step 2: Now, choose your Windows 10 installation ISO file from the file selection menu and make sure to click on the open option
Step 3: Next, Rufus will automatically change its settings to better match the need to flash a bootable USB Windows installation drive. Press the Start button to flash your drive. Remember that, this will clear all the data. Therefore, make sure to save and have a back of your important files before you start resetting
Step 4: Now, once Rufus has completed flashing your USB flash drive, make sure to restart your PC in order to boot into the Windows installation screen. At the Windows installation screen, you should choose the language to use during installation. Choose your time, currency locale, and keyboard locale. So, you are done; click the Next button.
Step 5: Now, just click on install now in order to begin the installation process
Step 6: Next, you should provide a Windows 10 product key to activate the installation, so type this key here. So, if you do not have a key, type the I do not have a product key option. Because if you select this option, you should activate Windows after the installation.
Step 7: Make sure to choose the Windows 10 version that you want to install; if the option is available, then just click the next button
Step 8: Now, click on the I accept the license terms checkbox and then click Next to continue
Step 9: In order to bypass the admin password, select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option as this will clear all files from your PC before reinstalling Windows.
Step 10: Choose the drive in order to install Windows at the next stage. So, if you have several partitions, you better delete and recreate these first. After that, choose Next to continue.
Step 11: At this point, Windows will start clearing your drive and copying files for the new installation. Moreover, Windows will then restart to start the next stage of the installation process, allowing you to make a new user account once the process has been completed to enable you to use the PC again.
How to Factory Reset Windows 11 Without Password?
Below are the solutions to Factory reset Windows 11 without an administrator password:
Situation 1: You are Login to Windows 11
If you can log into Windows 11, then below are the ways to reset Windows 11 without an administrator password.
Way #1: Factory Reset Windows 11 Without Password via Settings
Below are the steps to Factory Reset Windows 11 Without a Password via Settings:
Step 1: Make sure to press the Windows + I keys together in order to open Settings.
Step 2: Now, go to System and then the Recovery. Under the Recovery options part, just click the Reset PC option.
Step 3: Choose the option that suits you best: Keep my files or Remove everything.
Step 4: Next, you need to select how to reinstall your Windows 11. It is vital to mention that there are 2 ways, Cloud download or Local reinstall.
Step 5: Next, make sure to confirm your settings, and then click on the next to continue. After getting things ready, just click Reset, and your PC will begin resetting, but it will take some time.
Step 6: After your PC automatically restarts, it begins resetting itself to the factory settings. So, make sure to keep your PC plugged in and wait for the Reset to complete.
Step 7: Lastly, your PC requires reinstalling Windows 11 system files. So, wait a few minutes until and unless the installation is complete, and then you will get back into Windows 11.
Way #2: Factory Reset Windows 11 Without Password via MiniTool ShadowMaker
It is worth mentioning that if you have created a system image with MiniTool ShadowMaker, you can also restore Windows 11 to factory settings. Moreover, you need to have the MiniTool bootable media for that purpose. So you are required to create one first.
Below are the steps to create bootable media and boot a computer from MiniTool ShadowMaker:
Step 1: First, launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and then go to the tools page
Step 2: Now, select the Media Builder feature in order to make bootable media
Step 3: Next, boot the computer from it
Step 4: After entering its major interface, you will be able to see the backup picture, so click it to restore to continue
Step 5: Now, select the backup version and then click next
Step 6: Make sure to check out the partitions to be restored from the backup images. Also, you must check the MBR and Track 0 for a successful boot
Step 7: Select a target disk in order to restore. So, you must select the original system disk since you are required to Factory restore Windows 11
Step 8: Now, as the system image is created when the operating system is in a pure status, you can now restore Windows 11 to the factory setting.
Situation 3: You are Locked Out of Your PC
There are two cases through which you can still try a factory reset Windows 11.
Case 1: Your Windows 11 Can Boot Normally
If you are locked out of your computer, you can still do a factory reset from the login screen:
Below are the steps to Factory Reset Windows 11 from the Login Screen:
Step 1: At the Windows 11 login screen, make sure to click the power button then click the restart button, then press the shift key at the same time
Step 2: Now, select the Troubleshoot option on the choose an option page
Step 3: Next, on the Troubleshoot page, make sure to click the Reset this PC option
Step 4: On the Reset this PC page, you will get 2 options (Keep my files and Remove everything). You must select Remove everything since you do not have your admin password. Otherwise, if you select the option, Keep my files, then you still must enter your Windows 11 admin password after resetting
Step 5: Next, select Cloud download or Local reinstall based on your requirements
Step 6: You must select remove my files or Full clean the drive. If you want to sell or give away your PC, you had better choose Fully clean the drive.
Step 7: Make sure to click Reset so your PC will instantly begin resetting itself to factory settings. Just keep your PC on and wait for the reset to complete.
Step 8: Lastly, once the reset is complete, you must follow the on-screen steps to reset your PC and get into the Windows 11 desktop.
Case 2: Your Windows 11 Cannot Boot Normally
If your Windows 11 cannot boot normally, you better try to Factory reset Windows 11 with a bootable USB without a password.
Below are the steps to Factory Reset Windows 11 with bootable USB without password:
Step 1: Create Microsoft’s media creation tool or Windows 11 iSO file on any working computer.
Step 2: Now, make sure to insert the Windows 11 USB drive to your PC that you want to Factory reset. After that, start the PC and try to access its boot menu or BIOS menu in order to set the PC to boot from the USB.
Step 3: Next, after that your PC boots up and displays the Windows Setup screen; select your language along with the keyboard and then click Next.
Step 4: On the next page, just click Install Now.
Step 5: Now, make sure to click I do not have a product key on the Activate Windows page
Step 6: Select your Windows 11 edition and then click Next.
Step 7: Now, accept the Microsoft software license, and again click Next.
Step 8: Make sure to select which kind of installation you want. selecting the Upgrade option will keep your files, including your admin password. You must select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) since you do not have your admin password.
Step 9: Next, select the drive partition where you want to install Windows 11, and then click Next. After that, Windows will wipe your installation drive and then install a fresh copy of the Windows 11 OS on your computer.
Step 10: Lastly, make sure to follow the remaining instructions on the screen, and your Windows 11 PC will restore to a better version or state, just like when it was Factory set.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the FAQs about Fcatorty Resetting Windows 10 and 11:
Q1: What is a factory reset?
Ans: A factory reset, also known as a hard reset, is a process that restores a device to its original settings, as it was when you first purchased it. This process removes all data, including files, apps, and settings.
Q2: Will a factory reset remove all my data?
Ans: Yes, a factory reset will erase all data, including personal files, apps, and settings. Before initiating a factory reset, it’s recommended to back up any essential data to an external drive or cloud storage.
Q3: Can I do a factory reset without a password on Windows 10 or 11?
Ans: Yes, you can perform a factory reset on Windows 10 or 11 even if you don’t remember your password. You can do this through the Windows login screen or using an installation media.
Q4: Can I Factory reset my Windows PC if I don’t have an administrator password?
Ans: Windows 10 or 11 allows you to perform a factory reset without requiring the administrator password.
Q5: What should I do if I forgot my Windows password but remember my PIN or have other login options?
Ans: If you remember your PIN or have other login options, like Picture Password or biometrics, you can log in to your PC using these alternatives and reset your password.
Q6: How can I reset my HP computer without booting Windows?
Ans: HP computers come with a built-in recovery tool called HP Recovery Manager. This tool can help you perform a factory reset without needing to boot into Windows. Simply turn on your computer and press the F11 key until the Choose an option screen is displayed, then follow the on-screen instructions.
Q7: Will Factory resetting my computer remove a virus?
Ans: In most cases, a factory reset will remove all software, including malicious programs, from your computer. However, certain advanced malware can persist after a factory reset. Using reputable antivirus software to detect and remove viruses is always best.
Q8: Can I recover my files after a factory reset?
Ans: Once a factory reset is completed, it’s generally difficult to recover files unless you’ve previously backed up your data. You may need to consult a data recovery professional if the data is crucial. It’s always recommended to back up your files before performing a factory reset.
Whether you have lost your password or are dealing with serious system issues, a factory reset is a viable solution to regain access to your Windows 10 or 11 PC. However, since a factory reset leads to data loss, always make sure you have a recent backup of all critical data.
In case you are locked out of your PC, using the login screen, installation media, or the built-in recovery manager (if you’ are using an HP computer) can be a lifesaver. While the process may seem intimidating, following the steps carefully will ensure a successful system reset and a fresh start for your PC.