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Microsoft

Reset your password in Windows 8

To reset a password in Microsoft Windows 8 you have to use the online version of the Reset your password tool.

If you sign into Windows 8 using a Microsoft account, you may have noticed that the Create a password reset disk option doesn't appear in the User Accounts tool, as shown in Figure A and you may be wondering how you would be able to recover a lost password. Well the answer is that since you are using a Microsoft account to sign into Windows 8, you have to use the online version of the Reset your password tool. Note: If you use a local account to sign into Windows 8, the Create a password reset disk option appears in the User Accounts tool and you can create a Password Reset Disk just like you did in Windows 7. If you're using Windows 8 in a domain, you'll have to have your Active Directory administrator reset your password.

Figure A

If you use a Microsoft account to log into Windows 8, the Create a password reset disk option doesn't appear in the User Accounts tool.

Of course, this will only work smoothly if you have set up the Security information for your Microsoft account. While most folks with a Microsoft account will have Security information settings already configured, I have encountered older Microsoft accounts that do not. (If you set up a Microsoft account recently, you would have had to set up Security information settings in order to create your account.)

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll show you how to reset your Windows 8 password. I'll also show you how to set up Security information settings for your Microsoft account.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Screenshot Gallery.

Check your Microsoft account's Security info

If you are using an older Microsoft account to sign into Windows 8, you should check to make sure that your Security info is set up so that you can easily reset your password should you forget it. The easiest way to do so is to log into your Microsoft account at Outlook.com. Once you are logged on, click the picture icon in the upper right corner of the window and when the menu appears, select Account settings, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

When you click the picture icon, you'll see a menu and will select the Account settings command.
When you see the Microsoft account screen, look at the Password and security info section. If the security info section shows either a phone number or an email address, then you are OK. However, if the security info section is blank, as shown in Figure C, then you need to set up your security information.

Figure C

If the security info section is blank, then you need to set up your security information.

Set up the Security info

Setting up the security info is easy. From the Microsoft account screen, select Security info from the menu bar, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

Select Security info from the menu bar.
In a moment, you'll see the Help us protect your account page and can choose how you want to be able to reset your password - you can use your mobile phone or you can use an alternate email address. For my example, I am going to use an alternate email address, as shown in Figure E. Once you enter your alternate email address, just click Next.

Figure E

Enter you alternate email address and click Next.
As soon as you do, an email message containing a special code will be sent to your alternate email address and you'll see a screen prompting you to enter that code. Once you receive the email message, take note of the code and enter it. This process is illustrated in Figure F. Bear in mind that the code is only valid for a short period of time (somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes) before it expires. So go ahead and enter it as soon as possible. If it expires, you can simply request another code.

Figure F

When you receive the code via your alternate email address, just enter it.
When you complete the procedure, you'll see your alternate email address in the Password and security info section, as shown in Figure G.

Figure G

When you are finished, you'll see your alternate email address in the Password and security info section.

Performing a password reset

Of course, if you can't log on to your Windows 8 system because of a forgotten password, you'll need to perform the password reset operation on another system. To do so, you can either go to Outlook.com or to https://account.live.com. When you arrive at the page, click the "Can't access your account?" link, as shown in Figure H.

Figure H

Click the Can't access your account? link.
You'll then see the Reset your password page, as shown in Figure I and will need to enter your Microsoft account email address and then carefully type in the Capcha characters.

Figure I

On the Reset your password page, enter your Microsoft account email address and the Capcha characters.
When you click Next, you'll be prompted to select the method that you want to use to reset your password. As you can see in Figure J, I selected the Email me a reset link option.

Figure J

You'll be prompted to select the method that you want to use to reset your password.
As soon as you click Next, an email message containing a special link will be sent to your alternate email address, as shown in Figure K. Keep in mind that the link is only valid for a short period of time (somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes) before it expires.

Figure K

The email message will contain a link you will use to reset your password.
When, you click the link, you'll see the Reset your password page again and be prompted to enter your new password, as shown in Figure L. Keep in mind that your new password must be at least eight characters long and contain upper and lowercase letters or numbers or symbols.

Figure L

When you get to this page, just enter your new password.

As soon as you click Next, your new password will be available and you can again log into Windows 8.

What's your take?

Have you been wondering about resetting your Microsoft account password so that you can log into Windows 8? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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