My nephew can bypass my password and log onto Windows

By starigazey ·

This is probably a beginner type question but here goes.

I have a computer that is running Windows XP Professional version 2000 SP2. I only have one user account, aside from the default admin account, and it has administrative access. I recently placed a password on the user account to control the amount of time my kids have access to the computer, but my nephew is able to log onto windows without knowing my password (I'm the only one who knows it and I have no hints for it).

I thought he may be gaining access by pressing ctrl, alt, delete twice which brings up the back door admin log in screen, but when I do that (typing in Administrator and no password) I get a message saying to check my password etc, and won't let me in.

I Googled "how to log onto windows without a password" and found many software programs for purchase, but they all require a disk of some sort to either retrieve the password or by pass it. My nephew doesn't use a disk and he can log on in a matter of seconds. Last night I left the computer after I 'Switched User' and came back within 3 minutes and he was in Windows. How is he able to do this? My technology IQ is basic and he's a recent High School grad geek. Is he able to somehow find my password or recall my keystrokes in the password text box?

I need to be able to block access to my computer with confidence so my questions are these: Do any of you know how he is able to log on without a password and without an apparent aid; and how can I switch users while I break from the computer and know that it can't be accessed while I'm away.

I appreciate any assistance this forum can offer.


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All Answers

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See if this helps

by Jacky Howe In reply to My nephew can bypass my p ...

What Account is your nephew accessing, if you click on Start the username is normally on there. Create a restricted User Account and let your nephew use that account. Change the Built in Administrator account Password by using a combination of keys. EG: solution = 50lut10n do the same for your Your User account. You mention switching between accounts and you say that you only have one account setup, what account are you switching to. Put a tick on the screen saver settings that require a password to resume. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and lock the PC if you have to leave it or log off from your account. Don't write the password down on a sticky and paste it on the monitor.
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
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Any thoughts on creating a BIOS pswd?

by starigazey In reply to See if this helps

Hi Jacky,

I didn't see which account he was accessing because I told him to get off the computer and and shut it down. I found out he was using the "control userpasswords2" prompt at Start/Run so I'm assuming he was accessing the Admin account, which I don't use, and since it didn't have a pswd before, he probably gave it one at some point.

The only other account is mine which has admin privileges, and when I chose "Switch User" to control computer time with my kids, I simply left it on the log in screen that appears, and I would log back into my account as needed.

Someone suggested to me that I create a BIOS pswd, because they only way to change it would be to physically open up the computer to reset it. What do you think of this idea and are you aware of any simpler ways a crafty mind could bypass this type of pswd?

Can you please explain how to put a "tick" on my screen saver that requires a pswd to resume?

Thanks for getting back to me so promptly and I look forward to your reply!


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Add a password to the Admin account

by IC-IT In reply to Any thoughts on creating ...

You have admin access, so change any password he may have put on the admin acount. You may want to strengthen your own password too, so that he can not easily guess it.

Go to your Desktop properties, Screensaver Tab to add the require password on resume.

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Have you got access

by Jacky Howe In reply to Any thoughts on creating ...

to the Motherboard Manual as that will give you the steps for the BIOS password. <br>Follow bwilmot's advice and change the Administrators password and the screen saver. <br>PT has supplied a password generator but just be careful as some of them are hard to remember. If you do write it down hide it somewhere safe.
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
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here's a suggestion....

by dariquew In reply to Any thoughts on creating ...

lets hope your nephew isnt accessing ur email and techrepublic account. all of these suggestions are good but they dont hit the main nail on the head. he has your password to your main admin account. bright kid. he should consider tech seriously. i used to be like him. however, just change all the passwords on the pc. go to command prompt (from an account with admin priveledge) type net user administrator P@ssw0rd (P@ssw0rd just being a random password of your choosing.) do this to as many accounts as you like. and if your still concerned set a bios password (which isnt that hard to by pass if u have access to google and can ask around) my solution makes sure he doesnt have access and if he tries safemode he has to login to use it so he's up the creek. and lock your computer when ur finished with it. as an it guy in the trenches, its ALMOST impossible to get by that sans password. if ive been helpful let me know

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control userpasswords2

by kenbergins In reply to My nephew can bypass my p ...


You should have a password assigned to the "Administrator " account. You assigned your account to be an administrator, but every Windows XP PRO computer has an account named "administrator". This is the default account and it is there even if you did not set it up. This needs to have a password assigned to it too. You could use the same password that you use for your own account, so you only have to remember one password.

If you have Windows XP HOME, to access the "administrator" account, you must do this on boot up and go into SAFE MODE (hold down the F8 key).

Go to and download and install and run the free program ADVISOR. Amoung other things, this will show the user names assigned to the computer and the last login date and time of the users. It will list other default users too, like "guest". The Guest account will allow someone to access the computer.

Make an account for each of your kids and make it a Limited User Account. Assign a password for each account. Set up your DNS to control where the kids can go, Just follow the directions on the website.

FYI From Microsoft Help and Support

"control userpasswords2"

How to log on to your Windows XP-based computer if you forget your password or if your password expires

Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional
1. Log on as an administrator.
a. Restart the computer.
b. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE two times, and then type the name of the administrator user account.
c. In the Password box, type the administrator password, and then click OK.

Note If the administrator password is set to a blank password, do not type a password before you click OK.

2. Reset the password.a. Click Start, click Run, type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.
b. Click the name of the user account that you want to reset the password for, and then click Reset Password.
c. Type a new password in the New password box, and then type the password again in the Confirm new password box, and then click OK.
d. Restart the computer, and then try to log on to Windows XP again.

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Try some of these, it might keep him at bay from your computer.. :)

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
If this information is useful, please mark as helpful. Thanks.

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by starigazey In reply to Registry hack of the Cont ...

Thanks Jayke,

I'm going to give it a try.


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by pranil.naidu In reply to My nephew can bypass my p ...

Your nephew has gained access to the default administrator of your PC and added a password which is why u r unable to access the default administrator account. It is likely that your nephew is using the default account to login to windows and has also set a password to prevent you from accessing the account. Unfortunately unless u r logged in to that account u will be unable to remove or change the password for that account unless u had implemented certain updates for Windows XP before your nephew gained access. In that case u can backup your data, restore your system to that last update and set a password for the default administrator to save the hassle if there is a problem.

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