How to Reset Forgotten Windows 10/11 Account Password

Summary: This article tells you how to reset the password(s) for any local user account, including the built-in administrator in Windows 10 if you have forgotten the password.

Occasionally, we may forget the Windows user account password, especially if we have been using the auto-login using stored credentials or PIN sign-in method for a long time. Most users don’t have a second administrator account on their computer. And they would have never activated the built-in Administrator account (keeping it disabled is good for security, anyway).

The local user account password can be reset easily using different methods even if you haven’t created a password reset disk beforehand.

If you’re using a Microsoft Account (MSA), you can reset your forgotten MSA password online. However, this is not within the scope of this article. This post tells you how to reset the local user account password.

Similar problem: Lost administrator rights but not the password?

If the user account has suddenly lost its administrative privileges (but you remember the password) and turned into a guest or standard user account, it’s a different issue and the fix is very simple in that case. Check out the article Lost Administrator Rights? Recover the Account via Windows RE for an easy fix.

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How to Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10

create windows 10 usb recovery drive

If your current Windows 10 installation gets corrupted, you’ll be able to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 10 — restoring the same build and version of Windows 10 you were using, along with the installed drivers and preinstalled customizations.

For this, you’ll need to have created a USB recovery drive beforehand — when your system was healthy. Recovery Drive can also be useful if you’ve replaced your hard drive and want to install Windows 10 on it.

Restoring from Windows 10 USB recovery drive is equivalent to using the Remove Everything option in Refresh/Reset this PC in the Windows 10 settings. The recovery drive is an alternative if Windows doesn’t boot.Read more

“We can’t create a recovery drive on this PC” Error

We can't create a recovery drive on this PC

Windows allows you to create USB recovery media using the RecoveryDrive.exe (“Create a recovery drive”) utility. When you attempt to create the recovery drive in Windows 10 or 11, the following error appears, and the process stalls: We can’t create a recovery drive on this PC Some required files are missing. To troubleshoot problems when … Read more

Error “Could not find the Recovery Environment” When Resetting PC

could not find the recovery environment - reagentc.exe

When you attempt to use the Reset this PC option to Reset (“Remove everything”) or Refresh (“Keep my files”) Windows 10 or 11, the following error may appear:

Could not find the recovery environment

Insert your Windows installation or recovery media, and restart your PC with the media.

could not find the recovery environment - reagentc.exe

This error occurs if the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) is disabled, or if the WinRE image is corrupted in the system.

tips bulb iconRegardless of this issue, you should be able to carry out Refresh or Reset operation by booting the computer with your Windows 10 or 11 Setup disk.

With the Windows RE feature disabled on the computer, if you boot into the Windows RE (without the setup or repair disk), the following features would be missing in the Windows Recovery Environment:

Additionally, if Windows RE is disabled or corrupted, the following error occurs when you attempt to create a Windows Recovery Drive (USB).

We can't create a recovery drive on this PC

We can't create a recovery drive on this PC
Some required files are missing. To troubleshoot problems when your PC can't start, use your Windows installation disc or media.

This article tells you how to fix the errors “Could not find the recovery environment” and “We can’t create a recovery drive on this PC” by enabling or repairing the Windows Recovery Environment feature.Read more

How to Use “Reset this PC” to Clean Install Windows 10

reset this pc in windows 10 recovery options

Windows 10 has multiple recovery options to revert or roll back to an old configuration. The built-in recovery options include System Restore, driver rollback, in-place upgrade (a.k.a repair install), Reset This PC, Recovery disk, Go back to the previous version of Windows, etc.

The Reset this PC option reinstalls Windows 10 cleanly, but it also lets you choose whether to keep your files or remove them. Reset this PC is a “Push-button reset” procedure that utilizes the files from the Component Store C:\Windows\WinSxS as the source (if you choose the Local reinstall option) to rebuild the OS without requiring a recovery image or the ISO.

In this article, we’ll see how to use the Reset This PC feature to reinstall Windows cleanly with or without preserving your personal files.

Before using any of the reset or recovery methods, it’s advisable to back up your files. Backing up (a system image backup is preferred) is recommended even though the Reset this PC (Keep my files) feature keeps your data intact.

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