Since Windows XP, you can find a User Accounts icon at the Control Panel for you to manage the users that exists in Windows. You can create, change or remove password, change account name, type and picture, enable guest account, create new accounts and even deleting them. You can also create a password reset disk from there to allow you to overwrite the current password that you forgot with a new one. There are also third party boot disk such as Kon-Boot that allows you to reset or change any account’s password. If you try to change a user account password, you will have to first enter the current password in order for the system to accept the new password or else you’ll get the error “The password you typed is incorrect. Please retype your current password” or “Windows cannot change the password”.
This restriction is logical to prevent unauthorized users from changing the administrator password if for example you’re temporarily away from your computer and forgot to lock it. It would be chaotic if one of your colleague decides to play a prank on you by changing your account’s password without knowing your current password and that is in fact possible which we will showing you in this article.
Here is a simple tool and free tool called XP Password Manager created by Arash Veyskarami which can be used to forcefully set or change and delete the current logged in user’s password without providing the current correct password. Just run the program, select the options that you want and click the OK button. Although the name of the program has XP on it, we’ve tested it on Windows 7 and it worked perfectly although you will need to run it as administrator.
Other than using the tool above to forcefully change one’s account password, it is surprisingly possible to do it directly from Windows through Computer Management or Command Prompt.
Change administrator password from Computer Management
1. Click Start, right click on Computer and select Manage.
2. Expand System Tools > Local Users and Groups > Users.
3. Right click on the user account that you want to change the password and select “Set Password”.
4. Enter the new password twice and click OK to save the changes. Take note that it does not ask for current password at all.
Change administrator password from Command Prompt
1. Click Start button, type cmd at the Search bar, hold Ctrl+Shift and press Enter. Click the Yes button on the UAC window.
2. Type the following command in the cmd window and press enter.
net user YOURUSERACCOUNTNAME *
3. Type the new password that you want to use twice and the changes takes effect instantly.
Although it is unknown why Microsoft allow password to be changed without entering the current password, but we strongly believe this is to prevent illiterate Windows user from easily changing their password from the User Accounts shortcut in Control Panel while most of the time the command prompt tool and Computer Management are used only by experienced users.