Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
  
What are archived documents?
Login>>
Login

Login is for authorized groups (e.g., UITS, OVPIT, and TCC) that need access to specialized Knowledge Base documents. Otherwise, simply use the Knowledge Base without logging in.

Close

Setting and resetting a Windows administrator password

Important: As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP with security updates. To ensure the highest security standards, the UITS Support Center no longer registers Windows XP devices to the IU network. UITS strongly recommends that you look into the options for replacing or upgrading your Windows XP computers for full compatibility with IU systems. See About end of life for Windows XP.

Note: To set an administrator password, you must be logged into the computer as an administrator.

On this page:

Note: At Indiana University, the University Information Security Office (UISO) recommends that you normally refrain from running your Windows computer as an administrator. For more, see What is the principle of least privilege?


Setting the administrator password

Universal steps

These steps work in every case as long as you're able to log in as an administrator.

  1. Press Win-r . In the "Open:" field, type compmgmt.msc and press Enter.

  2. Double-click the Users folder. On the right, in the list of local users, right-click the account name for the Administrator account, and select Set Password.

    Note: On some computers, the account will not be named "Administrator" because the owner or administrator either changed that name or added administrative accounts with different usernames. In either case, you will need to know which of the accounts in the list is the designated Administrator account.

    Also be aware that on Windows Vista by default, and in some Windows XP computers by owner or administrator choice, the account named "Administrator" is disabled. Setting a password does not automatically re-enable the account, but it is useless to change a disabled account's password if your goal is to affect currently active administrator accounts. If you do need to enable this account, do so in the account's settings.

Back to top

Alternate methods

You can also change the administrator password using the "User Accounts" control in the Control Panel. Some users may prefer this method to the universal steps above. Follow the instructions below for your situation and operating system.

If your computer is joined to Indiana University's Active Directory

In Windows Vista and XP, the control panels where you set or change your password display differently depending on whether your computer is joined to ADS. Note that in any case, these instructions are for changing passwords for accounts residing directly on your computer, not for Active Directory passwords. IU Active Directory account passwords are always changed through https://passphrase.iu.edu. This holds true even if your Active Directory account is an administrator on the computer.

Windows 8.x

  1. Press Win-r . In the dialogue box, type compmgmt.msc, and then hit enter.

  2. Expand Local Users and Groups and select the Users folder.

  3. Right-click the Administrator account and select Password.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the task.

Back to top

Windows 7

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel. If you are not already in Category View, in the upper left, click Category View. Then, click User Accounts and Family Safety.

  2. Under "User Accounts", click Change your Windows password. If prompted, click Continue.

  3. Under "Make changes to your user account", click Set a password.

  4. In the "New password" and "Confirm new password" fields, enter the password. Click OK twice.

Back to top

Windows Vista

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel. If you are not already in Classic View, in the upper left, click Classic View. Then, double-click the User Accounts icon.

  2. Under "Make changes to your user account", click Manage User Accounts. If prompted, click Continue.

  3. From the Users tab, click the name of the administrative account, and then click Reset Password... .

  4. In the "New password" and "Confirm new password" fields, enter the password. Click OK twice.

Back to top

Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel, or Settings and then Control Panel. Double-click the User Accounts icon.

  2. From the Users tab, click the name of the administrative account, and then click Reset Password... .

  3. In the "New password" and "Confirm new password" fields, enter the password. Click OK twice.

Back to top

On a computer not in a domain

Windows 8.x

  1. Press Win-r . In the dialogue box, type compmgmt.msc, and then hit enter.

  2. Expand Local Users and Groups and select the Users folder.

  3. Right-click the Administrator account and select Password.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the task.

Back to top

Windows 7 and Vista

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel. If you are not already in Classic View, in the upper left, click Classic View. Then, double-click the User Accounts icon.

  2. In the Make changes to your user account window:

    1. If you are logged into the administrator account whose password you want to change:

      1. Select Change your password.
      2. In the "Current password" field, enter your current password.
      3. In the "New password" and "Confirm new password" fields, enter the new password.
      4. Optionally, enter a password hint in the last field.
      5. Click Change password.

    2. If you are logged into a different account from the one with the password you want to change:

      1. Select Manage another account.
      2. From the list that appears, select the account for which you want to change the password.
      3. Select Change the password.
      4. In the "Current password" field, enter your current password.
      5. In the "New password" and "Confirm new password" fields, enter your new password.
      6. Optionally, enter a password hint in the last field.
      7. Click Change password.

Back to top

Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel. In the upper left corner of the window, if given the option, select Switch to Classic View. Double-click the User Accounts icon.

  2. Click the account name designated as "Computer administrator", and then click Change the password.

  3. In the "Type a new password:" and "Type the new password again to confirm:" fields, type the new password. If you want to leave yourself a password hint, you can enter it in the third field labeled "Type a word or phrase to use as a password hint:".

  4. Click Change Password.

Back to top

Requirements for Get Connected at IU

Get Connected enforces additional security requirements. You must have an administrator password set, and it:

  • Must be at least 14 characters long
  • Must not be the same as the last 24 passwords you set for this account
  • Must contain characters from three of these categories:

    • Upper-case English alphabet characters
    • Lower-case English alphabet characters
    • Numbers 0-9
    • Non-alphanumeric characters (e.g., ! $ # % )

If your password doesn't meet these requirements, you will see the following message:

The password you typed does not meet the password policy requirements. Check the minimum password length, password complexity and password history requirements.

Back to top

If you forget the administrator password

If you forget the administrator password for your computer, the Support Center's Carry-in Consulting service may be able to reset it; see IUB Carry-in Consulting services and pricing.

To reset your administrator password, Support Center consultants must verify that you own the computer. Consultants can:

  • Check the computer for a local account matching your name
  • Check the computer's registration at Indiana University Bloomington
  • Examine the sales receipt for the computer

If consultants cannot verify ownership, they cannot reset the administrator password; they can instead perform a clean installation of the operating system. Installation cost will be based on normal Carry-in Consulting fees.

Back to top

This is document arni in domain all.
Last modified on March 21, 2014.

I need help with a computing problem

  • Fill out this form to submit your issue to the UITS Support Center.
  • Please note that you must be affiliated with Indiana University to receive support.
  • All fields are required.



Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.

I have a comment for the Knowledge Base

  • Fill out this form to submit your comment to the IU Knowledge Base.
  • If you are affiliated with Indiana University and need help with a computing problem, please use the I need help with a computing problem section above, or contact your campus Support Center.