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Paul asked: “My mom had a Windows 10 HP laptop. She forgot her passcode to get past the boot-up. She thought I’d be able to figure it out but I can’t figure out how to get past that. If you have any information, I’d really appreciate it.”
Paul, unfortunately for your mom, and fortunately for most people, Microsoft actually got more serious about security with the last couple of version of Windows. Getting access without a password is not as easy as it used to be.
If your mom’s account is an online account, then good news, you can log into the account from a web browser and reset the password from there.
If that’s not the case and the account is a computer-only account, there is a procedure to reset the password, but it assumes that you thought ahead and realized that things could go wrong and created, in advance, a password reset disk. If you did that, great! You’re in luck, just tell Windows you forgot your password and follow instructions and you’ll be able to use that disk to reset it. However, since you asked us, you probably don’t have one of those.
There are some 3rd party programs that claim to be able to help you recover access to your account, we should stress that we haven’t tried them ourselves, but you can give Renee Passnow a shot and see how it works for you.
The only other official option is to reinstall Windows, which is not usually a very good option for anyone. Hopefully, you made a internet account and not just a local account and you’ll be able to restore the easy way.
And if it turns out that you do have to reformat the computer and reinstall Windows 10, do yourself a favor and create a Microsoft account (you can register for a free Microsoft account using an existing email address, or you can let them give you a new webmail address using their “outlook.com” domain name).
Having your computer account linked with the Internet-based Microsoft account gives you an option to get back into the computer, if this happens again. But we’ve got our fingers crossed for you!