Previous tutorials have explained how to change Windows 7 password, change Vista password, and change XP password the usual way, by going through the Control Panel. But all three versions of Windows (and earlier ones) allow you to change password from the command line (DOS prompt), using the "
NET USER" command: this is a powerful tool that allows you to do much more, including renaming user profiles and managing other user account settings. This tutorial will show you the basic password-related commands, with three options, and experience how to bypass the common "system error 5" problem.
The following steps focus on Windows Vista and Windows 7, which have to cope with UAC prompts (unlike XP), but the procedure beyond launching the command line is exactly the same in all cases. Confirmations and password requests you may receive will depend on your profile type (standard user or administrator), as well as your current security settings (how to configure UAC settings in Windows 7).
cmd.exe" top result, and choose "Run as administrator" to launch the DOS prompt with elevated privileges - if needed choose "Yes" at the UAC prompt or enter the requested password:
UserName" in examples below with the actual name of the Windows user whose password you want to change.
NET USER UserName passwordOnce you hit Enter, this command will change the selected user's password to the very last word you type after the username. While you only type the new password once, it will be showing in clear text, so you can visually confirm it (but risk that others will see it above your shoulder!)
net-usercommand shown below lets you change the password for a user and "silently" enter the new password, with request to confirm it: this is ideal when someone could see the new password you type above your shoulder. Once you hit Enter, type the new credentials when you see the "Type a password for the user" and "Retype the password to confirm" prompts:
NET USER UserName *
NET USER UserName /RANDOM
And these are the three options you can use with the
NET USER command in DOS!
If you receive the following error message, it simply means that you are not currently running the DOS prompt with elevated privileges; bypass this problem by running the command line as administrator, as we explained above: "System error 5 has occurred - Access is denied" (can happen with all three variations of the
NET USER command described earlier, since all require the same privileges).