Passcape is a commercial tool which allows a user who has been scammed to recover from someone running SYSKEY on their Windows 10 machine and enabling a startup password.

Is there a free tool which can do this? Many of the boot CDs around have not been updated to support Windows 10.


EDIT: Replaced spammer link with link directing to the real site, still kept the info.

What about Hiren's Boot CD?

Reset Forgotten Windows 10 Password with Hiren's BootCD Download the ISO image of Hiren's BootCD from its official website (about 593 MB). Burn the ISO file to your CD (or USB stick) using the freeware ISO2Disc.

After getting Hiren's BootCD ready, Boot your Windows 10 computer from CD (Change boot order on BIOS to set CD/DVD-ROM as the first boot device). Remember to change UEFI boot with Legacy and disable Secure Boot temporarily in BIOS.

You will be prompted with the Hiren's CD Menu, from there select Offline NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 Password Changer and press Enter. Don't use Kon-Boot as it doesn't support Windows 10/8 password bypass.

Hit Enter when you see the boot prompt.

The screen will list all your partitions and you need to select the partition where Windows is installed. In my screenshot you can see that 1) is the small 500Mb boot partition and 2) is the larger Windows partition. So I type 2 and press Enter.

Now it will ask to confirm the registry path (Windows/System32/config). The default registry path will be correct so just press Enter.

We're going to reset forgotten Windows password, so choose the default choice Password reset [sam system security] by pressing Enter.

Choose the default choice Edit user data and passwords and press Enter again.

You will now see the user accounts on you computer. Type the username whose password you want to change and press Enter.

Type 1 and press Enter. This will clear/remove the password of your selected account.

Now type ! And hit Enter to quit the User Editor menu.

Enter q to exit chntpw Main Interactive Menu and press Enter. Important step! Here must type y so it saves your password reset changes! Greetings! Password has been cleared, now remove Hiren's BootCD and Press ctrl+Alt+Del button to restart. When your computer has rebooted, you can log into Windows 10 without a password.

  • 2
    Be advised that the link you posted goes to a website for a known spammer, making this post look as if it's spam (even though your user record suggests otherwise). Be very careful when linking to sites like this; check the whole page, especially the bottom of the page, to determine if the blog post's author is trying to promote their own product. Spammers do this to deceive people into thinking that it's legit. – bwDraco Oct 13 '17 at 18:51

There are a few things to try (not for beginners).

  1. There are usually backups of the SAM and configuration files. Boot to a DOS type environment and rename the current ones and copy backups into the correct directories. Cross your fingers and restart.
  2. The free Passcape software mentioned in the question can check for the password. It may take a few times to scan, but it did find the one I needed. It displayed it and was correct, so I was able to enter it, then use Windows to reset it to normal/blank.
  3. Try multiple derivations. Mine was 123456789, another one was 1234.

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