Resetting another user’s password in Windows 10 Home

The method for resetting another user’s local account password in Windows 10 Home, even if you’re signed in with a local Administrator account, is insanely complicated. Read on for the horrible details.

This all started when my son thought he’d lost the password for his one and only local account on a new Asus Zenbook.

After scolding him for not creating an additional “back door” administrative account, I was in fact able to log in with a password I knew he commonly used.

Once we were in the machine I made a big deal out of creating a new local admin account for him to use if this ever happened again. For that I used the easy to find Settings… Accounts app. This app lets you create a user, set a password, and even elevate them to Administrator status, but provides no way to reset a password.

Granted even doing anything short of resetting passwords is weirdly convoluted in Accounts. To create a local user not tied to a Microsoft online account requires clicking through a veritable minefield (Settings… Accounts… Family & other users… Other Users… Add someone else to this PC… I don’t have this person’s sign-in information… Add a user without a Microsoft account…).

Then I tried to figure out how he’d reset his own, presumably forgotten, password if he were to use that “emergency” admin account to gain access.

As hard as I looked I wasn’t able to find anything that looked like the old User Accounts applet that would allow resetting another user’s password. It just wasn’t there. Anywhere.

It turns out that in their mad rush to transform the Start Menu from a useful tool to into an advertising billboard, Microsoft seems to have deliberately deep-sixed the Control Panel that, it turns out, still holds the User Accounts app.

There are, in fact, a few ways to find Control Panel.

One is to go down to the Cortana window and type in “control panel”. Hitting enter will return a list of results, including an icon for the “Control Panel Desktop app”. Another, more convoluted, way is to open File Explorer and click on the greater than sign in the top navigation window between the star and the “Quick access” text.

Windows 10 Control Panel via File Explorer

Once you’ve found Control Panel things work pretty much like they did in Windows 7, by going into the User Accounts app and stepping through a familiar stack of screens before actually getting to do what was needed.

w10-cp

(User Accounts… User Accounts… Manage another account… select account… Change the password)

So much less intimidating than something like:

[me@mine ~]$ sudo passwd myson
[sudo] password for me: 
Changing password for user myson.
New password: 
BAD PASSWORD: The password is shorter than 8 characters
Retype new password: 
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
[me@mine ~]$ 

NOT.

This entry was posted in System Administration on by .

About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).